Bupropion Hydrochloride (XL) (Page 8 of 10)


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Lifetime carcinogenicity studies were performed in rats and mice at doses up to 300 and 150 mg/kg/day bupropion hydrochloride, respectively. These doses are approximately 7 and 2 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD), respectively, on a mg/m2 basis. In the rat study there was an increase in nodular proliferative lesions of the liver at doses of 100 to 300 mg/kg/day of bupropion hydrochloride (approximately 2 to 7 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis); lower doses were not tested. The question of whether or not such lesions may be precursors of neoplasms of the liver is currently unresolved. Similar liver lesions were not seen in the mouse study, and no increase in malignant tumors of the liver and other organs was seen in either study.

Bupropion produced a positive response (2 to 3 times control mutation rate) in 2 of 5 strains in one Ames bacterial mutagenicity assay, but was negative in another. Bupropion produced an increase in chromosomal aberrations in 1 of 3 in vivo rat bone marrow cytogenetic studies.

A fertility study in rats at doses up to 300 mg/kg/day revealed no evidence of impaired fertility.


14.1 Major Depressive Disorder

The efficacy of bupropion in the treatment of major depressive disorder was established with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion hydrochloride in two 4-week, placebo-controlled trials in adult inpatients with MDD and in one 6-week, placebo-controlled trial in adult outpatients with MDD. In the first study, the bupropion dose range was 300 mg to 600 mg per day administered in 3 divided doses; 78% of patients were treated with doses of 300 mg to 450 mg per day. The trial demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion as measured by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) total score, the HAMD depressed mood item (item 1), and the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity Scale (CGI-S). The second study included 2 fixed doses of bupropion (300 mg and 450 mg per day) and placebo. This trial demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion for only the 450 mg dose. The efficacy results were significant for the HAMD total score and the CGI-S severity score, but not for HAMD item 1. In the third study, outpatients were treated with bupropion 300 mg per day. This study demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion as measured by the HAMD total score, the HAMD item 1, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the CGI-S score, and the CGI-Improvement Scale (CGI-I) score.

A longer-term, placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal trial demonstrated the efficacy of bupropion HCl sustained-release in the maintenance treatment of MDD. The trial included adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for MDD, recurrent type, who had responded during an 8-week open-label trial of bupropion 300 mg per day. Responders were randomized to continuation of bupropion 300 mg per day or placebo for up to 44 weeks of observation for relapse. Response during the open-label phase was defined as a CGI-Improvement Scale score of 1 (very much improved) or 2 (much improved) for each of the final 3 weeks. Relapse during the double-blind phase was defined as the investigator’s judgment that drug treatment was needed for worsening depressive symptoms. Patients in the bupropion group experienced significantly lower relapse rates over the subsequent 44 weeks compared to those in the placebo group.

Although there are no independent trials demonstrating the efficacy of bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) in the acute treatment of MDD, studies have demonstrated similar bioavailability between the immediate-, sustained-, and extended-release formulations of bupropion HCl under steady-state conditions (i.e., the exposures [Cmax and AUC] for bupropion and its metabolites are similar among the 3 formulations).

14.2 Seasonal Affective Disorder

The efficacy of bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) in the prevention of seasonal major depressive episodes associated with SAD was established in 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in adult outpatients with a history of MDD with an autumn-winter seasonal pattern (as defined by DSM-IV criteria). Bupropion treatment was initiated prior to the onset of symptoms in the autumn (September to November). Treatment was discontinued following a 2-week taper that began during the first week of spring (fourth week of March), resulting in a treatment duration of approximately 4 to 6 months for the majority of patients. Patients were randomized to treatment with bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) or placebo. The initial bupropion dose was 150 mg once daily for 1 week, followed by up-titration to 300 mg once daily. Patients who were deemed by the investigator to be unlikely or unable to tolerate 300 mg once daily were allowed to remain on, or had their dose reduced to, 150 mg once daily. The mean bupropion doses in the 3 trials ranged from 257 mg to 280 mg per day. Approximately 59% of patients continued in the study for 3 to 6 months; 26% continued for <3 months, 15% continued for >6 months.

