In the US, around 7% of the adult population is estimated to suffer from depression annually, accounting for around 17 million adults. Prevalence statistics is higher among women than men and among age groups, adults between the ages of 18 to 25 were found to have more episodes. Different treatment regimens are in place to help patients overcome/manage the condition and the symptoms. This includes Wellbutrin XL tablets belonging to the category of NDRI drugs (Bupropion oral tablets). By virtue of the mechanism of action of medication for major depressive disorder, certain side effects are likely to be experienced. Here is a look at common Wellbutrin XL side effects, and important information to help mitigate the undesirable effects.
What is termed as depression?
Before we look at Wellbutrin XL side effects it is necessary to understand a little more about depression. Individuals who experience a depressed mood with a lack of interest in routine activities that give happiness are considered as being in a depressed state of mind. Symptoms that are typically associated with depression include difficulty in falling asleep, lesser energy levels, lack of concentration, lesser self-worth and changed appetite. Depression is also caused as a result of substance abuse and other medication.
Mechanism of action and Wellbutrin XL side effects
To gain better knowledge of Wellbutrin XL side effects it is important to know more about the mechanism of action of the drug. Typically used for treating major depressive disorder, and seasonal affective disorder, it is also used for helping individuals quit smoking. Belonging to the category of drugs known as norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), the medication works by weakening the enzymes responsible for the absorption of neurotransmitters. As a consequence of this, the neurotransmitters have a prolonged duration of action, with outcomes that help to manage the condition. Unlike typical antidepressant medication, such as MAO inhibitors, Welbutrin XL has a different mechanism of action, and consequently, this medication has lesser side effects.
Unique nature of medication – lesser Wellbutrin XL side effects
The unique nature of the medication is its lesser side effects, especially in sexual functions. Most of the other antidepressant medications result in a loss of desire, and lesser libido. The inability to perform is a major cause of concern among individuals on antidepressant medication. However, Wellbutrin XL side effects are unique in that there is no impact on sexual desire. This is precisely why the drug is often prescribed alongside other anti-depressant medication to lessen the side effects of other medication. For instance, the side effects of other medication impacts sexual function, and specialists often prescribe Wellbutrin XL to counter the effects and help patients lead a normal routine.
Contraindications of Wellbutrin XL
As we look at Wellbutrin XL side effects it is necessary to check out the contraindications. Patients having pre-existing eating disorders are advised to not take the medication as it could result in aggravating the condition. Similarly, patients with conditions such as single closure glaucoma, and seizures are also advised to not take the medication. Patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder may be exposed to greater risk of exhibiting manic depression when taking Wellbutrin. The drug is not intended to be used for treating bipolar depression and it is extremely important to avoid the drug. Individuals with renal problems or problems in the liver are usually prescribed reduced dosages of Wellbutrin to lessen the effects of the drug. The medication is known to have an impact on individuals with pre-existing conditions. The drug is not recommended for use by women nursing children or by children as it has undesirable effects on children.
Commonly reported Wellbutrin XL side effects
Now that the background information about the drug has been explained in detail, it is time to look at commonly reported Wellbutrin XL side effects. This includes – pain in the abdomen, abnormal gain in weight or sudden loss of weight, feeling of dryness in the mouth, difficulty in falling asleep, abnormal increase in number of visits to the washroom for urinating, sore throat, pain in the head, frequent bouts of constipation, pain in the muscles, a ringing sensation in the ears, and a lack of interest in sexual activities. Individuals are also likely to experience blurred vision and a difference in taste sensation. Pain in the joints and rashes on the skin are also possible side effects, in addition to dizziness and nausea.
While the above Wellbutrin XL side effects are not serious in nature, it is important to seek medical intervention if certain side effects are experienced. For instance, individuals who experience difficulty in concentration need to seek medical attention. Similarly, individuals experiencing hallucinations or having seizures/convulsions are also advised to seek medical attention. Side effects that warrant medical attention include an abnormal increase in heartbeats, and swollen glands, apart from fever. Additionally, there is also the possibility of individuals experiencing abnormal thoughts and behavior that could be irrational or illogical. Swelling in the throat, face and a burning sensation in the eyes are also indications of side effects that need medical intervention.
Ideal dosage of the drug to avoid Wellbutrin XL side effects
Ideally, Wellbutron XL is prescribed to be taken once a day. The typical dosage is 150mg/day and in some cases the dosage may be increased gradually to touch 300 mg/day. Individuals on medications for blood pressure, or antihistamines need to intimate the same to the treating specialist to avoid drug interactions. Similarly, stimulants, insulin and medications for treating ADHD are also known to interact with the drug. The drug comes with a standard FDA black box warning,. This effectively means that the medication belongs to the category of drugs with the possibility of serious side effects. Patients or caretakers are advised to report abnormal conduct immediately to the treating specialists to help in the monitoring and mitigating of side effects. As the drug is known to cause an increase in blood pressure, it is also essential to monitor blood pressure levels at frequent intervals to prevent any spike in blood pressure levels.