Mental Health Home > What Is Bupropion SR Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is bupropion SR used for?" Although bupropion SR is approved to treat depression and help adults quit smoking, it can also be used off-label to treat ADHD or seasonal affective disorder, among other conditions. Bupropion SR works by helping to block the reuptake of certain chemicals in the brain that can cause symptoms of depression when they become unbalanced. The medication has not been approved for use in children or teenagers.

What Is Bupropion SR Used For? -- An Overview

Bupropion SR (Wellbutrin SR® or Zyban®) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression). It is also used for smoking cessation (to help people stop smoking). Wellbutrin SR and Zyban are very similar medications. The main difference between the two is that Wellbutrin SR is approved for treating depression, while Zyban is approved for smoking cessation.
Bupropion SR for Depression
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Some common symptoms of depression include:
  • Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
  • Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
  • Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
  • Physical pain
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts.
In large clinical trials, bupropion SR (Wellbutrin SR) has been proven to help adults with depression. However, it is important to keep in mind that many antidepressants (including bupropion SR) take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your depression symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. It can take several weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give bupropion SR a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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