What Are the Different Bupropion Interactions?

L. Whitaker

Bupropion interactions can occur with a large number of other drugs, including medications for diabetes, depression, and seizures as well as certain sedatives, beta blockers, alcohol and some types of nicotine products used by people who want to stop smoking. It is also possible for bupropion interactions to happen in combination with some kinds of stimulant, such as caffeine, as well as certain types of dyes, such as those used during X-ray procedures. Bupropion interactions can range from moderate to serious. Some medications might increase the side effects of this medication, or vice versa, while other drugs can have a potentially fatal effect. As with any medication, experts recommend that individuals inform their healthcare professionals about any drugs, supplements, and other substances that they are using before taking bupropion.

Pharmacists can review a patient’s medication history to determine if potential drug interactions should be addressed.
Pharmacists can review a patient’s medication history to determine if potential drug interactions should be addressed.

The category of antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors are known to cause the most serious bupropion interactions, which in some cases can be fatal. Any individual who uses an MAO inhibitor drug must avoid overlapping its use with bupropion. It is recommended that two weeks should elapse between the use of bupropion and any MAO inhibitor. This category of antidepressants includes procarbazine, linezolid, methylene blue, rasagiline, moclobemide, and phenelzine.

Other types of antidepressants can also be affected by bupropion interactions. Paroxetine, fluoxetine, sertraline, and desipramine are examples of antidepressant medications that can leave the body too quickly when taken in conjunction with bupropion. This heightened removal effect can also occur with certain other types of psychiatric medications, such as citalopram and haloperidol. Beta blockers and anti-arrhythmic medicines can also be affected in this way. Some drugs can interfere with the mechanism by which bupropion works, such as antiplatelet medications, HIV medicines, and anti-seizure prescriptions.

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Potential bupropion interactions are also possible with other varieties of prescription medication. Dangerous interactions can occur between bupropion and some types of chemotherapy drugs, including cytoxan and doxorubicin. Avoid taking bupriopion with any drug that could increase the individual's risk of having seizures, such as steroid medicines, tricyclic antidepressant drugs, and anti-psychotics. Experts encourage individuals to consult with their physician or pharmacist for more information.

Bupropion hydrochloride is also known by the trade names Wellbutrin&reg:, Wellbutrin XL&reg:, Wellbutrin SR&reg:, Aplenzin&reg:, or Zyban&reg:. It is used in the treatment of depression as well as to aid in smoking cessation. In some cases, this drug can be prescribed for the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

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