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Wellbutrin SR

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Wellbutrin SR (bupropion) is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) most often used to treat depression. It is also frequently used as a smoking cessation aid, and less commonly in various off-label uses ranging from ADHD treatment to minimizing symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal.

Wellbutrin tablets are available three forms:

  • Wellbutrin (immediate-release), taken 1 to 3 times per day with a minimum of 6 hours between doses;
  • Wellbutrin SR (sustained-release), taken twice per day with a minimum of 8 hours between doses;
  • Wellbutrin XL (extended-release), taken once per day with a minimum of 24 hours between doses.

Note that because the above formulations require different dosing schedules, the products are not interchangeable.

Overcoming Depression with Wellbutrin SR

In treating depression, Wellbutrin is similar in effectiveness to other standard medications, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac or Zoloft. While some individuals do respond better to particular treatments, for many patients the biggest consideration in choosing an antidepressant is potential side effects.

In the side effects department, Wellbutrin SR provides some significant advantages over similar antidepressants:

  • Patients are less likely to experience sexual side effects, such as reduced libido or impotence, compared to SSRIs.
  • Patients are less likely to gain weight compared to SSRIs; in fact, many people experience mild to moderate weight loss during treatment.
  • Patients are considerably less likely to become addicted to Wellbutrin compared to SSRIs.
  • Wellbutrin is generally more effective than SSRIs at reducing depression-related symptoms of anxiety and fatigue.

Treatment is very similar in the vast majority of cases:

  • For the first 3 days of treatment, take 150 mg once per day.
  • After the third day, take 150 mg twice per day, with at least 8 hours between doses, for a total daily dose of 300 mg.
  • If after several weeks 300 mg proves inadequate, dosage may be increased to 200 mg taken twice per day, with at least 8 hours between doses, for a total daily dose of 400 mg.
  • Never exceed 200 mg in a single dose or 400 mg in a single day.
  • Never crush, chew, dissolve or otherwise damage Wellbutrin SR tablets; they should be swallowed whole.

Some improvements may be noticeable within days of starting treatment, but it takes several weeks of continuous use for full effects to be felt. The medication increases the presence of dopamine in the brain, which elevates mood and reduces anxiety. Treatment typically lasts for several months at a minimum, and may span years.

It is not uncommon for Wellbutrin SR to be given along with an SSRI antidepressant if the SSRI is not producing good results. It may also be given to offset the sexual dysfunction often experienced with SSRI use. Mixing antidepressants can be dangerous, however, and should be done only with doctor approval.

Quit Smoking with Wellbutrin SR

As a smoking cessation aid Wellbutrin SR is marketed as Zyban. The two products are essentially the same and equally effective.

The medication addresses several aspects that make quitting so difficult:

  • Reduces the pleasurable effects of smoking;
  • Reduces cravings for nicotine;
  • Minimizes withdrawal symptoms.

The exact mechanism by which Wellbutrin SR helps patients quit smoking is not fully understood. It is thought that since the medication increases dopamine levels in the brain, the positive feelings experienced from smoking are minimized. With such a reduction in the reward from smoking, the patient gradually loses interest in doing so.

Treatment is simple:

  • Treatment should begin two weeks prior to attempting to quit smoking.
  • For the first 3 days of treatment, take 150 mg once per day.
  • After the third day, take 150 mg twice per day, with at least 8 hours between doses, for a total daily dose of 300 mg.
  • After two weeks of treatment, attempt to stop or significantly reduce smoking.
  • Continue treatment for at least 8 weeks.
  • Treatment may be extended if smoking is considerably reduced but not quite stopped.

If there is no significant reduction in smoking by week 8, further treatment is unlikely to help and alternative options should be considered.

Wellbutrin SR

150mg bupropion hcl sr  Buy Wellbutrin SR 100 Tablets - $216.85
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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