Wellbutrin Warnings and Precautions
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with Wellbutrin include:
- Antidepressants (including Wellbutrin) may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in children, teenagers, and adults (see Antidepressants and Suicide for more information). Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any changes in symptoms or develop any new symptoms while taking Wellbutrin. Some of these symptoms may include anxiety, hostility, agitation, panic, restlessness, hallucinations, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors (see Wellbutrin and Suicide for more information).
- Before prescribing Wellbutrin for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder (instead of depression). Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are very similar, and Wellbutrin can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
- Wellbutrin can increase the risk of seizures. As a result, there are certain people who should not take Wellbutrin, including people with:
- Also, people taking certain medications (see Wellbutrin Drug Interactions) have a higher risk of seizures. Abruptly stopping alcohol or sedative medications can also increase your chance of developing seizures.
- To avoid seizures, you should not take more than 450 mg of Wellbutrin per day, and each individual dose should not be greater than 150 mg (see Wellbutrin Dosage).
- Wellbutrin should not be used right after a heart attack. Also, there is some evidence that Wellbutrin can cause irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) in people with heart disease.
- Wellbutrin can cause liver damage. Also, since the liver and kidneys aid in removing Wellbutrin from the blood, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking Wellbutrin if you have liver or kidney problems.
- Wellbutrin can cause insomnia, agitation, hallucinations, confusion, and other mental problems, especially in people just starting the medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these problems.
- Wellbutrin can cause weight loss. This can be a problem for some people, especially those who are underweight (see Wellbutrin and Weight Loss for more information).
- Wellbutrin 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, or unexplained swelling -- while taking Wellbutrin.
- Wellbutrin has been reported to cause false positives on some amphetamine drug screening tests, even after people have stopped taking Wellbutrin.
- Sometimes Wellbutrin can cause high blood pressure (hypertension), especially in people using nicotine patches. Your healthcare provider should monitor your blood pressure if you are taking Wellbutrin. It is not known if Wellbutrin causes problems in people who have heart disease or who have recently had a heart attack.
- Wellbutrin is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that Wellbutrin may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Wellbutrin during pregnancy (see Wellbutrin and Pregnancy for more information).
- Wellbutrin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using Wellbutrin (see Bupropion and Breastfeeding).