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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Bupropion Hydrochloride Wellbutrin, Zyban Adult

Bupropion - What is it for

This medicine is used to treat  a number of conditions including:

  • Low mood (depression)
  • To help stop smoking

It may be given to you for other reasons. Do check with your doctor what you are taking this for.

Bupropion - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Bupropion cause?

Potential side effects

All medicines may cause side effects. However, many people do not experience them.

Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if they persist, become bothersome or worsen.

Side effectsWhat to do about it
Poor appetite, nausea, vomitingTake this medicine after meals. Eat small but frequent meals to minimize bloating after a meal. Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells.

Increase your intake of fluids and include more fibre (vegetables and fruits) in your diet. Incorporate some exercise in your daily routine.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you require any laxatives.

Dry mouthSip water regularly. Suck on sugar-free sweets. Avoid caffeine as it may worsen dry mouth.
HeadacheConsult your doctor or pharmacist if you need any painkillers
DizzinessGet up slowly from a lying or sitting position. This medicine may affect your ability to perform tasks requiring judgement or motor and cognitive skills. Exercise caution before driving or using machinery until you are sure this medicine does not adversely affect your performance.
Sleeping difficulties

Avoid daytime naps. Limit caffeine intake. Keep a regular sleeping schedule. Instead of looking at electronic screens before bedtime, choose other relaxing activities such as reading a book or listening to calm music.

Discuss with your doctor if you can take this medicine at a different time of the day. 

Nervousness and anxiousnessUsually occurs at the beginning of treatment and subsides with time. Avoid caffeine intake, and try to maintain a regular and healthy diet and sleeping schedule.


Serious side effects

Seek medical help as soon as possible if you have any of the following signs or symptoms.

  • Allergy such as rashes, swelling of lips/face/throat, difficulty breathing
  • Fits (seizures)

Report any worsening of symptoms including new or worsening thoughts of self harm and altered behavior, or change in mood to your doctor immediately.

Take note that the side effects listed here are not exhaustive. Do seek medical attention if you have other symptoms that you think may be related to this medicine.


Before taking Bupropion, what precautions must I follow?

What do I need to tell my doctor before I take this medicine? Inform your doctor if:

  • You have drug allergies
  • Pre-existing medical conditions such as fits (seizures), bipolar disorders or mania (unusually high or excited mood, being much more active or having more energy than usual), history of suicidal thoughts or self-harm or altered mood, brain tumor, history of head injury, heart problems and hypertension.
  • Whether you are taking any other medicines, supplements or traditional medicines. Some of them may affect how this medicine works.
  • If you have taken any other antidepressants in the last 2 weeks
  • For women: tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding or have plans to become pregnant. If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, your doctor would have discussed the potential benefits and side-effects with you but should you have further questions or concerns, do consult your doctor.


What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Bupropion?


Avoid alcohol. If you are taking or intend to take other medicines including herbal preparations, traditional Chinese medicines or over the counter medicines confirm with your doctor/pharmacist that it is safe to do so before proceeding.

Bupropion - Dosage and How to Use

How should Bupropion be used?

Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions on the medicine label or as advised by the pharmacist.

Bupropion may be taken with or without food. Swallow the tablet whole; do not chew, crush or break the tablet. If you are taking Bupropion twice a day, ensure that there is at least 8 hours between the two doses.


Where this medicine is being used to improve your mood:

-This medicine may not have an effect immediately. It may take up to a few weeks before this medicine can exert its full effects. Continue taking it regularly to benefit from it.

-Do not stop taking this medicine even after you feel better. Your symptoms may return if this medicine is stopped too early. Check with your doctor on the duration of treatment that is suitable for you.


Where this medicine is being used to stop smoking:

-It may be used in combination with other nicotine replacement products at the same time. Discuss the options with your doctor or pharmacist.

-Do not smoke while taking this medicine.

-If you do not successfully stop smoking with this medicine, consult your doctor for alternatives.


 Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly or change the dose without consulting your doctor. You may experience unpleasant side effects if this medicine is stopped suddenly.

 Avoid taking alcohol while you are taking this medicine.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one at your usual timing.

Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What should I do if I overdose?

​In the event that you take more medicine than prescribed by your doctor, immediately consult a doctor.

Bupropion - Handling

How should I handle Bupropion safely?

Bupropion - Storage

How should I store Bupropion?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Bupropion safely?

​Discard any unused or expired drug. If you are uncertain about how to dispose of your medicine please consult your pharmacist.

Bupropion - Additional Information

​What are the things I need to know or look out for while on this medicine?

  • Inform your other healthcare professionals that you are on this medicine as well
  • Do not share your medicines with others
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medicines


  • Tags: Bupropion Hydrochloride
  • Updated on Friday, July 6, 2018
  • Article contributed by Changi General Hospital Changi General Hospital

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