What is the Correct Wellbutrin Dose for Your Treatment?

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Have you been recently prescribed Wellbutrin and have some questions and concerns regarding this drug you have never used before? Are you looking for a well-written guide on the antidepressant and want to know which Wellbutrin dose is best for you?

As your online healthcare solutions provider, we know that whenever we are put on a drug we have never used before, we want to learn about everything we might experience using it.

In this article, we will take a super close look at Wellbutrin from numerous angles, and rest assured, we are ready to make the best out of our treatment on it.

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What is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is a commonly known and widely prescribed antidepressant to treat the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or major depressive disorder. It is one of the brand names for its major chemical compound, bupropion hydrochloride (also found in Zyban, Forfivo XL, and Aplenzin), which is available in two classes: Wellbutrin XL and SR.

Wellbutrin is also prescribed to those who have ADHD or bipolar disorder.

What is Wellbutrin Used For?

Wellbutrin is mainly used to treat mental health problems, mood disorders, depression, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The drug was also tried on patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, weight gain management, and bipolar disorder but wasn’t found to have any proven effect. So instead, the evidence primarily supports its use for people who want to stop smoking and who need treatment for depression.

How Does Wellbutrin Work?

One of the most prescribed antidepressant drugs, Wellbutrin, falls into the drug class of NDRI. NDRI stands for norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitor, and it works by altering one’s mood by providing a boost in the brain’s dopamine levels. Dopamine is linked to pleasure centers of the mind as it creates positive affective like serotonin.

It is a superb alternative for patients with serotonin sensitivity who still seek treatment to manage cases like weight loss, suicidal thoughts, and smoking cessation.

Mood-altering antidepressants usually fall into the category of SSRIs, limiting the options of those who can’t endure a treatment that changes their serotonin levels. Patients get to be prescribed Wellbutrin instead to ensure they still receive treatment to achieve a better life.

How is Wellbutrin Used?

After being prescribed the correct dose for the reason and condition you consulted a doctor about, you will either be put on Wellbutrin XL for major depressive disorder (MDD) or SAD treatment or on Wellbutrin SR for MDD exclusively.

Your doctor will determine the proper dosage forms for you. Taking a higher amount than prescribed may increase the risk of having a seizure, while taking a smaller amount can end up being ineffective in lowering the seizure threshold. Always stick to what is prescribed, and don’t increase or decrease the quantity.

Young patients on Wellbutrin sometimes get suicidal thoughts when they start using an antidepressant. Always check in with your doctor regularly before symptoms get out of hand and your depressive condition becomes more serious.

How to Take and Store Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin comes in tablet form for oral usage and should be swallowed as a whole. Do not split, chew or crush it.

Store Wellbutrin at room temperature, away from heat and moisture. Do not store it in damp or moist areas like bathrooms.

The regular tablet of Wellbutrin) is generally prescribed to be taken three times a day and have 6 hours in between each tablet, or four times a day with each tablet being taken 4 hours apart. The sustained-release tablet is commonly instructed to be taken twice daily for eight hours between the doses.

Patients put on extended-release tablets of Wellbutrin will usually need to take their medicine daily and in the morning. Every dose taken should have at least 24 hours in between.

When used to treat SAD, patients will generally be instructed to start their treatment at the beginning of early fall and stick to it until early spring. You can request them to lower their bupropion dose two weeks before stopping their treatment.

Here are some tips for the proper use of Wellbutrin:

If it upsets your stomach, take Wellbutrin with food.

Take Wellbutrin in advance rather than taking it when you go to bed so you don’t have any extra trouble if you already experience difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Set a specific time for it, and take your tablets around the same time every day.

Read your prescription label thoroughly and ask your pharmacist or doctor about anything you don’t understand.

Do not change your drug dose without informing your doctor. Instead, stick to the prescribed dose to receive the correct treatment.

To create room for you to adjust to the treatment, your doctor might start you on a lower dosage and then gradually increase it. You may not see an immediate improvement in your condition, as this is a long-term treatment, not a one-take drug. However, signs of improvement may be seen in 4 weeks or more.

