Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are generic prescription medications. “ER” stands for extended release, and this means that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

Uses for SR and XL forms

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are FDA-approved to:

  • Treat major depressive disorder in adults. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a type of depression that causes sadness, feelings of hopelessness, and other symptoms that last and interfere with your daily life.

The XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is FDA-approved to:

  • Prevent episodes of depression in adults with seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of MDD. SAD typically begins in late fall or winter and eases in spring or early summer.

Note: The SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is not FDA-approved to help prevent SAD. But doctors may prescribe it off-label for this use. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA. To learn more, talk with your doctor.

Drug details

Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are a type of antidepressant medication called a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI).

The active drug in the tablets is bupropion hydrochloride, which belongs to the aminoketone class.

To learn more, see the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets dosage” section below.

Note: The active drug, bupropion hydrochloride also comes as an immediate-release tablet. This article addresses only the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER tablets. For details on other form of bupropion hydrochloride, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Brand-name versions

The SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is the generic form of the brand-name drug Wellbutrin SR.

The XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is the generic form of the brand-name drug Wellbutrin XL.

Note: The other forms of bupropion have other brand-name drug versions. For information on those versions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, see the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablet uses” section below.

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are generic drugs. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Wellbutrin SR is the brand-name medication that the SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is based on. And Wellbutrin XL is the brand-name medication that the XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is based on. Generics are considered to be as safe and effective as their parent brand-name medication. But generics tend to cost less than brand names.

If you’re interested in using Wellbutrin SR or Wellbutrin XL instead of their generic forms, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if these brand-name forms come in strengths that can be used for your condition. If you have insurance, you’ll also need to check whether your plan will cover the brand names.

To learn more about how generics compare with brand-name drugs, see this article.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

The dosage your doctor prescribes for either drug will depend on several factors. These may include:

  • the form of the drug your doctor prescribes
  • the condition the drug is treating or helping prevent
  • your liver or kidney health
  • whether your condition improves

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you and limit the risk of seizures.* Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

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.

* For more information on seizures, see “Seizures” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablet side effects” section below.

Drug strengths: 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg

The SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets comes in three strengths: 100 milligrams (mg), 150 mg, and 200 mg.

The XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets comes in two strengths: 150 mg and 300 mg.

Note: The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are not exactly the same. For example, if you take the 150-mg SR form twice per day, you should not switch to the 150-mg XL form twice per day. Doing so could increase your risk for serious side effects, such as seizures.*

* For more information on seizures, see “Seizures” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablet side effects” section below.

Dosage for depression

For major depressive disorder, the typical dosages are listed below. The starting dosage is the first dosage your doctor will typically prescribe. The maintenance dosage is the dosage you take on a regular basis to keep a steady level of the drug in your body.

For the SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, the typical dosages are:

  • Starting dosage: 150 milligrams (mg) once daily for 3 days
  • Maintenance dosage: 300 mg each day, taken as one 150-mg tablet twice daily
  • Maximum total daily dosage: 400 mg

You’ll typically take the SR form twice per day, making sure that your second dose is at least 8 hours after your morning dose. You should not take more than two doses in 24 hours.

For the XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, the typical dosages are:

  • Starting dosage: 150 mg once daily for 4 days
  • Maintenance dosage: 300 mg once daily
  • Maximum total daily dosage: 300 mg

The XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets releases more slowly in the body than the SR form. You’ll typically take the XL form once per day in the morning.

If you have mild liver disease or kidney disease, your doctor may adjust your dosage of the SR or XL form.

Dosage for seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) often starts in winter and eases in spring or summer. Because of this, your doctor will typically start your treatment in the fall and stop it in early spring. This way, you’ll take the drug only to help prevent episodes of depression in SAD during winter.

The starting dosage is the first dosage your doctor will typically prescribe. The maintenance dosage is the dosage you take on a regular basis to keep a steady level of the drug in your body.

For the XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, the typical dosages are:

  • Starting: 150 mg once daily for 7 days
  • Maintenance: 300 mg once daily
  • Maximum total daily dosage: 300 mg

You’ll typically take the XL form once per day in the morning. And if you have mild liver disease or kidney disease, your doctor may adjust your dosage.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets to prevent SAD in adults. However, this form of the drug may be prescribed off-label for this use. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA. If you have SAD and would like to learn more about the SR form, talk with your doctor.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, wait until it’s time for your next scheduled dose. Then keep taking the drug as usual. Do not double up or take extra tablets to make up for your missed dose. Doing so could increase your risk for seizures. (To learn more, see “Seizures” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets side effects” section below.)

