Controlled Substance Class: Bupropion is not a controlled substance.
Humans: Controlled clinical studies of bupropion (immediate-release formulation) conducted in normal volunteers, in subjects with a history of multiple drug abuse, and in depressed patients showed some increase in motor activity and agitation/excitement.
In a population of individuals experienced with drugs of abuse, a single dose of 400 mg of 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 especially reinforcing to amphetamine or stimulant abusers. However, higher doses that could not be tested because of the risk of seizure might be modestly attractive to those who abuse stimulant drugs.
Animals: Studies in rodents and primates have shown 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 to assess 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.
Human Overdose Experience: Overdoses of up to 30 g 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, sinus tachycardia, and ECG changes such as conduction disturbances (including QRS prolongation) or arrhythmias. 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.
Overdosage Management: Ensure an adequate airway, oxygenation, and ventilation. Monitor cardiac rhythm and vital signs. EEG monitoring is also recommended for the first 48 hours post-ingestion. General supportive and symptomatic measures are also recommended. Induction of emesis is not recommended.
Activated charcoal should be administered. There is no experience with the use of forced diuresis, dialysis, hemoperfusion, or exchange transfusion in the management of bupropion overdoses. No specific antidotes for bupropion are known.
Due to the dose-related risk of seizures with WELLBUTRIN XL, hospitalization following suspected overdose should be considered. Based on studies in animals, it is recommended that seizures be treated with intravenous benzodiazepine administration and other supportive measures, as appropriate.
In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple drug involvement. The physician should consider contacting a poison control center for additional information on the treatment of any overdose. Telephone numbers for certified poison control centers are listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR).
General Dosing Considerations: It is particularly important to administer WELLBUTRIN XL in a manner most likely to minimize the risk of seizure (see WARNINGS). Gradual escalation in dosage is also important if agitation, motor restlessness, and insomnia, often seen during the initial days of treatment, are to be minimized. If necessary, these effects may be managed by temporary reduction of dose or the short-term administration of an intermediate to long-acting sedative hypnotic. A sedative hypnotic usually is not required beyond the first week of treatment. Insomnia may also be minimized by avoiding bedtime doses. If distressing, untoward effects supervene, dose escalation should be stopped. WELLBUTRIN XL tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed, divided, or chewed as this may lead to an increased risk of adverse effects including seizures. WELLBUTRIN XL may be taken without regard to meals.
Major Depressive Disorder: Initial Treatment: The usual adult target dose for WELLBUTRIN XL is 300 mg/day, given once daily in the morning. Dosing with WELLBUTRIN XL should begin at 150 mg/day given as a single daily dose in the morning. If the 150-mg initial dose is adequately tolerated, an increase to the 300-mg/day target dose, given as once daily, may be made as early as day 4 of dosing. There should be an interval of at least 24 hours between successive doses.
Increasing the Dosage Above 300 mg/day : As with other antidepressants, the full antidepressant effect of WELLBUTRIN XL may not be evident until 4 weeks of treatment or longer. An increase in dosage to the maximum of 450 mg/day, given as a single dose, may be considered for patients in whom no clinical improvement is noted after several weeks of treatment at 300 mg/day.
Maintenance Treatment: It is generally agreed that acute episodes of depression require several months or longer of sustained pharmacological therapy beyond response to the acute episode. It is unknown whether or not the dose of WELLBUTRIN XL needed for maintenance treatment is identical to the dose needed to achieve an initial response. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dose for such treatment.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: For the prevention of seasonal major depressive episodes associated with seasonal affective disorder, WELLBUTRIN XL should generally be initiated in the autumn prior to the onset of depressive symptoms. Treatment should continue through the winter season and should be tapered and discontinued in early spring. The timing of initiation and duration of treatment should be individualized based on the patient’s historical pattern of seasonal major depressive episodes. Patients whose seasonal depressive episodes are infrequent or not associated with significant impairment should not generally be treated prophylactically.
Dosing with WELLBUTRIN XL should begin at 150 mg/day given as a single daily dose in the morning. If the 150-mg initial dose is adequately tolerated, the dose of WELLBUTRIN XL should be increased to the 300-mg/day dose after 1 week. If the 300-mg dose is not adequately tolerated, the dose can be reduced to 150 mg/day. The usual adult target dose for WELLBUTRIN XL is 300 mg/day, given once daily in the morning.
For patients taking 300 mg/day during the autumn-winter season, the dose should be tapered to 150 mg/day for 2 weeks prior to discontinuation.
Doses of WELLBUTRIN XL above 300 mg/day have not been studied for the prevention of seasonal major depressive episodes.
Switching Patients from WELLBUTRIN Tablets or from WELLBUTRIN SR Sustained-Release Tablets: When switching patients from WELLBUTRIN Tablets to WELLBUTRIN XL or from WELLBUTRIN SR Sustained-Release Tablets to WELLBUTRIN XL, give the same total daily dose when possible. Patients who are currently being treated with WELLBUTRIN Tablets at 300 mg/day (for example, 100 mg 3 times a day) may be switched to WELLBUTRIN XL 300 mg once daily. Patients who are currently being treated with WELLBUTRIN SR Sustained-Release Tablets at 300 mg/day (for example, 150 mg twice daily) may be switched to WELLBUTRIN XL 300 mg once daily.
Dosage Adjustment for Patients With Impaired Hepatic Function: WELLBUTRIN XL should be used with extreme caution in patients with severe hepatic cirrhosis. The dose should not exceed 150 mg every other day in these patients. WELLBUTRIN XL should be used with caution in patients with hepatic impairment (including mild-to-moderate hepatic cirrhosis) and a reduced frequency and/or dose should be considered in patients with mild-to-moderate hepatic cirrhosis (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS).
Dosage Adjustment for Patients With Impaired Renal Function: WELLBUTRIN XL should be used with caution in patients with renal impairment and a reduced frequency and/or dose should be considered (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and PRECAUTIONS).
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