Is wellbutrin bad for your heart

Side Effects of Bupriopion | Eleanor Health

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Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is an antidepressant medication that belongs to the aminoketone class of drugs. Bupropion is available as an immediate-release, sustained-release, or extended-release tablet that is taken orally. 

Bupropion is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat conditions such as major depressive disorder (MDD) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s also used off-label for the treatment of conditions such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and obesity. Additionally, Zyban, which is another brand of bupropion, is utilized to help people quit smoking. 

What sets bupropion apart from all other antidepressants is that it does not affect an individual’s libido and sexual functions. In fact, it’s often prescribed along with other antidepressants to help counteract the sexual side effects associated with its use.

Bupropion is considered a safe and effective medication when used as prescribed. And to date, there are no known complications associated with the long-term use of bupropion. However, similar to any other medication, bupropion can cause side effects in certain people. If you experience any of these side effects, seek medical attention.


The Most Common Bupropion Side Effects

Bupropion can cause side effects during a certain period of its use as the body grows accustomed to the medication’s chemical effects. These side effects generally dissipate within a few weeks. The most common side effects of bupropion include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Hyperventilation
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headache
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation

If these side effects persist or worsen, seek advice from your doctor.

Less Common Bupropion Side Effects

While side effects range from mild to severe, there are some side effects that are less common than others. Less than 10% of patients will experience bupropion side effects such as:

  • Skin rash
  • Profuse sweating
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Shakiness or twitching
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Thought disturbances
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Migraines
  • Fever
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Myalgia
  • Hot flashes

The risk of seizures due to bupropion is relatively low. However, this risk is significantly increased if the patient consumes large doses of bupropion or has any of the following conditions.

  • History of seizures 
  • Head injury or brain tumor 
  • Severe liver disease
  • Eating disorder
  • Alcohol or drug dependence

Although bupropion possesses a low risk of cardiovascular complications, the risk is  increased if the patient has: 

  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Previous heart attack 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • When used in conjunction with transdermal nicotine replacement products

Severe Bupropion Side Effects

Bupropion can cause severe side effects that have the potential to be life-threatening. If you experience any of the following side effects, seek medical attention immediately.

The more severe side effects of bupropion include:

  • Allergic Reaction
  • Aggressiveness
  • Agitation
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Changes in sexual desire or function
  • Changes in vision
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Dark urine
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Exaggerated feelings of well-being
  • Fainting
  • Fever, chills, or a sore throat
  • Hearing problems
  • Hostility
  • Impulsiveness
  • Inability to sit still
  • Pale-colored stools
  • Panic attacks
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache
  • Severe or lingering joint or muscle pain
  • Severe or lingering nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Severe or lingering nervousness, restlessness, or insomnia
  • Swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Unusual swelling
  • Worsening depression and/or suicidal thoughts
  • Yellow skin or eyes

Bupropion includes a black box warning, which is the highest level of warning by the FDA. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), bupropion may cause changes in behavior in certain people. These behavioral changes include: 

  • Hostility
  • Agitation
  • Depressed moods 
  • Suicidal thoughts 

The risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior is higher for children, adolescents, and young adults who consume this medication.


Allergic Reactions to Bupropion

Bupropion can cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis in certain individuals. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention as it can be life-threatening. Symptoms of bupropion allergic reaction include:

  • Rashes
  • Swelling of the lips or tongue
  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Painful sores in the mouth or around the eyes
  • Trouble breathing


Drug Interactions that Increase the Risk of Side Effects

Taking bupropion with certain medications can increase the risk of certain side effects associated with this medication. These medications include:

  • Antidepressants (venlafaxine, nortriptyline, imipramine, desipramine, paroxetine, fluoxetine, or sertraline) – Increases the risk of seizures 
  • Antipsychotics (haloperidol, risperidone, or thioridazine) – Increases the risk of seizures. 
  • Beta-blockers (metoprolol) – Increases the risk of low blood pressure.
  • Anti-arrhythmics (propafenone or flecainide)  – Increases the risk of fainting and irregular heartbeat.
  • Theophylline – increases the risk of seizures.
  • Corticosteroids (prednisone or methylprednisolone) – Increases the risk of seizures. 
  • Levodopa and amantadine – Increased risk of restlessness, agitation, shakiness, loss of body movements, dizziness, loss of coordination, and trouble walking.
  • Blood thinners (ticlopidine or clopidogrel) –  Increases the effects of bupropion to dangerous levels.


