Auvelity is a brand-name extended-release (ER) oral tablet that’s prescribed for major depressive disorder. Auvelity belongs to the antidepressants drug class and contains the active drugs dextromethorphan and bupropion.
You’ll find key information about Auvelity below.
- Drug classes: antidepressant, specifically:
- dextromethorphan: N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist and
- Drug form: ER oral tablet (ER, or “extended release,” means the tablet releases the drug slowly into your body over time)
- Generic available? No
- Prescription required? Yes
- Controlled substance? No
- Year of FDA approval: 2022
Auvelity contains the active drugs dextromethorphan and bupropion. Auvelity is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.
A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Auvelity.
Can Auvelity be prescribed to treat anxiety, ADHD, or bipolar disorder?
Possibly. Auvelity is not currently approved to treat anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or bipolar disorder. At this time, the drug is only approved to treat major depressive disorder.
However, doctors may prescribe Auvelity off-label to treat anxiety, ADHD, or bipolar disorder. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
Talk with your doctor to learn about treatment options for anxiety, ADHD, or bipolar disorder. They can recommend whether Auvelity may be used off-label for these specific conditions.
Is Auvelity an antidepressant?
Yes, Auvelity is an antidepressant.
Auvelity contains two active drugs, one of which is the antidepressant bupropion. Specifically, bupropion is a type of antidepressant called a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor. The other active drug is dextromethorphan, which belongs to a drug class called N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists.
To learn more about how Auvelity works, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Is Auvelity a controlled substance?
No, Auvelity is not a controlled substance.
The federal government regulates controlled substances. These medications often have a high risk of misuse. (Misuse involves taking a drug in a way that’s different from how a healthcare professional prescribed it.)
Due to the risk of misuse, doctors must follow special rules when prescribing controlled substances. However, Auvelity isn’t known to have these risks.
Auvelity can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some key side effects that may occur while taking Auvelity. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of Auvelity, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may concern or bother you.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Auvelity, you can do so through MedWatch.
Mild side effects
Below is a partial list of mild side effects of Auvelity. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Auvelity’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Auvelity can include:
- blurry vision
- digestive problems, such as diarrhea, nausea, and constipation
- dry mouth
- joint pain
- numbness or burning in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- sleep problems, such as sleepiness or insomnia
- sexual side effects, such as:
- excessive sweating
- mild allergic reaction*
Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* For details about allergic reaction and Auvelity, see “Allergic reaction” below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Auvelity aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:
- Mental health changes. Examples include:
- delusions (untrue thoughts or beliefs)
- hypomania or mania (episodes of excessive energy)
- hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t really there)
- trouble concentrating
- Seizures. Symptoms can include:
- rapid blinking
- changes in smell or taste
- jerking, twitching, or shaking movements
- staring into space
- loss of consciousness
- High blood pressure, which may not cause symptoms unless it’s severe. Symptoms of severely high blood pressure can include:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- Risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people.*
- Severe allergic reaction.†
* Auvelity has a
† For details about allergic reaction and Auvelity, see “Allergic reaction” below.
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Auvelity. This side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials of Auvelity but has occurred with other forms of dextromethorphan and bupropion. (These are the active drugs in Auvelity.)
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
- trouble breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Auvelity, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Auvelity, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.
The following drugs are similar to Auvelity:
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as:
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- sertraline (Zoloft)
- serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as:
- duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
- norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors, such as:
- bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL)
- atypical antipsychotics, such as:
- esketamine (Spravato)
Note: Some of the drugs listed here are prescribed off-label to treat major depressive disorder. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Auvelity to treat certain conditions.
Auvelity for major depressive disorder
Auvelity is FDA-approved to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.
Auvelity and children
Auvelity is not FDA-approved for use in children. Clinical trials of the drug only included adults. It’s unknown whether Auvelity is safe or effective for use in children.
The Auvelity dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- how well your body breaks down Auvelity
- other medical conditions you may have
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Drug forms and strengths
Auvelity comes as an extended-release oral tablet. This means the tablet is long-acting and releases the drug slowly into your body over time.
Auvelity comes in one strength: 45 milligrams (mg) dextromethorphan/105 mg bupropion.
Dosage for major depressive disorder
The usual starting dosage of Auvelity for major depressive disorder is one tablet once per day in the morning. After 3 days, your doctor may increase your dosage to one tablet twice per day. You’ll take each dose at least 8 hours apart.
Your doctor may recommend a different dosage depending on other factors, such as whether you have kidney disease. Talk with your doctor about the dosage that’s right for you.
About taking Auvelity
Below you’ll find information about key dosage issues.
- When to take: You’ll likely take Auvelity twice per day. You should take each dose at least 8 hours apart. Taking the medication around the same time of day helps keep a steady level of the drug in your body. This helps Auvelity work effectively.
- If you miss a dose: If you miss a dose of Auvelity, skip your missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take any extra doses to make up for a missed dose. Doing so can increase your risk for side effects. (For information on side effects, see the “Auvelity side effects” section above.)
- Taking Auvelity with food: You can take Auvelity with or without food.
- Crushing, splitting, or chewing Auvelity: Auvelity tablets should not be crushed, split, or chewed. Doing so can affect how the drug works in your body. You should swallow the tablets whole. If you have trouble swallowing Auvelity tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Length of use: Auvelity is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Auvelity is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
- Length of time to work: Auvelity will likely start working within 1 week of starting treatment. In clinical trials of Auvelity, many people reported an improvement in their depression symptoms within 1 week of starting the drug.
Taking more than the recommended dosage of Auvelity can lead to serious side effects. Do not take more Auvelity than your doctor recommends.
Symptoms of an overdose can include:
- nausea and vomiting
- blurry vision or involuntary eye movements
- lack of muscle coordination or exaggerated reflexes
- fast heart rate
- respiratory depression (slow, shallow breathing)
- hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t really there)
- abnormal heart rhythm
- loss of consciousness
What to do in case of overdose
If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
Auvelity can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with alcohol as well as certain lab tests.
Before taking Auvelity, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
Below is a list of medications that can interact with Auvelity. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Auvelity. If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
|Drug class or drug name
|• aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, others)
• brexpiprazole (Rexulti)
|certain dopamine agonists
• amantadine (Gocovri)
|monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
|• methylene blue
• linezolid (Zyvox)
• phenelzine (Nardil)
• selegiline (Emsam)
|selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
|• fluoxetine (Prozac)
• paroxetine (Paxil)
|serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
|• venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
• atomoxetine (Strattera)
|• prednisone (Rayos)
• methylprednisolone (Medrol)
• nortriptyline (Pamelor)
|certain other drugs, including
|• carbamazepine (Epitol, Tegretol, others)
• digoxin (Lanoxin)
• theophylline (Theo-24)
Alcohol and other interactions
If you drink alcohol, you should limit or avoid it while taking Auvelity. This is because mental health changes have been reported in people who drank alcohol while taking bupropion (one of the active drugs in Auvelity). In addition, bupropion could make your body more sensitive to the effects of alcohol.
Also, drinking large amounts of alcohol can increase your risk of seizures as a side effect of Auvelity. Your risk of seizures can also increase if you’ve recently stopped drinking alcohol. For this reason, before starting Auvelity, it’s important to tell your doctor if you’ve suddenly stopped drinking alcohol.
If you have questions about limiting or avoiding alcohol while taking Auvelity, talk with your doctor.
In addition, bupropion (one of the active drugs in Auvelity) may interact with certain drug tests for amphetamines. With this interaction, bupropion may cause a false-positive result for amphetamines in the urine. This means the urine drug test may show a positive result for amphetamines even though bupropion is not an amphetamine.
Before you have a urine drug test for amphetamines, tell the healthcare professional giving the test that you’re taking Auvelity.
As with all medications, the cost of Auvelity can vary. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.
Financial and insurance assistance: If you need financial support to pay for Auvelity or help to understand your insurance coverage, help is available.
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.
Generic version: Auvelity is not available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
If you can become pregnant, consider the following information about pregnancy, birth control, and breastfeeding.
Auvelity and pregnancy
Auvelity should not be taken during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking Auvelity. Your doctor may suggest birth control options to use during treatment with Auvelity.
The National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants is collecting information on the safety of Auvelity when used during pregnancy. (Pregnancy registries collect information about the effects of a medication when used during pregnancy.) To learn more, talk with your doctor or visit the registry website.
Auvelity and birth control
Auvelity is not safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Auvelity.
Auvelity and breastfeeding
Auvelity should not be taken while breastfeeding. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before taking this medication. Your doctor may recommend other ways to feed your child during treatment with Auvelity.
This drug comes with several precautions.
FDA warning: Risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people
This drug has a
Medications used to treat depression may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people. This risk affects children and adults ages 24 years or younger. Auvelity is approved to treat depression in adults. However, the drug isn’t approved for use in people younger than age 18 years.
While you’re taking Auvelity, watch for the following:
- mood changes, such as agitation (feeling annoyed or restless)
- panic attacks
- feeling hopeless or sad
- thoughts of death or harming yourself
- isolating yourself from others
- increased use of drugs or alcohol
Keep in mind that depression, which Auvelity is used to treat, can also increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, it may be hard to tell if these symptoms are related to Auvelity or the condition you’re taking the drug to treat.
Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of suicidal thoughts or behaviors while taking Auvelity. They may adjust your treatment plan or prescribe a different medication for you.
If you have thoughts of harming yourself, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Before taking Auvelity, discuss your health history with your doctor. Auvelity may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. Be sure to talk with your doctor if any of the following apply to you:
- stopping use of alcohol or treatment with barbiturates, epilepsy drugs, or benzodiazepines
- high blood pressure
- liver or kidney problems
- narrow angle glaucoma
- eating disorder, such as anorexia
- seizure disorder, such as epilepsy
- bipolar disorder
- drug metabolism problems
- previous allergic reaction to Auvelity or any of its ingredients
Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Auvelity, see the “Auvelity side effects” section above.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.