IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

11 May 2022
Medically reviewed by
Freny Menezes
Pharm. D
wellbutrin-sr-vs-wellbutrin-xl
Table of Contents

World Health Organization data states that 3.8 percent of the world's population suffers from depression and other serious mental issues. People are taking more effective steps to get better. Medications are becoming more effective in treating conditions. The evolution of scientific research has proved revolutionary methods to help people.

Wellbutrin is the product of such research. It is a medication used to treat depression, smoking habits, etc. As we all know, medicines come in different types, and such a thing is also about Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin is not available over the counter in the United States. Buy Wellbutrin online from a certified online pharmacy.  The Wellbutrin Sr and Wellbutrin XL create a state of puzzled thoughts among the people. 

Wellbutrin also comes in "SR" and "XL" forms, which stand for sustained release and extended release, in addition to its original formulation. Let's discuss the differences between these two Wellbutrin dosage forms and the conditions they are used for.

What is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin, or Bupropion, is an antidepressant drug that helps people quit smoking. The FDA has approved Bupropion since 1985. The drug has FDA approval for treating adult depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and smoking cessation.
 
Orally, Bupropion is given as a salt of the hydrochloride. There are two types of bupropion tablets: regular, sustained, and extended-release. Bupropion can only be administered orally.

Indications of Wellbutrin

  • FDA-approved Indications
  • Adult depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder, and 
  • Smoking cessation.
  • Off-label Indications
  • Anti-depressant-induced sexual dysfunction
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 
  • Depression associated with bipolar disorder and obesity.
  • Bupropion is employed off-label for ADHD in children.

How Does Wellbutrin Work?

The exact mechanism of Wellbutrin is not fully understood. Bupropion weakly inhibits norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake and does not seem to affect monoamines. The effects on dopamine and norepinephrine seem to be what cause its clinical symptoms.

According to reports, norepinephrine uptake is less potent, whereas dopamine reuptake inhibition is very significant. Additionally, Bupropion has a minor effect on serotonin and nicotinic receptors.

Which Is Better Wellbutrin SR Or Wellbutrin XL?

The difference lies in the name and the release duration of medicine. For Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL, the word SR denotes sustained release, and XL is called extended-release. Here we got a small yet detailed glimpse of treatment.

The sustained-release tablet is for a short effect as per the condition, and vice versa for the extended-release tablets. A significant point in this is the active ingredients in these two medications are the same. It is called Bupropion in generic terms.

The XL extended-release tablets slowly release themselves as compared with Wellbutrin sustained-release tablets.

Both Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL are effective at reducing depressive symptoms. The once-daily dose of Wellbutrin XL may make it preferable. It might also be more effective at treating depression brought on by seasonal changes (seasonal affective disorder).

What Is the Half-Life Of Wellbutrin SR and Welbutrin XL

The half-life of Wellbutrin is 24 hours togetherly. It means the half-life of sustained-release tablets is 12 hours due to their mechanism. Thus, we can say that Sustained-release tablets work faster than extended-release tablets. So how much time does it take to eliminate from the system?

No. The medications Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL are different. The extended-release version of Bupropion that lasts longer in the body is called Wellbutrin XL. They differ in terms of dosage and approved uses.
A possible side effect of taking Wellbutrin is memory loss. It might not be as prevalent as other side effects like headache, dry mouth, and dizziness.
Both Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL have the potential to result in weight gain or weight loss. Weight loss is more common.
When using Wellbutrin, avoid alcohol and illicit drugs because they may decrease the drug's therapeutic effects and raise the risk of seizures. Consult your healthcare physician for assistance if you want to stop using drugs or alcohol but are dependent on them. If you stop taking these drugs suddenly, seizures may occur.

How Long Does Wellbutrin SR Vs Wellbutrin XL stay in the body?

You already know the half-life of Wellbutrin, so how much time does it take for complete elimination from the body? Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL can stay in the system for about 4-5 days. These numbers also can differ according to your prescribed dosing system.

The main difference in the complete elimination of Wellbutrin Sr And Wellbutrin XL depends on release. An XL dose can stay longer than an SR dose.

How Wellbutrin SR Vs Wellbutrin XL Works?

The mechanism of action is the same for this medicine as they belong to the same drug class. They work with the hormones like morphine and dopamine and make neurotransmitters to drop depression levels. Let's know it in detail.

