Wellbutrin SR Uses
How Wellbutrin SR WorksWellbutrin SR is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, or NDRI for short. NDRIs, such as Wellbutrin SR, 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 norepinephrine (or dopamine). The norepinephrine (or dopamine) enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough norepinephrine or dopamine 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 norepinephrine or dopamine that remains in the gap between the cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. However, when the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression and seasonal affective disorder. Wellbutrin SR helps to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine so that more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the norepinephrine and dopamine a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.
Currently, the only NDRI antidepressants approved for use are medications containing bupropion. Wellbutrin SR is a sustained-release version of bupropion, usually taken twice a day. Bupropion also comes in several other forms, including:
- Wellbutrin® (bupropion hydrochloride), a short-acting version, taken three or four times a day
- Budeprion SR®, a generic version of Wellbutrin SR
- Wellbutrin XL®, Forfivo™ XL, or Budeprion XL® (bupropion XL), a long-acting version, taken once a day
- Aplenzin™ (bupropion hydrobromide), taken once a day
- Zyban® (bupropion SR) or Buproban®, a sustained-release version used for smoking cessation, taken twice a day.