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

For major depressive disorder (MDD), the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are meant to be long-term treatments. If either medication is safe and effective for your MDD, you’ll likely take it long term. However, your doctor will monitor your condition and medication use.

If you’re using the XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets for seasonal affective disorder, you’ll likely start treatment shortly before the season you need it. This is typically fall or winter. Your doctor will usually have you stop taking the drug gradually after the season ends. This is typically spring or summer.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets.

Is bupropion used in combination with naltrexone hydrochloride?

It’s possible for the drugs to be used together.

Typically, naltrexone hydrochloride is used to treat overdoses of drugs called opioids. But doctors may prescribe bupropion hydrochloride extended-release (ER) oral tablets with naltrexone hydrochloride for weight loss in certain adults. This is considered an off-label use for these two drugs. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bupropion hydrochloride and naltrexone hydrochloride are also available together as the brand-name prescription medication Contrave. The FDA has approved Contrave for weight loss in certain adults when used with diet and exercise.

If you’re interested in taking bupropion hydrochloride and naltrexone hydrochloride or Contrave to help with weight loss, talk with your doctor.

What’s the difference between bupropion hydrochloride and bupropion hydrobromide?

Bupropion hydrochloride and bupropion hydrobromide are both antidepressant medications that contain the active drug bupropion. The “hydrochloride” and “hydrobromide” parts make bupropion into a salt form. Salt forms of drugs are created so your body can dissolve and absorb the drugs better.

These two medications are different salt forms of bupropion. But since they have the same active drug, they have similar effects in your body. This includes their side effects and the way they work.

Because bupropion hydrochloride and bupropion hydrobromide work in the same way, they’re used to treat similar conditions, including depression and seasonal affective disorder.

But the drugs differ in their strengths, dosages, and brand names. For example:

  • Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, and Forfivo XL are brand-name drugs that contain bupropion hydrochloride.
  • Aplenzin is a brand-name drug that contains bupropion hydrobromide.

To learn more about how bupropion hydrochloride and bupropion hydrobromide compare, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Can bupropion be used to help you stop smoking?

Yes, doctors may prescribe the SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets to help adults quit smoking. However, this is an off-label use of the drug. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Currently, no forms of bupropion are FDA-approved for quitting smoking. The brand-name medication Zyban was an SR form of bupropion hydrochloride used to help adults quit smoking. But it isn’t made anymore.

Keep in mind that some people have had serious side effects while taking bupropion to help with quitting smoking. These included depression and suicidal thoughts and actions.*

If you’re trying to quit smoking and are interested in using the SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, talk with your doctor. They can review the benefits and risks of the medication with you and suggest other options, if needed.

* The SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets has a boxed warning for suicidal thoughts and actions. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. For more information, see “Side effect details” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets side effects” section below.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets both contain the active drug bupropion hydrochloride. So they can cause similar side effects that may be mild or serious. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking either of these medications. However, the lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of these medications, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

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 the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view each medication’s prescribing information, which can be found here and here.
† For information on this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Although rare, serious side effects from the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets 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:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
† The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets have a
boxed warning for suicidal thoughts and actions. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. For more information, see “Suicidal thoughts and actions” in “Side effect details” below.

Side effect details

Here are some details on certain side effects these medications may cause.

Suicidal thoughts and actions

The use of bupropion hydrochloride extended-release (ER) tablets may increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and actions in certain people. In fact, the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets have a boxed warning regarding this. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. The warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

The increased risk is for children, teenagers, and young adults treated with antidepressants for various mental health conditions. (Bupropion hydrochloride is a type of antidepressant drug.) This warning is based on the results of short-term clinical studies of the SR and XL forms of the drug.

No matter your age, your doctor will monitor you for symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions during your treatment with either medication. Tell your doctor right away if you:

  • think of harming yourself
  • have new or worse depression symptoms
  • have feelings of aggression or hostility
  • have strange thoughts or actions

Your loved ones should also watch for and report any severe or strange changes in your mood or behavior to your doctor.

