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What does it do?

Bupropion is used to help you stop smoking, and sometimes for other conditions.

How should you take it?

Take bupropion regularly as directed with a glass of water. Swallow the tablets whole.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with bupropion including:

  • nicotine patches (e.g. Habitrol®)
  • pain relief medicines containing codeine (e.g. Panadeine®)
  • some antihistamines (may be in anti-allergy, anti-nausea and cough/cold medicines)
  • cold and flu medicines containing dextromethorphan (e.g. Robitussin Dry Cough Forte®)
  • anti-sickness medicines (e.g. Sea-legs®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs (e.g. ecstasy).

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Suicidal thoughts

Seizures

Fast or irregular heartbeat

Muscle twitching or shaking you can’t control, confusion, heavy sweating, fever

Tell your doctor immediately

Anxiety, agitation

Tell your doctor

Headache, dizziness, forgetfulness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, flushing, trouble sleeping, strange dreams

Joint or muscle aches or pains, weakness

Dry mouth, changes in taste, change of appetite or weight, nausea, constipation, stomach upset

Changes in periods

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney, heart or liver problems, or bipolar disorder.
  • Bupropion may increase the possibility of seizures. The possibility is higher if you have certain health problems (e.g. epilepsy, alcohol abuse) or if you take other medicines that can also cause seizures. Talk to your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Bupropion may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.
  • It may take a few weeks for bupropion to start working.
  • Feelings of anxiety in the first few weeks of therapy are common, but should get better. Discuss with your doctor.
  • Do not stop taking bupropion without talking to your doctor first.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. December 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed