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Precautions and Warnings With Bupropion

Some Precautions and Warnings With Bupropion

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with bupropion include:
 
  • Antidepressants (including bupropion) 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 bupropion. 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 bupropion 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 bupropion can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
     
  • Bupropion can increase the risk of seizures. As a result, there are certain people who should not take bupropion, including people with:

 

 

  • Also, people taking certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Bupropion) 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 bupropion per day, and each individual dose should not be greater than 150 mg (see Bupropion Dosing).

 

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

 

  • Bupropion should not be used right after a heart attack. Also, there is some evidence that bupropion can cause irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) in people with heart disease.
     
  • Bupropion can cause liver damage. Also, since the liver and kidneys aid in removing bupropion from the blood, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking bupropion if you have liver or kidney problems.
     
  • Bupropion can cause insomnia, agitation, hallucinations, confusion, and other mental problems, especially in people just starting bupropion. Tell your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these problems while taking bupropion.
     
  • Bupropion can cause weight loss. This can be a problem for some people, especially those who are underweight (see Bupropion and Weight Loss for more information).
     
  • Bupropion 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 bupropion.
     
  • Sometimes bupropion can cause high blood pressure (hypertension), especially in people using nicotine patches. Your healthcare provider should monitor your blood pressure if you are taking bupropion. It is not known if bupropion causes problems in people who have heart disease or who have recently had a heart attack.
     
  • Bupropion is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using bupropion during pregnancy (see Bupropion During Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • Bupropion passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using bupropion (see Bupropion and Breastfeeding).
     
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