To enter the trials, patients must have had a low level of depressive symptoms, as demonstrated by a score of <7 on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 (HAMD17) and a HAMD24 score of <14. The primary efficacy measure was the Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Seasonal Affective Disorders (SIGH-SAD), which is identical to the HAMD24. The SIGH-SAD consists of the HAMD17 plus 7 items specifically assessing core symptoms of seasonal affective disorder: social withdrawal, weight gain, increased appetite, increased eating, carbohydrate craving, hypersomnia, and fatigability. The primary efficacy endpoint was the onset of a seasonal major depressive episode. The criteria for defining an episode included: 1) the investigator’s judgment that a major depressive episode had occurred or that the patient required intervention for depressive symptoms, or 2) a SIGH-SAD score of >20 on 2 consecutive weeks. The primary analysis was a comparison of depression-free rates between the bupropion and placebo groups.

In these 3 trials, the percentage of patients who were depression-free (did not have an episode of MDD) at the end of treatment was significantly higher in the bupropion group than in the placebo group: 81.4% vs. 69.7%, 87.2% vs. 78.7%, and 84.0% vs. 69.0% for Trials 1, 2 and 3, respectively. For the 3 trials combined, the depression-free rate was 84.3% versus 72.0% in the bupropion and placebo group, respectively.


Product: 53002-2495




Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).

Inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) and counsel them in its appropriate use.

A patient Medication Guide about “Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions,” “Quitting Smoking, Quit-Smoking Medications, Changes in Thinking and Behavior, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions,” and “What Other Important Information Should I Know About bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL)?” is available for bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL). Instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.

Advise patients regarding the following issues and to alert their prescriber if these occur while taking bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL).

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Instruct patients, their families, and/or their caregivers to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Advise families and caregivers of patients to observe for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient’s prescriber or health professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient’s presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.

Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events and Suicide Risk in Smoking Cessation Treatment

Although bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) is not indicated for smoking cessation treatment, it contains the same active ingredient as ZYBAN which is approved for this use. Inform patients that some patients have experienced changes in mood (including depression and mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, homicidal ideation, aggression, hostility, agitation, anxiety, and panic, as well as suicidal ideation and suicide when attempting to quit smoking while taking bupropion. Instruct patients to discontinue bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) and contact a healthcare professional if they experience such symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Severe Allergic Reactions

Educate patients on the symptoms of hypersensitivity and to discontinue bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) if they have a severe allergic reaction.


Instruct patients to discontinue and not restart bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) if they experience a seizure while on treatment. Advise patients that the excessive use or the abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, antiepileptic drugs, or sedatives/hypnotics can increase the risk of seizure. Advise patients to minimize or avoid the use of alcohol.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Patients should be advised that taking bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) can cause mild pupillary dilation, which in susceptible individuals, can lead to an episode of angle-closure glaucoma. Pre-existing glaucoma is almost always open-angle glaucoma because angle-closure glaucoma, when diagnosed, can be treated definitively with iridectomy. Open-angle glaucoma is not a risk factor for angle-closure glaucoma. Patients may wish to be examined to determine whether they are susceptible to angle closure, and have a prophylactic procedure (e.g., iridectomy), if they are susceptible [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Bupropion-Containing Products

Educate patients that bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) contains the same active ingredient (bupropion) found in ZYBAN, which is used as an aid to smoking cessation treatment, and that bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) should not be used in combination with ZYBAN or any other medications that contain bupropion hydrochloride (such as WELLBUTRIN SR, the sustained-release formulation, WELLBUTRIN, the immediate-release formulation, and APLENZIN, a bupropion hydrobromide formulation). In addition, there are a number of generic bupropion HCl products for the immediate, sustained, and extended-release formulations.

Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment

Advise patients that any CNS-active drug like bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) may impair their ability to perform tasks requiring judgment or motor and cognitive skills. Advise patients that until they are reasonably certain that bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) do not adversely affect their performance, they should refrain from driving an automobile or operating complex, hazardous machinery. Bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) treatment may lead to decreased alcohol tolerance.

Concomitant Medications

Counsel patients to notify their healthcare provider if they are taking or plan to take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, because bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) and other drugs may affect each other’s metabolism.


Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy with bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL). Advise patients that there is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) during pregnancy [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Administration Information

Instruct patients to swallow bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) whole so that the release rate is not altered. Instruct patients if they miss a dose, not to take an extra tablet to make up for the missed dose and to take the next tablet at the regular time because of the dose-related risk of seizure. Instruct patients that bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) should be swallowed whole and not crushed, divided, or chewed. Bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) should be administered in the morning and may be taken with or without food.

Manufactured by
Hangzhou Minsheng Binjiang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
658 Bin’an Road Binjiang District,
Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310051, China for
Sandoz Inc.
Princeton, NJ 08540

All other product/brand names are the trademarks of the respective owners.


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