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What Is Bupropion XL Used For?

Bupropion XL Uses for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder is depression that is related to a particular time of the year. The most common time is during winter. Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are the same as those seen with depression, except they only occur during a specific time of year. It is thought that a lack of sunlight might be the primary cause.
 
Light therapy is one type of treatment available to treat the condition. Antidepressant medications, such as bupropion XL, can also be used. Usually, bupropion XL is started in the autumn, before symptoms begin, and is stopped in early spring.
 

How Bupropion XL Works

Bupropion XL is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor, or NDRI for short. NDRIs, such as bupropion XL, affect specific chemicals within the brain known as norepinephrine and dopamine. These 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 chemical 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. But when the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression and seasonal affective disorder. Bupropion XL 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 chemicals a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.
 
Currently, the only NDRI antidepressants approved for use are medications containing bupropion. Bupropion XL is the longest-acting version, taken just once a day. Bupropion also comes in several other forms, including:
 
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