Bupropion HCL

Bupropion HCL is a type of medicine called an antidepressant. This is used for the treatment of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This medication treats the illness by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain. This can improve your mood and feelings of well-being. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. 

This medication works by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. This shows an action that results in more dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine to transmit messages to other nerves. 

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think, and behaves. This may also lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Although depressive illness may occur only once during your life people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration
  • Feelings of tearfulness, sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Tiredness and lack of energy even in small tasks 
  • Slowed thinking, making a decision, and concentrating
  • Agitation, anxiety, or restlessness 
  • Unexplained physical problems such as back pain or headaches 

For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities (work, school, social activities, or relationships with others). Some people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

SAD is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons. This begins at about the same time every year. If you’re like most people with this condition, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer. 

In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Less commonly, people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start mild and become more severe as the season progresses. Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Having low energy
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty

Bupropion HCL can also be used in helping smokers to give up smoking. This is suitable for use in smokers aged 18 years and over. It is known that Bupropion HCL increases the levels of two neurotransmitters called dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain. These neurotransmitters are known to be involved in modulating behavior and mood. The exact effect of increasing their levels is not yet clear but it does appear to help decrease your desire to smoke. It will also help you enhance your ability to not give in to cravings. 

How to use Bupropion HCL?

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. This is usually taken once a day in the morning. If you have a stomach upset, you may take this medication with or after a meal or snack. Taking this late in the day may cause trouble sleeping. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. 

Swallow the medicine as a whole. Do not chew or crush the medicine. Doing so can release the entire drug at once which increases the risk of side effects. The dosage is based on your condition, age, liver function, and response to the treatment. To lessen your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and slowly increase it. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than it is prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster and your risk of side effects will increase. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. It may take 4 weeks or longer before you get the full benefit of this drug. Let your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. 

What are the side effects of Bupropion HCL?

Common side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Agitation
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation 
  • Stomach pain
  • Insomnia
  • Tremor
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat 
  • Increase sweating
  • Itching or skin rash
  • Increased urination 

Tell your doctor if you have unlikely but serious side effects:

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat 
  • Muscle aches
  • Severe headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Unusual weight loss or gain
  • Uncontrolled movements
  • Mental/mood changes (memory loss, confusion, or anxiety)


  • You should not use this medicine within 14 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAO inhibitor. 
  • Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. 
  • This drug may cause seizures especially in people with certain medical conditions or when using certain drugs. Let your doctor know all about your medical condition and the drugs you use. 
  • This is not recommended for use if you are allergic or if you ever had an eating disorder, seizure, or suddenly has stopped using alcohol. 
  • Do not take this medicine to treat more than one condition at a time. If you take this for depression, do not also take this medicine to quit smoking. 
  • To make sure that this prescription is safe for you, let your doctor know if you ever had a head injury, diabetes, heart disease, kidney or liver disease. 
  • Ask your doctor about taking this medicine if you are pregnant. Inform your doctor right away if you get pregnant while having this treatment. Do not start or stop taking Bupropion HCL without the consent of your doctor.