Wellbutrin (bupropion) is used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder, both of which are symptoms experienced by those with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Bupropion is an aminoketone class antidepressant. It is a weak inhibitor of the transporters of dopamine and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters that regulate mood and behavior), increasing amounts of both chemicals in the brain.
Wellbutrin is prescribed as an immediate-release (regular) tablet, a sustained-release, or an extended-release tablet to be taken orally. The dosage taken depends on its format, from once daily for the extended-release version to three times a day for the regular tablet, with or without food. Bupropion should be taken at the same time every day.
It may take four weeks or longer until the full benefit of bupropion is noticed.
Common Wellbutrin side effects may include dry mouth, nausea, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, ringing in your ears, vision changes, loss of interest in sex, sore throat, muscle pain, mild itching or skin rash, increased sweating, increased urination, or eating disorders.1
This medicine has a black-box warning (information that appears on a prescription drug’s label and is designed to call attention to serious or life-threatening risks) regarding an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in people with major depressive and other psychiatric disorders, especially during the first months of treatment or following changes in dosage.
A generic version of Wellbutrin has already been approved by the FDA, however this does not mean that it will be available, possibly due to patents or exclusivity.
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