Bupropion is considered by medical experts as a safe and effective antidepressant with a favorable side effect profile. While the possibility of side effects is present, its risks are no greater than any other medication. Being aware of the possible side effects can help individuals seek medical attention when necessary or help individuals decide if the medication is right for them.

If you are seeking help with your loved one’s addiction, contact us today or complete our quick contact form below, to speak with an addiction treatment specialist.

If you need help with your substance use disorder, we are here to help you build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want. We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located in Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.

Cardiovascular effects of bupropion in depressed patients with heart disease

. 1991 Apr;148(4):512-6.

doi: 10.1176/ajp.148.4.512.

S P Roose  1 , G W Dalack, A H Glassman, S Woodring, B T Walsh, E G Giardina



  • 1 New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York.
  • PMID: 1900980
  • DOI: 10.1176/ajp.148.4.512

S P Roose et al. Am J Psychiatry. 1991 Apr.

. 1991 Apr;148(4):512-6.

doi: 10. 1176/ajp.148.4.512.


S P Roose  1 , G W Dalack, A H Glassman, S Woodring, B T Walsh, E G Giardina


  • 1 New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York.
  • PMID: 1900980
  • DOI: 10.1176/ajp.148.4.512


Objective: The cardiovascular effects of therapeutic plasma levels of tricyclic antidepressants in depressed patients with and without preexisting cardiac disease have been well characterized and include orthostatic hypotension and conduction delay. Bupropion, structurally unrelated to tricyclic antidepressants, is relatively free of cardiac side effects in depressed patients without cardiac disease. However, it is unknown whether bupropion is safe for depressed patients with preexisting heart disease, so the authors studied the cardiovascular effects of bupropion in such patients.

Method: The subjects were 36 inpatients with DSM-III major depression and preexisting left ventricular impairment (N = 15), ventricular arrhythmias (N = 15), and/or conduction disease (N = 21). The patients continued their cardiac drug regimens and received bupropion for 3 weeks (mean +/- SD dose = 442 +/- 47 mg/day). Cardiovascular functioning was measured by pulse, blood pressure, high-speed ECG, 24-hour portable ECG, and radionuclide angiography.

Results: Although bupropion caused a rise in supine blood pressure, it did not cause significant conduction complications, did not exacerbate ventricular arrhythmias, had a low rate of orthostatic hypotension, and had no effect on pulse rate. However, bupropion treatment was discontinued for 14% of the patients because of adverse effects, including exacerbation of baseline hypertension in two patients.

Conclusions: The cardiovascular profile of bupropion may make this drug a useful agent in the treatment of the depressed patient with preexisting cardiovascular disease. Further studies, with longer durations of bupropion treatment and more subjects, are needed to confirm these findings.

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How to quit smoking after long experience?

So you smoke. For a long time. A lot. You would like to quit, you understand that it is harmful, maybe you already feel it yourself. Maybe they tried to quit, but it didn't work out. What to do? In our quick guide, we'll try to answer the most common questions asked by heavy smokers who want to but can't quit cigarettes.

Is it possible? Of course available! Even Barack Obama, no matter how you treat him, was able to quit after thirty years of service. nine0005

Is quitting already worse for me than continuing to smoke?

This is not true. German scientists (summarizing the results of seventeen long-term studies) showed that even in the group of those who quit smoking after 60 and after 70 years, the average life expectancy was longer than that of those who continued to smoke. As for those who quit smoking between the ages of 40 and 50, life expectancy in their group was almost the same as that of those who had never smoked.

Maybe just try to smoke less? nine0009

If you are addicted to nicotine, you simply won't be able to do it and will soon return to your dose. Quitting smoking is harder in the short term, but easier in the long run. Even if you are among those people who smoke less than half a pack a day for many years and intermittently (for example, they may not smoke during pregnancy), this still seriously increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Cardiologists will help you check your cardiovascular system. nine0003

Is it possible to quit smoking abruptly?

It is believed that quitting smoking abruptly is possible only if your experience does not exceed 3-5 years. In this case, nicotine dependence is not yet so strong, nicotine is not so firmly integrated into psychophysiological mechanisms that a sharp break in the chain causes serious harm. But if your experience exceeds 10 years and you smoked a lot, a pack or more per day, then abruptly quit smoking without any replacement is not recommended.

