Wellbutrin is a medication that belongs to antidepressants, and this means that patients take it to treat depressive disorders. Basically, it works by affecting specific chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters which are responsible for feeling depressed. This medicine works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. The main difference is that Wellbutrin is a unique antidepressant, because its major effects are targeted at dopamine, so that it can’t be compared to other SSRIs. Nowadays, you can find it as standard and extended-release tablets that come in different strengths, from 150 mg to 522 mg. Many doctors prescribe it to treat and manage seasonal affective disorder and major depression, and it use was approved by the FDA in 1985.
Recommended Doses of Wellbutrin
In most cases, patients are prescribed to take this medication 1-3 times a day. Their standard dose is 150 mg, and each dose should be taken with a 6-hour interval to avoid overdosing and side effects. To treat depression, it’s necessary to take 100 mg of Wellbutrin 3 times a day, and a maximum daily dosage shouldn’t exceed 450 mg. Sometimes people take this medication for smoking cessation, and their initial dose is 150 mg taken once a day for 3 days. This dosage can be increased based on its effects. Usually, smoking is discontinued 2 weeks after starting this treatment. It’s recommended to start this depression therapy in autumn to prevent unwanted seasonal depressive symptoms.
Risky Drug Interactions with Wellbutrin
To be on a safe side, you shouldn’t combine this medicine with specific pills because of dangerous drug interactions. For example, Wellbutrin should be used cautiously by those patients who take any medications that work by decreasing seizures. They include different antipsychotic drugs that belong to phenothiazine group.
Moreover, people who stop taking any benzodiazepines and start taking Wellbutrin have a high risk of developing seizures. This medicine shouldn’t be taken with any MAO inhibitors because of severe adverse reactions. It may decrease the effects of Tegretol, Norvir and Coumadin, too. That’s why you need to make a full list of other medications that you’re taking and discuss each one with your physician.
Potential Wellbutrin Side Effects
Some of the most common mild side effects caused by this therapy that should be reported to doctors include the following:
Insomnia and dry mouth;
Nausea and headaches;
Sudden weight loss and allergic reactions;
Tremor and constipation.
The good news is that severe adverse effects are rare, but you need to go to the hospital once you experience such symptoms as hallucinations, manic episodes, seizures, etc. Finally, all antidepressants, including Wellbutrin, may result in suicidal behavior and thoughts, especially in minors. That’s why you should be closely observed for such signs as increased suicidality.