Data from published literature report the presence of bupropion and its metabolites in human milk (see Data). There are no data on the effects of bupropion or its metabolites on milk production. Limited data from postmarketing reports have not identified a clear association of adverse reactions in the breastfed infant. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for Wellbutrin XL and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from Wellbutrin XL or from the underlying maternal condition.
In a lactation study of ten women, levels of orally dosed bupropion and its active metabolites were measured in expressed milk. The average daily infant exposure (assuming 150 mL/kg daily consumption) to bupropion and its active metabolites was 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose. Postmarketing reports have described seizures in breastfed infants. The relationship of bupropion exposure and these seizures is unclear.
Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established. When considering the use of Wellbutrin XL in a child or adolescent, balance the potential risks with the clinical need [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Of the approximately 6000 patients who participated in clinical trials with bupropion hydrochloride sustained-release tablets (depression and smoking cessation studies), 275 were ≥65 years old and 47 were ≥75 years old. In addition, several hundred patients ≥65 years of age participated in clinical trials using the immediate-release formulation of bupropion hydrochloride (depression studies). No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Bupropion is extensively metabolized in the liver to active metabolites, which are further metabolized and excreted by the kidneys. The risk of adverse reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, it may be necessary to consider this factor in dose selection; it may be useful to monitor renal function [see Dosage and Administration (2.7), Use in Specific Populations (8.6), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Consider a reduced dose and/or dosing frequency of Wellbutrin XL in patients with renal impairment (glomerular filtration rate: <90 mL/min). Bupropion and its metabolites are cleared renally and may accumulate in such patients to a greater extent than usual. Monitor closely for adverse reactions that could indicate high bupropion or metabolite exposures [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
In patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 7 to 15), the maximum Wellbutrin XL dose is 150 mg every other day. In patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score: 5 to 6), consider reducing the dose and/or frequency of dosing [see Dosage and Administration (2.6) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Bupropion is not a controlled substance.
Controlled clinical studies of bupropion HCl immediate-release conducted in normal volunteers, in subjects with a history of multiple drug abuse, and in depressed patients demonstrated an increase in motor activity and agitation/excitement.
In a population of individuals experienced with drugs of abuse, a single dose of 400 mg bupropion produced mild amphetamine-like activity as compared to placebo on the Morphine-Benzedrine Subscale of the Addiction Research Center Inventories (ARCI), and a score intermediate between placebo and amphetamine on the Liking Scale of the ARCI. These scales measure general feelings of euphoria and drug desirability.
Findings in clinical trials, however, are not known to reliably predict the abuse potential of drugs. Nonetheless, evidence from single-dose studies does suggest that the recommended daily dosage of bupropion when administered in divided doses is not likely to be significantly reinforcing to amphetamine or CNS stimulant abusers. However, higher doses (that could not be tested because of the risk of seizure) might be modestly attractive to those who abuse CNS stimulant drugs.
Bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets are intended for oral use only. The inhalation of crushed tablets or injection of dissolved bupropion has been reported. Seizures and/or cases of death have been reported when bupropion has been administered intranasally or by parenteral injection.
Studies in rodents and primates demonstrated that bupropion exhibits some pharmacologic actions common to psychostimulants. In rodents, it has been shown to increase locomotor activity, elicit a mild stereotyped behavioral response, and increase rates of responding in several schedule-controlled behavior paradigms. In primate models assessing the positive reinforcing effects of psychoactive drugs, bupropion was self-administered intravenously. In rats, bupropion produced amphetamine-like and cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects in drug discrimination paradigms used to characterize the subjective effects of psychoactive drugs.
Overdoses of up to 30 grams or more of bupropion have been reported. Seizure was reported in approximately one third of all cases. Other serious reactions reported with overdoses of bupropion alone included hallucinations, loss of consciousness, mental status changes, sinus tachycardia, ECG changes such as conduction disturbances or arrhythmias, clonus, myoclonus, and hyperreflexia. Fever, muscle rigidity, rhabdomyolysis, hypotension, stupor, coma, and respiratory failure have been reported mainly when bupropion was part of multiple drug overdoses.
Although most patients recovered without sequelae, deaths associated with overdoses of bupropion alone have been reported in patients ingesting large doses of the drug. Multiple uncontrolled seizures, bradycardia, cardiac failure, and cardiac arrest prior to death were reported in these patients.
Consult a Certified Poison Control Center for up-to-date guidance and advice. Call 1-800-222-1222 or refer to www.poison.org.
There are no known antidotes for bupropion. In case of an overdose, provide supportive care, including close medical supervision and monitoring. Consider the possibility of multiple drug overdose.
Wellbutrin XL (bupropion hydrochloride), an antidepressant of the aminoketone class, is chemically unrelated to tricyclic, tetracyclic, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or other known antidepressant agents. Its structure closely resembles that of diethylpropion; it is related to phenylethylamines. It is designated as (±)-1-(3-chorophenyl)-2-[(1,1-dimethylethyl)amino]-1-propanone hydrochloride. The molecular weight is 276.2. The molecular formula is C13 H18 ClNO•HCl. Bupropion hydrochloride powder is white, crystalline, and highly soluble in water. It has a bitter taste and produces the sensation of local anesthesia on the oral mucosa. The structural formula is:
Wellbutrin XL tablets are supplied for oral administration as 150 mg and 300 mg creamy-white to pale yellow extended-release tablets. Each tablet contains the labeled amount of bupropion hydrochloride and the inactive ingredients: ethylcellulose, glyceryl behenate, methacrylic acid copolymer dispersion, polyvinyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, povidone, silicon dioxide, and triethyl citrate. The tablets are printed with edible black ink.
The insoluble shell of the extended-release tablet may remain intact during gastrointestinal transit and is eliminated in the feces.
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