Wellbutrin SR: Common Uses, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

What is Wellbutrin and Wellbutrin SR?

Wellbutrin is a prescription drug that is used to treat people with a major depressive disorder. This antidepressant medication may also be used to help people quit smoking. It contains an active ingredient known as Bupropion, which increases certain chemicals in your brain that gives you the pleasurable feelings. Scientists do not know how exactly Wellbutrin works in treating depression but it is presumed it inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine. It is believed that Bupropion is effective at helping people quit smoking because of its ability to boost dopamine levels. This replaces dopamine deficiency which is common during nicotine withdrawal.

Wellbutrin is available in SR and XL formulations. Wellbutrin SR, which stands for sustained release, means that the drug is slowly released into the bloodstream within 12 hours during the day. On the other hand, XL which stands for extended release means that the drug is released for an extended duration throughout the day i.e 24 hours.

Common use

Wellbutrin SR is an oral prescription drug that should be taken by mouth. Swallow it whole and don’t cut, chew or crush the tablet. You should take Wellbutrin at the same time every day.

Dosage and directions

The initial recommended dose is 150 mg once per day. After 4 days, your doctor may increase the dose to twice per day i.e 300 mg. You can take Wellbutrin SR with or without meals but the dose should be 8 hours apart. Do not change or stop your dosing without seeking the permission of your doctor first. It is advisable you take this medication exactly as it is prescribed by your healthcare provider.


You should not take Wellbutrin SR if you had or have epilepsy or seizure, had or have an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia nervosa, are allergic to bupropion or any other ingredient contained in this drug, or are using other drugs that have bupropion such as Zyban, Forfivo XL, and Aplenzin. Before you take this prescription drug, inform your doctor if you have the following medical conditions: kidney problems, liver problems, high blood pressure, heart attack, eating disorder, or diabetes. Also, speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to get pregnant, or drink alcohol.

Possible side effects

Failure to take Wellbutrin SR as it is prescribed by your doctor may cause serious side effects. The following are the common side effects of this drug: Nausea, Headache, Dry mouth , Dizziness, Bloating, Constipation, Vomiting, Difficulty sleeping.

Drug interaction

There are certain drugs that may interact with Wellbutrin. Some of them include antihistamine, captopril, codeine, doxorubicin, flecainide, metformin, methadone, ritonavir, and tramadol. If you are taking these or any other drug not mentioned that can cause a drug interaction, you should speak to your pharmacist or doctor. Your healthcare provider may ask you to take one of the drugs or change how you are taking them.

Missed dose and overdose

If you forget to take a dose, don’t take an extra dose to make up for the missed Wellbutrin dose. Skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing. A drug overdose may lead to a risk of having a seizure. If you suspect a drug overdose, visit your local emergency room immediately.


Wellbutrin should be stored at room temperature between 15 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius. Make sure you keep the drug away from moisture and light. Store the drug away from the reach of pets and children.





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