Bupropion hydrochloride

(Wellbutrin XL®)

Bupropion hydrochloride

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Drug updated on 4/17/2024

Dosage FormTablet (oral: 150 mg, 300 mg)
Drug ClassAminoketone antidepressants
Ongoing and
Completed Studies
ClinicalTrials.gov

Indication

  • Indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).
  • Indicated for the prevention of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Summary
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  • Bupropion hydrochloride (Wellbutrin XL) is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder and the prevention of seasonal affective disorder. It has also been evaluated for its use in methamphetamine use disorder and amphetamine-type stimulant use disorder, with varying outcomes.
  • Five systematic reviews/meta-analyses provided insights on this drug's efficacy and safety profile across different applications.
  • The combination of bupropion with cognitive behavioral therapy did not demonstrate a significant difference in reducing the risk of relapse compared to placebo in individuals with methamphetamine use disorder. However, it showed a modest reduction in amphetamine-type stimulant usage and craving, with particularly more pronounced effects observed among male-only samples during longer trial durations.
  • In treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), bupropion was effective at reducing symptoms by 50% or more compared to placebo. However, no single antidepressant, including bupropion, was found to be superior to others, indicating a need for individualized treatment approaches based on patient preferences and characteristics.
  • For Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), there was insufficient direct evidence from new randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing second-generation antidepressants like bupropion directly against placebos or other treatments specifically designed for SAD. This limitation restricts conclusions regarding its effectiveness in this area.
  • Regarding cardiovascular safety, a meta-analysis reported no association between the use of Bupropion alone or combined with naltrexone, either as a weight loss aid or smoking cessation tool, suggesting a potentially favorable cardiovascular safety profile.