If you have any concerns about suicidal thoughts and actions while using bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, talk with your doctor.

Weight loss

Weight loss may occur with the use of either form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets (SR or XL). But weight loss isn’t considered a common side effect of these medications.

Keep in mind that decreased appetite is a common side effect of the SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets. And eating less may lead to weight loss.

Losing weight may also be a symptom of depression. If weight loss is a symptom of your depression, talk with your doctor before using the SR or XL form of bupropion ER oral tablets.

You should also talk with your doctor if you’re currently using either drug and don’t feel hungry or lose too much weight. They may have you stop using the drug gradually and switch to a different antidepressant.

Seizures

Seizures may occur with use of either form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets (SR or XL).

It’s unclear how often seizures occur with these medications. But the risk is greater if you take higher doses. You’re even more likely to have seizures if you take bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets and have any of the following risk factors:

Tell your doctor if you have any of the seizure risk factors above before starting bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets.

To help prevent seizures with the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. They’ll gradually increase it as needed.

Seizure symptoms

While taking either of these medications, be sure to report any seizure symptoms to your doctor. Symptoms can include:

  • confusion
  • uncontrolled body movements or jerking
  • loss of consciousness
  • odd feelings or emotions
  • strange smells or tastes

If you have a seizure while using the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, your doctor will have you stop taking the drug. They’ll also work to treat your seizure symptoms and depression.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking either form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets (SR or XL). It’s unknown how often allergic reactions occurred in people using these medications.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis, is rare but possible. Some people have reported these reactions while taking the medications. However, the reactions didn’t occur during clinical studies. So it’s unclear whether the reactions were caused by the medications, or how often the reactions occurred.

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
  • extreme skin redness, blistering, or peeling

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction with these medications, 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.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets to treat certain conditions.

These medications may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets for major depressive disorder

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are FDA-approved to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.

MDD is a common type of depression. It causes symptoms that last most of the day for at least 2 weeks or more, such as:

  • extreme sadness
  • feeling hopeless or worthless
  • lack of interest in activities or relationships
  • difficulty sleeping
  • fatigue (lack of energy)

With MDD, these symptoms make it hard to function and do daily tasks. MDD is a serious condition that requires medical treatment, such as talk therapy or antidepressant medication.

Effectiveness for major depressive disorder

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are effective for treating MDD. This is based on multiple clinical studies of the drugs.

For treating depression in adults, guidelines from the American Psychological Association recommend certain kinds of therapy and newer antidepressants. These newer antidepressants include norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). Bupropion hydrochloride is a type of NDRI antidepressant.

Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets for seasonal affective disorder

The XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is FDA-approved to prevent episodes of depression in adults with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).*

SAD is a type of major depressive disorder (MDD). With SAD, people typically start to have depression symptoms in late fall or early winter when there’s less sunlight. Symptoms ease in spring or early summer. (For symptoms of depression, see “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets for major depressive disorder” above.)

Most people with SAD have depression symptoms every year. But it’s possible to have SAD and have years without symptoms.

SAD is treated with talk therapy, light therapy, and antidepressant medications.

* The SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets isn’t FDA-approved to help prevent SAD. But doctors may prescribe it off-label for this use. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA. To learn more, talk with your doctor.

Effectiveness for seasonal affective disorder

In three clinical studies, the XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets was effective for preventing episodes of depression in adults with SAD.

Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablet and children

It’s unknown whether the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are safe or effective in children. These medications are approved for treating only major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder in adults.

Short-term clinical studies looked at the SR and XL forms of the drug. Researchers found that children, teenagers, and young adults who took various antidepressants had an increased risk of suicidal actions or thoughts.*

* The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets have a boxed warning for suicidal thoughts and actions. This is the most serious warning from the FDA. For more information see “Suicidal actions and thoughts” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets side effects” section above.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. In fact, many classes of antidepressant drugs can treat major depressive disorder (MDD) or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Some examples are listed below.

