Auvelity (dextromethorphan/bupropion) is a brand-name extended-release oral tablet prescribed for major depressive disorder in adults. As with other drugs, Auvelity can cause side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness, and sexual problems.

Note: “Extended release” means the drug is slowly released into the body over a long period of time.

Auvelity can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

These are some of the more common side effects reported by people who took Auvelity in clinical trials:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.

Mild side effects can occur with Auvelity use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Auvelity’s prescribing information.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Auvelity include:

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: After the FDA approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Auvelity and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after using Auvelity. However, this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Auvelity may cause rare but serious side effects in some people. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Auvelity’s prescribing information.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Auvelity, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:

* Auvelity has a boxed warning for this side effect. This is the most serious warning from the FDA. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
Auvelity is not approved for use in people with bipolar disorder. For more information, see “Bipolar disorder” in the “Auvelity precautions” section below.
An allergic reaction is possible after using Auvelity. However, this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Auvelity may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.

Can Auvelity cause weight loss or weight gain?

Auvelity treatment is unlikely to cause weight loss or weight gain. Changes in weight weren’t reported by people who took Auvelity in clinical trials.

However, a change in weight is a possible symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD), which Auvelity is prescribed to treat. (MDD is also known as depression.)

If you have questions about weight loss or gain while taking Auvelity, talk with your doctor for more information.

How long do side effects of Auvelity typically last? Do side effects of the drug go away?

How long Auvelity side effects last can vary depending on the nature of the side effect. They may last a few days or may persist for a few weeks before going away. (To learn more, see the “Mild side effects of Auvelity” section above.)

The duration of side effects can vary among people, too. If you’re concerned about side effects you’re experiencing or if the side effects become severe, talk with your doctor for more information.

Learn more about some of the side effects that Auvelity may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Auvelity.

Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people

Auvelity has a boxed warning about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. It lets doctors and patients know about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Children and adults ages 24 years and younger taking antidepressants similar to Auvelity have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Note that Auvelity is FDA approved to treat MDD (also known as depression) in adults only. The drug isn’t approved to treat MDD in people younger than age 18 years.

Due to this risk with antidepressants, doctors monitor people taking Auvelity for new or worsening suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Mental health changes to watch for while taking Auvelity include:

  • feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • changes in mood, such as restlessness or agitation
  • losing interest in social activities or being around others
  • increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • episodes of panic or extreme anxiety
  • suicidal thoughts (thinking or talking about death or harming oneself)
  • suicidal behaviors (planning or acting on suicidal thoughts)

What you can do

Immediately notify your doctor if you experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors while taking Auvelity. Note that suicidal ideation can also be a symptom of depression. Your doctor will determine whether to prescribe a different medication or modify your treatment plan.

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or a plan to act on thoughts of self-harm, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or, you can call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also refer to this article for ways to seek support.

Sexual side effects

Some people taking Auvelity in clinical trials reported sexual side effects, specifically reduced sexual function. This includes erectile dysfunction, decreased sex drive, and difficulty or inability to have orgasms. Problems with sexual function were one of the most common side effects in Auvelity’s clinical trials.

What you can do

Sexual side effects are usually temporary and may resolve as your body gets used to the medication. Also, keep in mind that major depression is often linked to problems with sexual function.

If you experience sexual difficulties while taking Auvelity, talk with your doctor for guidance. They may suggest taking your Auvelity dose well before or just after sexual activity. (To learn about dosage and Auvelity, see this article.)

If the side effects persist after several weeks of Auvelity treatment, your doctor may adjust your dosage or treatment plan. They may also suggest ways to increase your sexual function, which may include taking medications. For more information, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, Auvelity can cause an allergic reaction in some people. This side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials.

Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • flushing
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What you can do

For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Auvelity. However, if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Suicide prevention

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.

Find more links and local resources.

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Auvelity comes with several warnings.

Boxed warning: Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people

This drug has a boxed warning for the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people. This is the most serious warning from the FDA. For details, see the “Side effect specifics” section above.

Other precautions

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Auvelity. This drug may not be the right treatment option for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These are considered drug-condition or drug-factor interactions. The conditions and factors to consider include:

Severe kidney problems: Talk with your doctor if you have a severe kidney disease. They may lower your dosage or prescribe a medication other than Auvelity for your condition. (Auvelity is prescribed for MDD, also known as depression.) To learn about dosage and Auvelity, see this article.

Severe liver problems: If you have liver problems, be sure to ask your doctor if Auvelity is right for you. People with severe liver disease should avoid taking Auvelity.

Narrow angle glaucoma: Auvelity use may cause symptoms of narrow angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can cause a sudden loss of vision. Narrow angle glaucoma is more common in people with a structural eye condition known as narrow angles. Tell your doctor if you have received a diagnosis of narrow angles. They may not prescribe Auvelity for you.

Epilepsy or other seizure disorders: In rare cases, taking bupropion (one of Auvelity’s active ingredients) may cause seizures as a side effect.* If you have a seizure disorder such as epilepsy, tell your doctor. Your doctor will likely not prescribe Auvelity and can recommend a different treatment instead.

Eating disorders: Having bulimia or anorexia nervosa increases the risk of seizures with Auvelity. If you currently have or previously had either of these eating disorders, your doctor may not prescribe Auvelity. They can recommend another medication for your condition.

High blood pressure: Auvelity treatment can cause high blood pressure as a side effect.* Before starting Auvelity, tell your doctor if you have this condition. They’ll help determine whether this medication is the right treatment option for your condition.

Bipolar disorder: People with bipolar disorder should not take Auvelity. This is because the drug can increase the risk of having manic episodes. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have bipolar disorder. They’ll advise you about medication options that are appropriate for your condition. (Note: Auvelity isn’t approved to treat bipolar disorder or bipolar depression.)

Allergic reaction: If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Auvelity or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Auvelity. Ask your doctor what other medications may be better options for you.

Pregnancy or breastfeeding: If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, Auvelity is not considered safe for your pregnancy or your child who is breastfed. Your doctor can let you know about other treatment options for depression or recommend other ways to feed your child during Auvelity treatment.

Alcohol consumption: If you drink alcohol, Auvelity may not be safe for you. People who consumed alcohol while taking bupropion have reported changes in their mental health. Drinking alcohol while taking bupropion may also increase the risk of side effects with either drug.

In addition, heavy drinking may increase the risk of seizures while taking Auvelity. A sudden stop in alcohol consumption may also increase the risk of seizure activity with Auvelity. Before starting Auvelity, be sure to tell your doctor if you’ve suddenly stopped drinking alcohol. They’ll help determine whether Auvelity is safe for you.

If you drink alcohol and have concerns about avoiding it while taking Auvelity, talk with your doctor before starting treatment.

Interaction risks: Several types of medications can interact with Auvelity and may lead to harmful effects. Due to this risk, be sure to tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other medications you take. For more information, you can refer to the “Interactions” section of this article or Auvelity’s prescribing information.

* This is a serious side effect of Auvelity. To learn more, see the “Serious side effects of Auvelity” section above.

If you’d like to learn more about Auvelity, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.

Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:

  • More information about Auvelity: For details about other aspects of Auvelity, refer to this article.
  • Cost: If you’d like to learn about Auvelity and cost, see this article.
  • Dosage: For information about the dosage of Auvelity, view this article.
  • A look at depression: For details about your condition, see our depression hub.

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.