How Does Aplenzin Work?Aplenzin is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, or NDRI for short. NDRIs, such as Aplenzin, affect specific chemicals within the brain known as norepinephrine and dopamine. Norepinephrine and dopamine are two of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release a neurotransmitter chemical such as norepinephrine or dopamine. The neurotransmitter enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough of the neurotransmitter reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any excess neurotransmitter that remains in the gap between cells; this is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Aplenzin helps to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine so more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the chemicals a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.
Can Children Use It?Aplenzin is not approved for use in children (usually defined as individuals younger than 18 years old), as it has not been adequately studied in children. If you are considering Aplenzin for your child, make sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your child's healthcare provider.
Off-Label Uses for AplenzinOn occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Aplenzin for something other than depression (this would be known as an "off-label" use). Based on approved or off-label uses of other forms of bupropion (Forfivo™ XL, Wellbutrin®, Wellbutrin SR®, Wellbutrin XL®, or Zyban®), possible off-label uses of Aplenzin might include:
- Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- An aid for smoking cessation
- Treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Treatment of bipolar disorder.