Keep in mind that some of the drugs may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, talk with your doctor.* They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

* “ER” stands for extended release, and this means that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

Alternatives for major depressive disorder

Other antidepressants that may be used to treat MDD include:

Bupropion hydrobromide (Aplenzin) is another alternative to the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets. All three drugs are norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). And they have the same active drug: bupropion. To learn more, see “What’s the difference between bupropion hydrochloride and bupropion hydrobromide?” in the “Common questions about bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets” section above.

Alternatives for seasonal affective disorder

Because SAD is a form of MDD, the same antidepressants may be used to treat both conditions. Please see “Alternatives for major depressive disorder” above.

SAD also has non-drug treatment options, such as talk therapy or light therapy. With light therapy, you sit by a box that mimics natural sunlight. The bright light may affect brain chemicals that improve mood and sleep, and ease SAD symptoms.

While taking either form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets (SR or XL), it’s best to avoid or limit alcohol.* Drinking too much alcohol with these drugs may increase your risk for seizures.

The use of the SR or XL form after you’ve suddenly stopped drinking alcohol may also increase seizure risk.

Although rare, medications that contain bupropion hydrochloride† can increase alcohol’s negative effects. These effects include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and anxiety.

In addition, if you have depression, consuming alcohol may worsen your symptoms and affect your mental health.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor before using the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets.

* “ER” stands for extended release, and this means that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.
† Bupropion hydrochloride is the active drug in the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets.

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablet both contain the active drug, bupropion hydrochloride.* So they can both interact with similar medications. However, they don’t have known interactions with supplements or foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase the number of side effects or make them more severe.

* “ER” stands for extended release, and this means that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

Bupropion hydrochloride and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with medications that contain bupropion hydrochloride. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with these medications.

Before taking either medication, 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.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Drugs that affect bupropion hydrochloride

Certain drugs may affect how your body processes bupropion hydrochloride. This may increase your risk for side effects from bupropion hydrochloride or make it less effective at treating your condition.

Examples of drugs that may increase your risk for side effects with bupropion hydrochloride include:

  • antiplatelet drugs (medications used to prevent blood clots), such as:
    • ticlopidine (Ticlid)

Examples of drugs that may decrease the effectiveness of bupropion hydrochloride include:

  • certain antiretrovirals (medications used to treat HIV), such as:
    • ritonavir (Norvir)
    • lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
    • efavirenz (Sustiva)
  • certain anticonvulsants (medications used to treat seizures), such as:
    • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
    • phenobarbital (Luminal)
    • phenytoin (Dilantin)

Drugs affected by bupropion hydrochloride

Bupropion hydrochloride may affect how your body processes other drugs. This could increase your risk for side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

Other drugs may be less effective when taken with bupropion hydrochloride, such as tamoxifen (Soltamox).

Other drug interactions

Because bupropion hydrochloride may cause seizures, it should be used cautiously with drugs that increase your risk for seizures.* Examples of these drugs include:

  • other forms of bupropion, such as bupropion hydrobromide (Aplenzin) and other classes of antidepressants
  • theophylline (Theo-24, Theochron)
  • oral or injectable corticosteroids, such as prednisone (Rayos)

Bupropion hydrochloride increases the activity of dopamine (a type of brain chemical). So other drugs that affect dopamine can increase the risk of nervous system side effects,* such as levodopa (Inbrija) and amantadine (Gocovri). Side effects may include restlessness, tremor, dizziness, and agitation.

Taking bupropion hydrochloride can increase your blood pressure.* The use of bupropion hydrochloride with certain other drugs raises this risk further. These other drugs include:

You should not take bupropion hydrochloride and MOAI drugs within 14 days of each other. Tell your doctor if you’re taking or have recently taken an MOAI.

In some cases, you may need emergency treatment with linezolid or intravenous (IV) methylene blue. If you do, your doctor will typically stop your bupropion hydrochloride treatment and monitor you. You should be able to restart your bupropion hydrochloride treatment 24 hours after your last dose of either drug.

* For more details on seizures, nervous system side effects, and high blood pressure with bupropion hydrochloride, see the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablet side effects” section above.

Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets and herbs and supplements

No herbs or supplements have been specifically reported to interact with bupropion hydrochloride. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking either medication.

Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets and foods

No foods have been specifically reported to interact with bupropion hydrochloride. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with this medication, talk with your doctor.

Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets and lab tests

Bupropion hydrochloride may cause your urine to test positive for drugs called amphetamines even if you don’t take them. (Amphetamines can include illegal drugs and prescription medications used to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.)

Testing positive for a drug you don’t take is called a false positive. This may occur during or after bupropion hydrochloride treatment. Your doctor will order other tests to confirm whether amphetamines are actually in your urine.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

As with all medications, the cost of the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets can vary. To find current prices for either medication in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for either medication, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

Financial assistance may be available to help you pay for the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets.

Medicine Assistance Tool and NeedyMeds are two websites offering resources that may help decrease the price you pay for either medication. The websites also offer tools to help you find low-cost healthcare, as well as educational resources. To learn more, visit their sites.

Mail-order pharmacies

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of either medication, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

You should take bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets according to the instructions your doctor or other healthcare professional gives you.

When to take

For the SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, you’ll likely take it twice per day. You should take your first dose in the morning. Then you should take your second dose in the afternoon or evening. Be sure to take your second dose at least 8 hours after your first dose to lower the risk for seizures.* And you should not take more than two doses every 24 hours.

For the XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, you’ll likely take it once per day, usually in the morning.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or timer on your phone or downloading a reminder app. A kitchen timer can work, too.

* To learn more, see “Seizures” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets side effects” section above.

Taking bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets with food

You can take either the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets on a full or empty stomach. Food doesn’t affect how these medications work.

Can bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets be crushed, split, or chewed?

No, you should not crush, split, or chew the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets. If you do, the medication may be released too quickly in your body. This may cause side effects.*

Be sure to swallow the tablets whole with plenty of liquid, such as water.

If you have trouble swallowing the tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist right away. It’s important to stay on track with your depression treatment plan. You should not skip doses or change your drug regimen.

Note: Both the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets may smell strange. This is normal and not harmful. In addition, with both forms of the drug, you may see a shell of the tablet in your stool. This is also normal. Your body should have still absorbed the correct amount of the drug.

* For more about side effects, see the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablet side effects” section above.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

The SR form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is approved to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.*

The XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is approved in adults to treat MDD and help prevent episodes of depression in seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

MDD and SAD are types of depression. The exact cause of depression is unknown. But experts agree that the condition is partly caused by unbalanced activity of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which play a role in mood, behavior, and feelings of pleasure. Antidepressant drugs work by balancing these brain chemicals.

Both the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are antidepressants that contain the active drug bupropion hydrochloride. Bupropion hydrochloride increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which may correct an imbalance in the brain. However, it’s not known exactly how this occurs.

* Doctors may prescribe the SR form off-label for SAD. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, talk with your doctor.

How long does it take to work?

Once you’re taking a maintenance dose of the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, it may take several weeks until your MDD or SAD symptoms ease. A maintenance dose is the dose you take on a regular basis to keep a steady level of drug in your body.

If you don’t feel like your depression symptoms are easing, talk with your doctor.

It’s unknown whether the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are safe to take during pregnancy.*

Since bupropion hydrochloride† came onto the market, researchers have studied the SR and XL forms of the drug. The results haven’t shown birth defects, such as heart defects, during the first 3 months of pregnancy. But more information is needed to confirm whether these medications are safe to use while pregnant.

Animal studies of the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride during pregnancy showed conflicting results. Some results showed harm to animals’ offspring, but other results didn’t. Keep in mind that outcomes in animals don’t always predict effects in humans.

It’s important to note that mental health may be at risk when depression isn’t treated during pregnancy.

Talk with your doctor if you’re pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. They can explain the benefits and risks of using this drug while pregnant as well as the risks of untreated depression.

* “ER” stands for extended release, and this means that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.
† Bupropion hydrochloride is the active drug in the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets.

Pregnancy registry for antidepressants

If you decide to take the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets during pregnancy, talk with your doctor about joining the pregnancy exposure registry. This service tracks the health effects of taking antidepressant drugs during pregnancy for both those who are pregnant and their children. These details can help doctors and pregnant people make better choices about treating mental health conditions while pregnant.

To learn more, talk with your doctor or visit the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants.

It’s unknown whether the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are 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 either medication.

For more information about taking this drug during pregnancy, see the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets and pregnancy” section above.