If you experience disturbing symptoms and showcase adverse reactions to Wellbutrin, consult your doctor before deciding to stop your treatment. A sudden stop of Wellbutrin use can cause withdrawal symptoms and create colossal discomfort. Asking your doctor how to stop drug use will improve your experience.

Possible Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin side effects can be categorized into two levels: Moderate and severe.

The moderate side effects you might experience when you start a Wellbutrin treatment may include: weight loss, headaches, weakness, vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, urinating more frequently, ringing in your ears, restlessness, nervousness, joint aches, tremors, constipation, abdominal pain, insomnia, sore throat, increased heart rate, drowsiness, gas, flushing, anxiety, increased sweating, alopecia, anorexia and changes in the way food tastes.

Severe side effects or adverse reactions to Wellbutrin that may need urgent medical care may include: allergic reactions (like skin rash or hives), agitation, chest pain, aggressiveness, menstrual cycle shifts, libido increase or decrease, sexual function fluctuations, alterations in vision, confusion, chest pain, hallucinations or delusions, fainting, difficulty while breathing, dark urine, sore throat, fever or chills, difficulty hearing, euphoria or feeling exceptionally well, impulsiveness, not being able to sit still, hostility, panic attacks, seizures, rapid or fluctuating heartbeat, severe headaches, having suicidal tendencies, trouble concentrating, peeling, swollen or blistered skin, extreme or consistent insomnia, nervousness or restlessness, severe or constant vomiting, stomach pain and nausea, severe or continuous joint or muscle pain, unusual swelling, yellow eyes or skin.

How Long Do Wellbutrin Side Effects Last?

Side effects of Wellbutrin are usually bearable as they are mild and temporary. They last until your body adapts to them, which generally takes a couple of days or weeks.

If the side effects you experience take longer than usual or are severe and cause exponential disturbance to you, reach out to a healthcare provider.

Essential Considerations Before Taking Bupropion

If you need your medicine to be refilled, your doctor can authorize your refills on your prescription. However, it would help if you didn’t get a new prescription every time you needed a refill.

You should check your blood pressure before being put on a Wellbutrin treatment. If you already have a condition related to your blood pressure levels, taking Wellbutrin may cause it to spike up even more, mainly if you use a nicotine replacement product on the side.

If you are traveling with your medication, Make sure that your medication is within reach. If you are flying, put your meds into your carry-on, and don’t put them away with your checked bag.

X-ray machines won’t harm your medication. So don’t worry about them.

Airport staff might ask for a pharmacy label of your medication. Always carry it with you.

Please do not keep this medication in a glove compartment or leave it in your vehicle. Exposing it to too much heat or cold is not advised.

Those on other treatments that cause adverse effects when their current medication is combined with Wellbutrin should make sure they inform their doctor about every drug they are taking at the time of a Wellbutrin prescription. For example, some medicines don’t interact well with bupropion HCl; thus, they should never be taken together; one of which is Methylene Blue.

Also, anyone taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors like Isocarboxazid (Marplan) should not use Wellbutrin.

Methylene Blue and Wellbutrin Drug Interactions

Patients prescribed methylene blue should inform their doctors if they are also being put on a Wellbutrin treatment. These two drugs don’t interact well together for some who have the rare condition called “serotonin syndrome,” and this condition isn’t one to be taken lightly.

When taken together, methylene blue and Wellbutrin can create disturbing adverse reactions that include;

  • increased heart rate
  • confusion
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • blurred vision, and
  • stomach cramps

In extreme cases, it may cause the patient to be put in a coma or even die.

Listing all the medication you are on when you get assessed for other health conditions is of dire importance to avoid aggravating an existing problem when searching for a solution to a new one. Ensure your doctor knows everything about the drugs you are currently on to stay safe.

Is Wellbutrin Safe During Pregnancy and Lactation?

Wellbutrin gets passed on to the infant through breast milk. Estimations suggest that %6 of the maternal dose gets passed to the baby. Wellbutrin manufacturers advise getting alternative treatment and avoiding the medication to protect infants from possible side effects.

