Prescription Drug Information: Bupropion Hydrochloride (Page 5 of 7)


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Lifetime carcinogenicity studies were performed in rats and mice at bupropion doses up to 300 and 150 mg per kg per day, respectively. These doses are approximately 7 and 2 times the MRHD, respectively, on a mg per m 2 basis. In the rat study there was an increase in nodular proliferative lesions of the liver at doses of 100 to 300 mg per kg per day (approximately 2 to 7 times the MRHD on a mg per m 2 basis); lower doses were not tested. The question of whether or not such lesions may be precursors of neoplasms of the liver is currently unresolved. Similar liver lesions were not seen in the mouse study, and no increase in malignant tumors of the liver and other organs was seen in either study.

Bupropion produced a positive response (2 to 3 times control mutation rate) in 2 of 5 strains in the Ames bacterial mutagenicity assay. Bupropion produced an increase in chromosomal aberrations in 1 of 3 in vivo rat bone marrow cytogenetic studies.

A fertility study in rats at doses up to 300 mg per kg per day revealed no evidence of impaired fertility.


The efficacy of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion in the treatment of major depressive disorder was established in two 4-week, placebo-controlled trials in adult inpatients with MDD (Trials 1 and 2 in Table 6) and in one 6-week, placebo-controlled trial in adult outpatients with MDD (Trial 3 in Table 6). In the first trial, the dose range of bupropion was 300 mg to 600 mg per day administered in divided doses; 78% of subjects were treated with doses of 300 mg to 450 mg per day. This trial demonstrated the effectiveness of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) total score, the HDRS depressed mood item (Item 1), and the Clinical Global Impressions severity score (CGI-S). The second trial included 2 doses of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion (300 mg per day and 450 mg per day) and placebo. This trial demonstrated the effectiveness of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion, but only at the 450-mg-per-day dose. The efficacy results were significant for the HDRS total score and the CGI-S score, but not for HDRS Item 1. In the third trial, outpatients were treated with 300 mg per day of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion. This trial demonstrated the efficacy of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion as measured by the HDRS total score, the HDRS Item 1, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the CGI-S score, and the CGI-Improvement Scale (CGI-I) score.

Table 6. Efficacy of Immediate-Release Bupropion for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder
Difference (drug minus placebo) in least-squares estimates with respect to the primary efficacy parameter. For Trial 1, it refers to the mean score at the endpoint visit; for Trials 2 and 3, it refers to the mean change from baseline to the endpoint visit.
Doses that are demonstrated to be statistically significantly superior to placebo.



Treatment Group

Primary Efficacy Measure: HDRS

Mean Baseline Score (SD)

LS Mean Score at Endpoint Visit (SE)

Placebo-subtracted Difference *

(95% CI)

Trial 1

Immediate-Release Bupropion

300-600 mg/day

(n = 48)

28.5 (5.1)

14.9 (1.3)

-4.7 (-8.8, -0.6)

Placebo (n = 27)

29.3 (7.0)

19.6 (1.6)

Mean Baseline Score (SD)

LS Mean Change from Baseline (SE)

Placebo-subtracted Difference *

(95% CI)

Trial 2

Immediate-Release Bupropion 300 mg/day

(n = 36)

32.4 (5.9)

-15.5 (1.7)


Immediate-Release Bupropion 450 mg/day

(n = 34)

34.8 (4.6)

-17.4 (1.7)

-5.9 (-10.5, -1.4)

Placebo (n = 39)

32.9 (5.4)

-11.5 (1.6)

Trial 3

Immediate-Release Bupropion 300 mg/day

(n = 110)

26.5 (4.3)

-12.0 (NA)

-3.9 (-5.7, -1.0)

Placebo (n = 106)

27.0 (3.5)

-8.7 (NA)

n: sample size; SD: standard deviation; SE: standard error; LS Mean: least-squares mean; CI: unadjusted confidence interval included for doses that were demonstrated to be effective; NA: not available.

Although there are not as yet independent trials demonstrating the antidepressant effectiveness of the sustained-release formulation of bupropion, trials have demonstrated the bioequivalence of the immediate-release and sustained-release forms of bupropion under steady-state conditions, i.e., bupropion sustained-release 150 mg twice daily was shown to be bioequivalent to 100 mg 3 times daily of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion, with regard to both rate and extent of absorption, for parent drug and metabolites.

In a longer-term trial, outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder, recurrent type, who had responded during an 8-week open trial on bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) (150 mg twice daily) were randomized to continuation of their same dose of bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) or placebo for up to 44 weeks of observation for relapse. Response during the open phase was defined as CGI Improvement score of 1 (very much improved) or 2 (much improved) for each of the final 3 weeks. Relapse during the double-blind phase was defined as the investigator’s judgment that drug treatment was needed for worsening depressive symptoms. Patients receiving continued treatment with bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) experienced significantly lower relapse rates over the subsequent 44 weeks compared with those receiving placebo.


Bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets, USP (SR), for oral administration, are available as

100 mg

Aquamarine, round, biconvex, film-coated tablets, debossed “ E ” over “410” on one side and plain on the other side and supplied as:

NDC 0185-0410-60 bottles of 60

NDC 0185-0410-01 bottles of 100

NDC 0185-0410-52 bottles of 250

NDC 0185-0410-05 bottles of 500

150 mg

Plum, round, biconvex, film-coated tablets, debossed “ E ” over “415” on one side and plain on the other side and supplied as:

NDC 0185-0415-60 bottles of 60

NDC 0185-0415-01 bottles of 100

NDC 0185-0415-52 bottles of 250

NDC 0185-0415-05 bottles of 500

200 mg

Light pink, round, biconvex, film-coated tablets, debossed “ E ” on one side and debossed “1111” on the other side and supplied as:

NDC 0185-1111-60 bottles of 60

NDC 0185-1111-01 bottles of 100

NDC 0185-1111-52 bottles of 250

NDC 0185-1111-05 bottles of 500

NDC 0185-1111-10 bottles of 1000

Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

Dispense contents in a tight, light-resistant container as defined in the USP with a child-resistant closure, as required.

Protect from light and moisture. Keep tightly closed



Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).

Inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) and counsel them in its appropriate use.

A patient Medication Guide about “Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions,” “Quitting Smoking, Quit-Smoking Medications, Changes in Thinking and Behavior, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions,” and “What Other Important Information Should I Know About Bupropion Hydrochloride Extended-release Tablets (SR)?” is available for bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR). Instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.

Advise patients regarding the following issues and to alert their prescriber if these occur while taking bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR).

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Instruct patients, their families, and/or their caregivers to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Advise families and caregivers of patients to observe for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient’s prescriber or healthcare professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient’s presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.

Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events and Suicide Risk in Smoking Cessation Treatment

Although bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) are not indicated for smoking cessation treatment, it contains the same active ingredient as ZYBAN which is approved for this use. Inform patients that some patients have experienced changes in mood (including depression and mania), psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, homicidal ideation, aggression, hostility, agitation, anxiety, and panic, as well as suicidal ideation and suicide when attempting to quit smoking while taking bupropion. Instruct patients to discontinue bupropion and contact a healthcare professional if they experience such symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.2) , Adverse Reactions ( 6.2) ].

Severe Allergic Reactions

Educate patients on the symptoms of hypersensitivity and to discontinue bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) if they have a severe allergic reaction.


Instruct patients to discontinue and not restart bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) if they experience a seizure while on treatment. Advise patients that the excessive use or abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, antiepileptic drugs, or sedatives/hypnotics can increase the risk of seizure. Advise patients to minimize or avoid use of alcohol.

As the dose is increased during initial titration to doses above 150 mg per day, instruct patients to take bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) in 2 divided doses, preferably with at least 8 hours between successive doses, to minimize the risk of seizures.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Patients should be advised that taking bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) can cause mild pupillary dilation, which in susceptible individuals, can lead to an episode of angle-closure glaucoma. Pre-existing glaucoma is almost always open-angle glaucoma because angle-closure glaucoma, when diagnosed, can be treated definitively with iridectomy. Open-angle glaucoma is not a risk factor for angle-closure glaucoma. Patients may wish to be examined to determine whether they are susceptible to angle closure, and have a prophylactic procedure (e.g., iridectomy), if they are susceptible [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7) ].

Bupropion-Containing Products

Educate patients that bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) contain the same active ingredient (bupropion hydrochloride) found in ZYBAN, which is used as an aid to smoking cessation treatment, and that bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) should not be used in combination with ZYBAN or any other medications that contain bupropion (such as WELLBUTRIN ® , the immediate-release formulation and WELLBUTRIN XL ® or FORFIVO XL ® , the extended-release formulations, and APLENZIN ® , the extended-release formulation of bupropion hydrobromide). In addition, there are a number of generic bupropion HCl products for the immediate-, sustained-, and extended-release formulations.

Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment

Advise patients that any CNS-active drug like bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) may impair their ability to perform tasks requiring judgment or motor and cognitive skills. Advise patients that until they are reasonably certain that bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) does not adversely affect their performance, they should refrain from driving an automobile or operating complex, hazardous machinery. Bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) may lead to decreased alcohol tolerance.

Concomitant Medications

Counsel patients to notify their healthcare provider if they are taking or plan to take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs because bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) sustained-release tablets and other drugs may affect each others’ metabolisms.


Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy.

Precautions for Nursing Mothers

Advise patients that bupropion hydrochloride is present in human milk in small amounts.

Storage Information

Instruct patients to store bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) at room temperature, between 68° to 77°F (20° to 25°C) and keep the tablets dry and out of the light.

Administration Information

Instruct patients to swallow bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) whole so that the release rate is not altered. Do not chew, divide, or crush tablets; they are designed to slowly release drug in the body. When patients take more than 150 mg per day, instruct them to take bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) in 2 doses at least 8 hours apart, to minimize the risk of seizures. Instruct patients if they miss a dose, not to take an extra tablet to make up for the missed dose and to take the next tablet at the regular time because of the dose-related risk of seizure. Instruct patients that bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) may have an odor. Bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (SR) can be taken with or without food. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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