How long does withdrawal last, what causes it and how does it manifest itself? nine0009

Withdrawal after quitting smoking lasts from a week to several months. Its duration depends not only on the length of service and the number of cigarettes per day, but also on the individual predisposition of the person. The withdrawal mechanism is due to a deficiency of acetylcholine (a mediator of nervous excitation) and is manifested by dizziness, nausea, anxiety or irritability, and other ailments. A persistent cough indicates that the lungs, with difficulty, are beginning to readjust to a life without tobacco. The head may hurt - after all, the vascular system is also accustomed to constant nicotine stimulation. nine0003

You can check the condition of the lungs with a radiologist 6 days a week

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  • Vaccination0002 Learn more about the clinic

How can you help yourself get through withdrawal?

There are many resources available to help you at this stage. There are two main groups: nicotine replacement therapy (patches, nasal sprays and other forms) and drugs that reduce the craving for smoking. Unique in this regard, Bupropion, also known as Wellbutrin and Zyban, belongs to the group of antidepressants, but is used specifically for the treatment of nicotine addiction.

Why do some people start smoking again many months after quitting?

Here, it is not drug dependence on nicotine that works (remember, withdrawal, even in severe cases, ends after a few months), but psychological. Smoking is embedded not only in our physiological processes, but also in socio-psychological ones: someone relieves stress with the help of a cigarette, someone cannot imagine communication without tobacco, for someone coffee or alcohol is closely connected with smoking.

It is worth considering what other habit can replace one or another function of smoking. In addition, adherence to the general principles of a healthy lifestyle helps: a normal amount of sleep (at least 7 hours a day), healthy nutritious food, physical activity and fresh air. For some time, you may have to avoid the usual “smoking” situations in order not to provoke yourself (replace smoke breaks in the office with a joint cup of tea). nine0003

My friend quit smoking and got very fat. Why?

First, cigarettes suppress hunger. Smokers release glycogen, blood sugar rises and there is no longer a desire to eat. In addition, nicotine speeds up metabolism, and food is not digested properly. When a person quits smoking, then he now feels hunger more acutely, and food is digested properly. Therefore, he eats the same amount, and the weight grows. There is some "natural" weight gain after quitting smoking, and it does not exceed 3-5 kilograms. nine0003

Secondly, it is not uncommon for a person to change one addiction for another. Many ex-smokers note that in the first year after quitting smoking, they begin to consume more alcohol, coffee, and sweets. The brain is looking for ways to relieve the stress caused by smoking cessation, to “get” pleasure from other sources. Therefore, some ex-smokers do get better by more than 5 kilos.

How to deal with this? You should not go on a strict diet, it will only increase stress and unbalance the body even more. It is better to ensure that you consume less starchy and sweet foods and more healthy protein foods. If you really want to “chew” stress, choose seeds, rye crackers or carrot sticks. nine0003

What else helps to stop smoking?

  • Strong motivation. Unfortunately, people often quit smoking after they have been diagnosed with a dangerous disease. But in this case, we are no longer talking about “willpower”, rather, it is saving one’s own life.
  • Throwing together. If spouses or close friends smoke, it is much more effective to give up the bad habit together. You have to figure out how useful you can replace joint smoke breaks.
  • Alain Carr. Yes, many say that when they have already decided to quit smoking, this book really supported and helped. nine0047
  • Psychotherapy. If you have been smoking for many years and the side effects after quitting are too strong (persistent depression of mood, anxiety, irritability go off scale and do not go away), a psychotherapist may help you. In this case, you need to choose a doctor practicing in the framework of the cognitive-behavioral direction - they are the ones who effectively and quickly work with bad habits.
  • Forums and communication. When you're undertaking a difficult task, it's always nice to know you're not alone. On the forum, you can ask for advice, share your impressions, and simply brag. nine0047

If you decide to quit smoking, the Euromed clinic wishes you good luck! May your rejection be easy and your decision irrevocable.

See also:

  • Swimming for the back: how to do it right
  • How to get rid of sugar addiction without excluding sweets from your life?

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Adult Medication

  • nine0058

    This document, provided by Lexicomp ® , contains all the information you need to know about this medicine, including indications, directions for use, side effects, and when your healthcare provider should be contacted.