Wellbutrin and Alcohol Interaction Warning

If you are put on a Wellbutrin treatment and simultaneously drink excessively, you will have a higher risk of having a seizure. Therefore, mixing alcohol with Wellbutrin use is never advised. In addition to alcohol, you are advised to quit smoking.

Combining alcohol use and Wellbutrin will also exacerbate the side effects each substance may create because your liver can process only one of them at one time. As a result, you will have to choose one and leave the other, rendering your treatment less effective and increasing the potential to experience its side effects. Consequently, you will be at higher risk of overdose when you see that the prescribed bupropion dose doesn’t affect you as you also drink alcohol on the side, which may also result in drug abuse.

wellbutrin dose for hepatic impairment

Wellbutrin Dose for Smoking Cessation

Although there is misinformation regarding Wellbutrin and its use for smoking cessation, Wellbutrin is not prescribed to those who want to quit smoking.

Reach out to our team to get information on the correct drugs that help with smoking cessation treatment, one of which is Zyban, the most famous example. We will be more than glad to help you find the correct medicine for your condition.

Adjusting Wellbutrin Dosage for Patients With Hepatic Impairment

Patients with hepatic impairment should be cautious about the dose adjustment of the Wellbutrin they take. For example, those who use Wellbutrin XL should not exceed 150 mg and take the dose every other day, while the ones put on Wellbutrin SR should take a dose of 100 mg daily or 150 mg once every other day.

Adjusting Wellbutrin Dose for Patients With Renal Impairment

As Bupropion and its metabolites become eliminated and accumulate in those with an impairment in their kidneys, a reduced dosage or frequency of Wellbutrin is advised. However, no specific dosage is given as an example at the time.

When To See A Doctor

Suppose all the information you found online or through friends and acquaintances on Wellbutrin doesn’t help you with your questions. If your conditions that you can treat with the correct Wellbutrin dose aren’t showing any signs of improvement, then it might be time to see a doctor and get the prescription you need for a better life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Starting dose of Wellbutrin is recommended to be 200 mg, being divided into two dosage classes of 100 mg. 

A 2002 clinical study showed that those who start with 100 mg and increase their dosage up to 200 mg tablets taken twice daily could benefit from the drug when losing weight if a 1600 calories diet is combined with the medication.

For adults taking Wellbutrin XL, a dosage of 150 mg daily in the morning is advised in the beginning. Your healthcare provider can adjust your dose in time, but it shouldn’t exceed 450 daily.

If you take the tablets in oral form, it is advised that you start with 150 mg once a day and be adjusted to two 200 mg doses a day with 8 hours in between.

If you will be taking Wellbutrin in oral form, it is advised that you start with 100 mg daily and adjust your dose to 150 mg three times per day, with 6 hours between the doses, at max.

Increasing your dosage from 150 mg to 300 may make you lose or gain more pounds on Wellbutrin.

Body mass Change is one of the most significant side effects when using Wellbutrin, and patients on the medication usually lose weight rather than gain any on this medication. It can’t be said which one you will experience, but studies show that body mass fluctuations are common.

When starting your treatment, the doctor will most likely advise you to take 150 mg of Wellbutrin XL daily in the morning. Your doctor can make your dosage alteration as your treatment progresses. 

Clinical trials suggested that those on extra doses experience adverse effects of the drug use much more commonly when compared with those who are on the correct dosage. 

If you have a missed dose and you notice it quickly, take it without losing more time. But if you have less than four hours to take your next dose of Wellbutrin, then ignore the dose you forgot and move on with your usual drug administration plan. Don’t double or multiply your doses.

Find Out More About the Best Wellbutrin Dose for You From Doctor Alexa

Suppose you still haven’t found the information you need on the perfect Wellbutrin dose for your depressive condition and want to consult a medical professional. In that case, Doctor Alexa is here to help.

If online information doesn’t seem to help with your case, or if you see that your problem requires the opinion of a healthcare provider, getting the proper help can be life-changing.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.