Wellbutrin XL Warnings and Precautions

Specific Wellbutrin XL Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of before taking Wellbutrin XL include the following:
 
  • Antidepressants (including Wellbutrin XL) may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in people (see Depression and Suicide). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms or develop new symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms may include:
 
 
  • Before prescribing Wellbutrin XL for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder instead. Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression can be similar, and Wellbutrin XL can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
     
  • Wellbutrin XL can increase the risk of seizures. Because of this, there are certain people who should not take the drug, including people with:
 
Also, people taking certain medications (see Wellbutrin XL Drug Interactions) have a higher risk of seizures. Abruptly stopping alcohol or sedative medications can also increase your chance of seizures.
  • To avoid seizures, you should not take more than 450 mg of Wellbutrin XL per day.
     
  • Wellbutrin XL should not be used right after a heart attack. Also, there is some evidence that the medication can cause irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) in people with heart disease.
     
  • The medication can cause liver damage. Also, since the liver and kidneys aid in removing it from the blood, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking Wellbutrin XL if you have liver or kidney problems.
     
  • Wellbutrin XL can cause insomnia, agitation, hallucinations, confusion, and other mental problems, especially in people just starting treatment. Tell your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these problems.
     
  • The medication can cause weight loss, which may be a problem for some people, especially those who are underweight (see Wellbutrin XL and Weight Loss for more information).

 

  • Wellbutrin XL has been reported to cause false positives on some amphetamine drug screening tests, even after people have stopped taking Wellbutrin XL. 

 

  • Wellbutrin XL can cause allergic reactions. Tell your healthcare provider if you have signs of an allergic reaction, including:
 
    • An unexplained skin rash
    • Itching
    • Hives
    • Trouble breathing
    • Unexplained swelling.
 
  • Wellbutrin XL can cause high blood pressure (hypertension), especially in people using nicotine patches. Your healthcare provider should monitor your blood pressure if you are taking the drug. It is not known if Wellbutrin XL causes problems in people who have heart disease or who have recently had a heart attack.
     
  • Wellbutrin XL is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Wellbutrin XL and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • Wellbutrin XL passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking Wellbutrin XL (see Bupropion and Breastfeeding).
     
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