Index > Factsheets > Bupropion


SummaryA frequently prescribed atypical antidepressant. Occasionally prescribed as an aid to smoking cessation. May lower seizure threshold in predisposed individuals. Poorly understood mechanism of action, probably an NDRI. Avoid combination with other drugs.
Onset15-90 minutes.
DurationParent: 11-21 hours | Metabolites: 20-37 hours
General-effectsMild - moderate increase in motor activity and agitation/excitement
Adverse-effectsAgitation, dry mouth, insomnia, headache/migraine, nausea/vomiting, constipation, tremor, dizziness, excessive sweating, blurred vision, tachycardia, confusion, rash, hostility, cardiac arrhythmia, and auditory disturbance
Overdose-symptomsSeizure, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, sinus tachycardia, ECG changes, bradycardia, cardiac failure, cardiac arrest, and death
WarningBupropion lowers the seizure threshold and can induce seizures when excessive doses are used and/or when combined with CNS stimulants or other drugs that also lower the threshold, such as theophylline, steroids, some tricyclic antidepressants, and alcohol
ChemistryIUPAC: (±)-2-(tert-Butylamino)-1-(3-chlorophenyl)propan-1-one | Formula: C13H18ClNO | Molecular Mass: 239.74 g/mol
PharmacologyNDRI (Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor); NDRA (Norepinephrine-Dopamine Releasing Agent); α3β2, α3β4, α4β2, and α7 nACh receptor antagonist
PharmacokineticsProtein Binding: 84% (bupropion), 77% [hydroxybupropion (active metabolite)], 42% [threohydrobupropion (active metabolite)] | Metabolism: hepatic, primarily CYP2B6-mediated hydroxylation; both bupropion and hydroxybupropion (active metabolite) are CYP2D6 inhibitors | Excretion: renal (87%; 0.5% unchanged) and faecal (10%)
LegalAustralia: Prescription Only (S4) | Canada: ℞-only | United Kingdom: POM | United States: ℞-only
ContradictionsSeizure disorder, current or prior diagnosis of bulimia or anorexia nervosa, abrupt discontinuation of alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and anti-epileptic drugs, and MAOIs,
After-effects1-6 hours.