Wellbutrin SR (Bupropion SR) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Wellbutrin SR
Wellbutrin SR (generic name Bupropion) is prescribed to treat different conditions such as depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), and mental/mood disorders. The medication is a sustained release drug. The advantage of such a medicine is that you need to take the drug less frequently in comparison to instant release drugs. The drug works to restore the balance of neurotransmitters (natural chemicals) in the brain. Wellbutrin SR can prove effective in improving your mood and contributing to a general feeling of well-being.
Side Effects for Wellbutrin SR
Some people may experience common side effects after taking Wellbutrin SR such as dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, weight loss, headaches, sore throat, infections, constipation, or abdominal pain after taking the drug. Severe side effects are very rare and include chest pain, ringing in the ears, mental/mood changes (such as nervousness, hallucinations, anxiety, and restlessness) or a fast heartbeat. You should immediately contact your doctor if you experience any severe side effects after taking Wellbutrin SR. Exercise caution and buy Wellbutrin SR only if it is recommended by your doctor. Women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before taking Wellbutrin SR.
Wellbutrin SR may not be the right medication for you if you have specific medical conditions. You should consult your doctor if you have any allergies (to dyes, preservatives, and foods), an eating disorder, brain tumor, diabetes, heart disease, liver problems, and kidney disease. You should also share your medical history with your doctor, especially if you have/have had bipolar disorder, heart attacks, brain injury, or head trauma. Wellbutrin SR may increase the risk of suicidal behavior or thoughts and so, it is necessary that you inform your doctor if you have tried committing suicide or have had suicidal thoughts in the past. The medication may also increase the risk of seizures and as a result, people with bulimia, brain injury, brain trauma, severe liver cirrhosis, or seizure disorders should not take Wellbutrin SR.
Wellbutrin SR Dosage
Wellbutrin SR dosage differs from individual to individual depending on several factors such as the patient’s age, medical condition, and any other medications that the patient may be taking. Wellbutrin SR is available in the form of tablets. You should take the dosage only as recommended by your doctor. You can take Wellbutrin SR with food or without food. If you experience a stomach upset after taking the dose without food, then you should take it with food to reduce or prevent stomach irritation. You should take the dose at the same time every day and continue the treatment even if you feel better.
Wellbutrin SR may interact with other drugs such as some diabetes medications, specific X-ray dyes, Amantadine, nicotine products, stimulants, Warfarin, Levodopa, and some sedatives. You should not take MAO inhibitors during Wellbutrin SR treatment and must also avoid taking it two weeks before and after the treatment. To lower the risk of side effects, you should provide a list of all medicines you take to your doctor.
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What is a "Generic" medication/drug?
Generic drugs are medications that have comparable medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price. Nearly 1 in 3 drugs dispensed are "generic". They undergo testing to ensure that they are similar to their "brand" counterparts in:
- Active Ingredient (e.g. "Pravastatin" is the active ingredient in brand name Pravachol)
- Dosage (e.g. 10 mg of the active ingredient)
- Safety (e.g. same or similar side effects, drug interactions)
- Performance (e.g. 10 mg of a "generic" can be substituted for 10 mg of the "brand" and have the same therapeutic result)
- Intended use (e.g. both "generic" and "brand" would be prescribed for the same conditions)
What this means is that "generic" medications can be used as a substitute of their brand equivalents with the comparable therapeutic results. There are a few exceptions (examples are outlined at the end of this page) and as always you should consult your physician before switching from a brand name medications to a generic or vice versa.
What differences are there between generic and brand?
While generics and brand equivalent drugs contain the same active ingredients, they may be different in the following ways:
- Appearance (e.g. the scoring or markings)
The color, shape and size of the medication come from the fillers that are added to the active ingredients to make the drug. These fillers that are added to the drug have no medical use and do not to change the effectiveness of the final product. A generic drug must contain comparable active ingredients and must have a comparable strength and dosage as the original brand name equivalent. Generic drugs can be more cost effective than purchasing the brand name.
Why do generics cost less than the brand name equivalents?
When a new drug is "invented", the company that discovered it has a patent on it that gives them the exclusive production rights for this medication. Once the patent expires in a country, other companies can bring the product to market under their own name. This patent prevents other companies from copying the drug during that time so they can earn back their Research and Development costs through being the exclusive supplier of the product. After the patent expires however, other companies can develop a "generic" version of the product. These versions generally are offered at much lower prices because the companies do not have the same development costs as the original company who developed the medication.
The main thing to realize here though is that the two products are therapeutically equivalent. They may look different, and be called something different.
How are Generic drugs tested to ensure quality and efficacy?
Generally speaking, the two most generally accepted methods to prove the safety of a generic version of a drug are to either repeat most of the chemistry, animal and human studies originally done, or to show that the drug performs comparably with the original brand name drug. This second option is called a "comparative bioavailability" study. During this type of study, volunteers are given the original drug, and then separately later the generic drug. The rates at which the drug is delivered to the patient (into their blood stream or otherwise absorbed) are measured to ensure they are the same. Because the same active ingredient is used the major concern is just that it delivers the common chemical(s) at the same rate so that they have the same effect. Please note that the methods that the manufacturers use may vary from country to country.