    Trade names: USA

    Aplenzin; Forfivo XL; Wellbutrin SR; Wellbutrin XL; Zyban [DSC]

    Trade names: Canada

    MYLAN-BuPROPion XL [DSC]; ODAN Bupropion SR; TARO-Bupropion XL; TEVA-Bupropion XL; Wellbutrin SR; Wellbutrin XL; Zyban


    • Drugs like this have increased the likelihood of suicidal thoughts or actions in children and young people. This risk may be higher in people who have tried or had suicidal thoughts in the past. All people taking this drug must be closely monitored. If you develop or worsen disorders such as depression, nervousness, anxiety, grouchiness, panic attacks, and changes in mood or behavior, contact your doctor immediately. Contact your doctor immediately if you have suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts. nine0047

    What is this drug used for?

    • Used to treat depression.
    • Used to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
    • Used to stop smoking.
    • This drug may also be used for other indications. Consult your doctor.

    What should I tell my doctor BEFORE taking this drug?

    • If you have an allergy to this drug, any of its ingredients, other drugs, foods or substances. Tell your doctor about your allergies and how they have manifested. nine0047
    • If you have ever had seizures.
    • If you abuse alcohol and suddenly stopped using it.
    • If you are taking certain other drugs, such as anticonvulsants or tranquilizers, and you stop taking them abruptly.
    • If you have ever had an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.
    • If you have any of the following health conditions: kidney disease or liver disease. nine0047
    • If you have taken medications for depression or Parkinson's disease in the past 14 days. These include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, selegiline, or rasagiline. An episode of very high blood pressure may occur.
    • If you are taking any of the following drugs: linezolid or methylene blue.
    • If you are taking another drug that contains the same medicine.

    This list of drugs and conditions that may interact unfavorably with this drug is not exhaustive. nine0003

    Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all medicines you take (both prescription and over-the-counter, natural products and vitamins) and any health problems you have. You need to make sure that this drug is safe for your conditions and in combination with other drugs you are already taking. Do not start or stop taking any drug or change the dosage without your doctor's advice. nine0003

    What do I need to know or do while taking this drug?

    For all patients taking this drug:

    • Tell all your health care workers that you are taking this drug. These are doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dentists.
    • Avoid driving or doing other tasks or jobs that require alertness or keen eyesight until you know how this drug affects you. nine0047
    • This drug may affect the results of some lab tests. Tell all your health care workers and laboratory staff that you are taking this drug.
    • Do not stop taking this drug abruptly without consulting your doctor. This can increase the risk of side effects. If necessary, taking this drug should be stopped gradually, in accordance with the recommendations of the doctor.
    • High blood pressure has happened with this drug. Monitor your blood pressure as directed by your doctor. nine0047
    • This drug may increase the risk of seizures. The risk may be increased in people who take higher doses of the drug, who have certain health problems, or who use certain other drugs. People who abruptly stop drinking large amounts of alcohol or abruptly stop taking certain medications (such as drugs used for anxiety, insomnia, or seizures) are also at higher risk. Talk to your doctor to find out if you have an increased risk of seizures. nine0047
    • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this drug.
    • Check with your doctor before using marijuana, other forms of cannabis, or prescription or over-the-counter drugs that can slow you down.
    • It may take several weeks to achieve full effect.
    • This drug is not approved for use in children. Consult your doctor.
    • If you are 65 years of age or older, use this drug with caution. You may experience more side effects. nine0047
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. The benefits and risks for you and your child will need to be discussed.

    If you smoke:

    • Not all drugs are approved for use to help you quit smoking. Check with your doctor to make sure you get the right drug.
    • When using bupropion for smoking cessation, the appearance of new or aggravation of existing disorders of the psyche, mood or behavior was noted. These disturbances include suicidal or homicidal thoughts, depression, violent acts, rage, anxiety and anger. These disorders have been observed in people with and without mental and mood disorders in the past. Consult your doctor. nine0047

    What side effects should I report to my doctor immediately?