* “ER” stands for extended release, and this means that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

It’s unknown whether the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are safe to take while breastfeeding.* In clinical studies of the SR and XL forms, bupropion hydrochloride† passed into breast milk. But it’s not known how this affects females‡ who took the drug or children who are breastfed.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They can explain the pros and cons of using either medication while breastfeeding as well as the risks of untreated depression.

* “ER” stands for extended release, and this means that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.
† Bupropion hydrochloride is the active drug in the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets.
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets come with several precautions.

FDA warning: Suicidal thoughts and actions

This drug has a boxed warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

The use of bupropion hydrochloride extended-release (ER) tablets may increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and actions in certain people. This includes children, teenagers, and young adults treated with antidepressants for various mental health conditions. (Bupropion hydrochloride is a type of antidepressant drug. And bupropion hydrochloride ER tablets include the SR and XL forms of the medication.)

No matter your age, your doctor will monitor you for symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions during your treatment. You and your loved ones should also watch for any changes in your mood or behavior.

For more information on this boxed warning, see “Side effect specifics” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablet side effects” section above.

Other precautions

Before taking either form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets (SR or XL), talk with your doctor about your health history. These medications may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Glaucoma. If the iris and cornea of your eyes are too close together, taking either form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets (SR or XL) may cause narrow-angle glaucoma. Before taking either drug, talk with your doctor about your eye health. If you have any form of glaucoma, they’ll typically monitor you during your treatment.
  • Seizures. You should not use either form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets (SR or XL) if you have a seizure disorder or have had seizures in the past. Ask your doctor which other antidepressants may be safer for you. Also, other factors may increase your risk for seizures while taking bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets. See “Seizures” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets side effects” section above for more information.
  • High blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets may make it even higher.Before using either medication, talk with your doctor about your heart and blood vessel health. Your doctor will typically monitor your blood pressure during your treatment.
  • Bipolar disorder. If you have bipolar disorder, taking either form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets (SR or XL) may cause episodes of mania or hypomania. Talk with your doctor if you have bipolar disorder. They may monitor you during your treatment or recommend that you switch to a different drug.
  • Eating disorders. You should not take the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets if you have or had an eating disorder. This includes anorexia nervosa and bulimia. If you take either drug and have an eating disorder, your risk for seizures may increase. To learn more, see “Seizures” in the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets side effects” section above.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets or any of their ingredients, you should not take any medications that contain bupropion hydrochloride. Ask your doctor about other medications that might be better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It’s unknown if the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is safe during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s unknown if the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets is safe while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets, see the “Bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets side effects” section above.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

Using more than the recommended dosage of the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets can lead to serious side effects, and in rare cases, death.

Do not use more of these medications than your doctor prescribes.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose for both drugs can include:

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 the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

The SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are types of antidepressants that contain the active drug bupropion hydrochloride.

There’s a possibility of withdrawal or misuse with these medications.

About withdrawal

While using any form of bupropion hydrochloride for treating depression, you should not suddenly stop taking the medication. Doing so may cause unpleasant or serious symptoms. This is called withdrawal. It happens because your body has become used to the effects of the drug. With withdrawal, you may experience:

If you and your doctor decide that you no longer need your medication, they’ll gradually lower your dosage until you’re no longer taking the drug. This limits the risk of withdrawal.

About misuse

Drug misuse refers to using a drug in a different way than how the doctor prescribed it. Misusing bupropion hydrochloride in any way may increase the risk of seizures and, in rare cases, death. The seizure risk with bupropion hydrochloride increases if you also misuse illegal or prescription drugs, such as stimulant drugs. This includes cocaine and amphetamine (Adderall).

If you have a history of drug misuse, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on whether bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets are right for you.

The “ER” in bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets stands for extended release, meaning that the drug is released slowly in the body. ER oral tablets include two forms of the drug. One form is sustained release (SR), which is generally taken twice daily. The other form is extended release (XL), and it’s taken once daily.

When you get the SR or XL form of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good to use can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store the SR and XL forms of bupropion hydrochloride ER oral tablets at room temperature from 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) in a tightly sealed container away from light. Avoid storing these medications in areas where they could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take your medication and have leftover drug, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

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 other 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.