Mental Health Home > What Is Bupropion Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is bupropion used for?" Although bupropion is approved to treat depression in adults, it can also be used off-label to treat a number of other conditions. These off-label uses can include treating ADHD, treating seasonal affective disorder, and helping people quit smoking. The medication has not been approved for the treatment of depression in children.

What Is Bupropion Used For?

Bupropion hydrochloride (Wellbutrin®) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression).
The information in this article refers specifically to short-acting, immediate-release bupropion, not the longer-acting forms (Aplenzin™, Budeprion XL®, Budeprion™ SR, Buproban®, Forfivo™ XL, Wellbutrin SR®, Wellbutrin XL®, Zyban®).
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 has been proven to help adults with depression. However, it is important to keep in mind that many antidepressants, including bupropion, 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 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;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation

Topics & Medications


Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.