    WARNING. In rare cases, this drug can cause serious and sometimes deadly side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor or seek medical attention right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be associated with serious side effects:

    • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, hives, itching, red and swollen skin with blisters or peeling, possibly accompanied by fever, wheezing or wheezing, tightness in the chest or throat, difficulty breathing, swallowing or speaking, unusual hoarseness, swelling in the mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat. nine0047
    • Signs of high blood pressure, such as a very severe headache, or dizziness, or loss of consciousness, or blurred vision.
    • Feelings of confusion, inability to concentrate, or changes in behavior.
    • Hallucinations (a person sees or hears something that is not in reality).
    • If, after starting the medication, seizures become more frequent or severe.
    • Chest pain, angina pectoris, tachycardia, or abnormal heart rhythm. nine0047
    • Inflammation.
    • Dyspnea.
    • Hearing change.
    • Tinnitus.
    • Frequent urination.
    • Swelling of the gland.
    • Violation of motor functions.
    • Some patients may be at increased risk of eye problems when using this drug. Your doctor may order an eye examination to see if you are at increased risk for these eye problems. Call your doctor right away if you have eye pain, vision changes, swelling or redness around the eye. nine0047
    • Possible severe skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis). This can lead to severe health problems, which can be permanent, and sometimes death. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as redness, swelling of the skin with blistering or peeling (with or without fever), redness or irritation of the eyes, and sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes. nine0047

    What are some other side effects of this drug?

    Any medicine can have side effects. However, for many people, side effects are either minor or non-existent. Contact your doctor or seek medical attention if these or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

    All formulations:

    • Dizziness or headache.
    • Constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite. nine0047
    • Shiver.
    • Nervous tension and agitation.
    • Strange or unusual dreams.
    • Gas formation.
    • Dry mouth.
    • Sleep disorders.
    • Pain in the joints or muscles.
    • Irritation of the nose or throat.
    • Excessive sweating.
    • Unexplained fluctuations in weight.

    Long-acting tablets:

    • The tablet shell of some brand name drugs can sometimes be seen in the stool. For drugs of these brands, this is normal and does not cause concern. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor. nine0047

    This list of possible side effects is not exhaustive. If you have any questions about side effects, please contact your doctor. Talk to your doctor about side effects.

    You can report side effects to the National Health Board.

    You can report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You can also report side effects at nine0003

    What is the best way to take this drug?

    Use this drug as directed by your doctor. Read all the information provided to you. Strictly follow all instructions.

    For all uses of this drug:

    • Do not take the drug more often than prescribed. This may increase your risk of developing seizures. Make sure you know at what intervals you need to use the drug.
    • nine0046 Take in the morning if you are taking this drug once a day.
    • Take this drug with or without food.
    • If you cannot sleep, do not take this drug at bedtime. Consult your doctor.
    • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break or crush.
    • Keep taking this drug as instructed by your doctor or other health care professional, even if you feel well. nine0047
    • If you have difficulty swallowing, check with your doctor.

    Smoking cessation:

    • You can take this drug for 1 week before you stop smoking.
    • Nicotine replacement and psychological help can be done at the same time for best results.
    • If you have not been able to stop smoking after 12 weeks of taking this drug, talk with your doctor.
    • nine0046 When you try to quit smoking, you may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms even if you use quit smoking drugs like this drug. There are many signs of nicotine withdrawal. People who are trying to quit smoking have occasionally experienced depression and suicidal thoughts. Consult with your physician.

    What if I miss a dose of a drug?

    • Skip the forgotten dose and return to your regular schedule. nine0047
    • Do not take 2 doses or an additional dose at the same time.

    How do I store and/or discard this drug?

    • Store at room temperature, protected from light. Store in a dry place. Do not store in the bathroom.
    • Keep all medicines in a safe place. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Dispose of unused or expired drugs. Do not empty into a toilet or sewer unless instructed to do so. If you have any questions about disposing of medicines, ask your pharmacist. Drug disposal programs may be in place in your area. nine0047

    General drug information

    • If your health does not improve or even worsens, see your doctor.
    • Do not give your medicine to anyone and do not take other people's medicines.
    • Some medicines may come with other patient information leaflets. If you have questions about this drug, talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care professional. nine0047
    • A separate instruction for patients is attached to the drug. Please read this information carefully. Reread it each time you refill your supply. If you have any questions about this drug, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional.
    • If you think you have overdosed, call a poison control center or get medical help right away. Be prepared to tell or show what drug you took, how much, and when it happened. nine0047

    Consumer Use of Information and Limitation of Liability

    This summary information includes a summary of the diagnosis, treatment, and/or drug product. It is not intended to be a comprehensive source of data and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or evaluate potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a particular patient. It should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a physician based on a medical examination and assessment of the patient's specific and unique circumstances.

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