Wellbutrin Sustained-Release Tablet:

SR Tablets decrease the time of their release to increase the long-lasting effect. It delays the absorption time. There is also a covering of substances that helps to metabolize the system slowly.

Wellbutrin Extended Release Tablet:

Extended-release tablets make the release duration even slower than sustained-release tablets. Hence the half-life also differs, and it takes more time to eliminate from the system. Physicians prescribe extended-release tablets according to the severity of depression.   

Will Wellbutrin SR And Wellbutrin XL Affect Weight?

Antidepressants are closely associated with weight gain and weight loss. However, it is strictly not used for this purpose. Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL can simultaneously cause weight gain and weight loss, depending on the person.

It works with morphine and dopamine, which are related to appetite and eating behavior.
The FDA has not approved this medicine for weight. It is better to use it for the desired purpose.

Can Wellbutrin Cause Sexual Problems?

There are issues found in people regarding their sexual activities. However, they are not firm as pillars. It is incorrect to claim that these individuals already had health issues or that the drugs led to interactions.

Issues like:

  • Painful Erection
  • Intercourse pain
  • Low sex drive
  • Premature Ejaculation etc. 

Dosage Of Wellbutrin SR vs Wellbutrin XL?

Wellbutrin SR

For Adults

  • Take 150 mg tablets once a day and do not exceed 200 mg.

For Children

  • Health experts' advice is mandatory.

Wellbutrin XL

For Adults

  • 150 mg once a day *4 can increase to 450 mg if tolerated by the body. 
  • Instead, 300mg is the strength of the average max dose.

For Children 

  • Contact your doctor (Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A)

Side Effects Of Wellbutrin SR And Wellbutrin XL

Fast Heartbeat Constipation
Agitation Runny Nose
Weight Loss Nausea

FDA Black Boxed warnings

FDA has issued warnings regarding this medicine. Due to the usage by teenagers and adults in depression and recreation. Suicidal thoughts and negative thinking can arise. Hence there are black-boxed warnings.

Interactions Of Wellbutrin SR And Wellbutrin XL

Everyday interactions are because the medicines have similar generic versions and the same active ingredient.

  • Concomitant use of MAO inhibitors with Wellbutrin could result in an adverse (potentially deadly) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors for two weeks before and following treatment with this drug.
  • WELLBUTRIN use with medications that reduce the threshold for seizures, such as antipsychotics, other antidepressants, theophylline, systemic steroids, etc., should only be done under strict caution.
  • Levodopa and amantadine increase dopamine levels in the brain, similarly to Bupropion. Intoxication of the neurological system can result from an excess of dopamine.

The other drugs that interact with Wellbutrin include

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Warfarin
  • Tizanidine
  • Rizatriptan
  • Zopiclone
  • Acetaminophen
  • Almotriptan 

Precautions you should follow before taking Wellbutrin

  • Follow your doctor's instructions when taking WELLBUTRIN as directed.
  • Avoid chewing, cutting, or crushing WELLBUTRIN tablets.
  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical conditions before using this medication, especially if you have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney difficulties, liver illness, a history of drug or alcohol misuse, or seizures.
  • Before you can do it safely, avoid operating machinery, driving, or doing anything else that requires alertness.
  • Abstain from alcohol while taking Wellbutrin.
  • Do not take an additional pill to make up for a missed dose if you miss one. 
  • Alcohol and Bupropion may have an impact on your brain. It may increase the likelihood of having suicidal thoughts or actions. Additionally, it could make you feel lightheaded and interfere with your ability to focus.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using this medicine during pregnancy with your doctor as soon as you become pregnant or plan to become pregnant,
  • This medication enters breast milk and could cause adverse effects on a nursing infant. Before breastfeeding, speak with your doctor.
  • Seek emergency medical care if you overdose or take too much Wellbutrin.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Two medicines can be differentiated but not competed. Wellbutrin is a dual reuptake inhibitor for norepinephrine and dopamine (NDRI). It has a negligible impact on serotonin reuptake. 

We can conclude that Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that works on depression and seasonal affective disorder. Treatments are distinguished in their type, i.e., sustained-release and extended-release. The answer lies in your condition, the kind of medication prescribed, and how well the medicine works for you. 

Healthcare practitioners are often aware of the possibility of prescription misuse and abuse, emphasizing the significance of getting a complete patient history before developing a diagnosis, giving proper treatment, and prescribing medications.

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