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Effects of Wellbutrin XL

Clinical studies show that Wellbutrin XL is effective for treating depression and preventing seasonal affective disorder.
In studies, bupropion (the active ingredient in Wellbutrin XL) was shown to be effective for treating depression in adults. In long-term studies, the drug was also shown to prevent depression relapse. Although these studies used shorter-acting versions of bupropion, it is assumed that Wellbutrin XL is equally effective in treating depression and preventing relapse.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Three studies looked at using Wellbutrin XL for seasonal affective disorder. In these studies, people began taking the drug in autumn, before their depression symptoms started, and the medication was stopped in early spring. These studies showed that up to 84.3 percent of people taking Wellbutrin XL were depression-free at the end of their treatment, compared to 72 percent of those not taking the medication.

When and How to Take It

General considerations for when and how to take Wellbutrin XL include the following:
  • Wellbutrin XL comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth once a day in the morning.
  • Be sure to swallow the tablets whole. They should not be cut, crushed, broken, or chewed.
  • You can take Wellbutrin XL with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
  • Wellbutrin XL should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
  • For Wellbutrin XL to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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