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Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

How does this medicine work?

Bupropion (bu-pro-pee-on) is an antidepressant. It regulates the mood by increasing specific brain chemicals. It may be used for:

  • depression
  • attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders
  • anxiety
  • quitting smoking

It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Bupropion may take up to 12 weeks to build up in the body and produce its fullest effect.

How should I give it?

Bupropion comes in pill form. Your child should take this medicine exactly as prescribed. Give it at regular times every day to keep a steady level in the bloodstream.

Do not stop this medicine without checking with your doctor or nurse practitioner. It should be stopped over a period of time.

___ If your child is taking a short-acting pill, and cannot swallow pills:

  • Crush it in a tablet crusher or between 2 spoons, inside a plastic bag, or in folded paper.
  • Mix the powder with a very small amount (about 1 teaspoon) of soft food, such as applesauce, chocolate syrup, ice cream, jelly, or yogurt. Make sure your child takes all of the mixture.

___ If the medicine is an extended-release (SR or XL) product, it should be swallowed whole. Tablets should not be cut in half, crushed or chewed.

Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor.

Give this medicine with food if it upsets your child's stomach.

Warning! There are certain medicines that interact with bupropion. Please check with the doctor or pharmacist before giving any other prescription or non-prescription medicine, vitamins, or herbs.

Avoid alcohol-containing foods or beverages while taking this medicine.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but do not give doses closer than 8 hours apart for extended-release and 6 hours for short-acting. This can cause seizures or convulsion (muscles stiffening and shaking). If it is too close to the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Never give a double dose. If your child misses two doses, call the clinic.

If your child vomits within 30 minutes after a dose, please call the clinic for instructions.

What are the side effects?


  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness, dizziness
  • headache
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • nausea (upset stomach)
  • vomiting (throwing up)


  • tiredness or weakness
  • muscle twitching
  • possible weight loss
  • blurred vision
  • trouble sleeping

The person taking this medicine should not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until it is known if he or she has any side effects to this medicine.

When should I call the clinic?

  • suicidal thinking
  • significant worsening of depression
  • dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • severe headache
  • irregular (fast or pounding) heartbeat
  • rash or hives
  • confusion or hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that do not exist)
  • seizures or convulsions (uncontrollable muscle stiffening and shaking)
  • vomiting (if due to this medicine)
  • trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

This medicine should not be used in children with a history of eating disorders or seizures.

While taking the extended-release form of this medicine, part of the tablet may pass in a bowel movement. This is normal.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care. Please bring the medicine container when your child comes to the clinic or emergency department.

Check the label and expiration date before giving each dose. Ask your pharmacist what to do with outdated or unused medicines. If there is no "take-back" program empty them into the trash.

Store all medicines in their original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children's reach, locked up if possible.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill your prescription, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, the pharmacist will need 2 or 3 days to contact the clinic to renew the prescription.

If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.


This is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call your clinic or pharmacy.

Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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