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Major Depressive Disorder

BUDEPRION XL™ (bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets) has been demonstrated to have similar bioavailability both to the immediate-release formulation of bupropion and to the sustained-release formulation of bupropion (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). The information included under this subsection is based primarily on data from controlled clinical trials with the sustained-release formulation of bupropion.

Adverse Events Leading to Discontinuation of Treatment With the Immediate-Release or Sustained-Release Formulations of Bupropion

In placebo-controlled clinical trials, 9% and 11% of patients treated with 300 and 400 mg/day, respectively, of the sustained-release formulation of bupropion and 4% of patients treated with placebo discontinued treatment due to adverse events. The specific adverse events in these trials that led to discontinuation in at least 1% of patients treated with either 300 mg/day or 400 mg/day of the sustained-release formulation of bupropion, and at a rate at least twice the placebo rate are listed in Table 4.

Table 4. Treatment Discontinuations Due to Adverse Events in Placebo-Controlled Trials

Adverse Event
formulation of
bupropion 300mg/day
(n = 376)
formulation of
bupropion 400mg/day
(n = 114)
(n = 385)
Rash 2.4% 0.9% 0.0%
Nausea 0.8% 1.8% 0.3%
Agitation 0.3% 1.8% 0.3%
Migraine 0.0% 1.8% 0.3%

In clinical trials with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion, 10% of patients and volunteers discontinued due to an adverse event. Events resulting in discontinuation, in addition to those listed above for the sustained-release formulation of bupropion, include vomiting, seizures, and sleep disturbances.

Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 1% or More Among Patients Treated With the Immediate-Release or Sustained-Release Formulations of Bupropion

Table 5 enumerates treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred among patients treated with 300 and 400 mg/day of the sustained-release formulation of bupropion and with placebo in controlled trials. Events that occurred in either the 300 or 400 mg/day group at an incidence of 1% or more and were more frequent than in the placebo group are included. Reported adverse events were classified using a COSTART-based Dictionary.

Accurate estimates of the incidence of adverse events associated with the use of any drug are difficult to obtain. Estimates are influenced by drug dose, detection technique, setting, physician judgments, etc. The figures cited cannot be used to predict precisely the incidence of untoward events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those that prevailed in the clinical trials. These incidence figures also cannot be compared with those obtained from other clinical studies involving related drug products as each group of drug trials is conducted under a different set of conditions.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that the tabulation does not reflect the relative severity and/or clinical importance of the events. A better perspective on the serious adverse events associated with the use of bupropion is provided in the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections.

Table 5. Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events in Placebo-Controlled Trials*

Body System/Adverse Event Sustained-release
formulation of
bupropion 300 mg/day
(n = 376)
formulation of
bupropion 400 mg/day
(n = 114)
(n = 385)
Body (General)
  Headache 26% 25% 23%
  Infection 8% 9% 6%
  Abdominal pain 3% 9% 2%
  Asthenia 2% 4% 2%
  Chest pain 3% 4% 1%
  Pain 2% 3% 2%
  Fever 1% 2% --
  Palpitation 2% 6% 2%
  Flushing 1% 4% --
  Migraine 1% 4% 1%
  Hot flashes 1% 3% 1%
  Dry mouth 17% 24% 7%
  Nausea 13% 18% 8%
  Constipation 10% 5% 7%
  Diarrhea 5% 7% 6%
  Anorexia 5% 3% 2%
  Vomiting 4% 2% 2%
  Dysphagia 0% 2% 0%
  Myalgia 2% 6% 3%
  Arthralgia 1% 4% 1%
  Arthritis 0% 2% 0%
  Twitch 1% 2% --
Nervous System
  Insomia 11% 16% 6%
  Dizziness 7% 11% 5%
  Agitation 3% 9% 2%
  Anxiety 5% 6% 3%
  Tremor 6% 3% 1%
  Nervousness 5% 3% 3%
  Somnolence 2% 3% 2%
  Irritability 3% 2% 2%
  Memory decreased -- 3% 1%
  Paresthesia 1% 2% 1%
  Central nervous System stimulation 2% 1% 1%
  Pharyngitis 3% 11% 2%
  Sinusitis 3% 1% 2%
  Increased cough 1% 2% 1%
  Sweating 6% 5% 2%
  Rash 5% 4% 1%
  Pruritus 2% 4% 2%
  Urticaria 2% 1% 0%
Special senses
  Tinnitus 6% 6% 2%
  Taste Perversion 2% 4% --
  Amblyopia 3% 2% 2%
  Urinary frequency 2% 5% 2%
  Urinary Urgency -- 2% 0%
  Vaginal 0% 2% --
  Urinary tract Infection 1% 0% --
* Adverse events that occurred in at least 1% of patients treated with either 300 or 400 mg/day of the sustained-release formulation of bupropion, but equally or more frequently in the placebo group, were: abnormal dreams, accidental injury, acne, appetite increased, back pain, bronchitis, dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, flu syndrome, hypertension, neck pain, respiratory disorder, rhinitis, and tooth disorder.
Incidence based on the number of female patients.
-- Hyphen denotes adverse events occurring in greater than 0 but less than 0.5% of patients.

Additional events to those listed in Table 5 that occurred at an incidence of at least 1% in controlled clinical trials of the immediate-release formulation of bupropion (300 to 600 mg/day) and that were numerically more frequent than placebo were: cardiac arrhythmias (5% vs 4%), hypertension (4% vs 2%), hypotension (3% vs 2%), tachycardia (11% vs 9%), appetite increase (4% vs 2%), dyspepsia (3% vs 2%), menstrual complaints (5% vs 1%), akathisia (2% vs 1%), impaired sleep quality (4% vs 2%), sensory disturbance (4% vs 3%), confusion (8% vs 5%), decreased libido (3% vs 2%), hostility (6% vs 4%), auditory disturbance (5% vs 3%), and gustatory disturbance (3% vs 1%).

Incidence of Commonly Observed Adverse Events in Controlled Clinical Trials

Adverse events from Table 5 occurring in at least 5% of patients treated with the sustained-release formulation of bupropion and at a rate at least twice the placebo rate are listed below for the 300 and 400 mg/day dose groups.

300 mg/day of the Sustained-Release Formulation:Anorexia, dry mouth, rash, sweating, tinnitus, and tremor.

400 mg/day of the Sustained-Release Formulation: Abdominal pain, agitation, anxiety, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, myalgia, nausea, palpitation, pharyngitis, sweating, tinnitus, and urinary frequency.

Other Events Observed During the Clinical Development and Postmarketing Experience of Bupropion

In addition to the adverse events noted above, the following events have been reported in clinical trials and postmarketing experience with the sustained-release formulation of bupropion in depressed patients and in nondepressed smokers, as well as in clinical trials and postmarketing clinical experience with the immediate-release formulation of bupropion.

Adverse events for which frequencies are provided below occurred in clinical trials with the sustained-release formulation of bupropion. The frequencies represent the proportion of patients who experienced a treatment-emergent adverse event on at least one occasion in placebo-controlled studies for depression (n = 987) or smoking cessation (n = 1,013), or patients who experienced an adverse event requiring discontinuation of treatment in an open-label surveillance study with the sustained-release formulation of bupropion (n = 3,100). All treatment-emergent adverse events are included except those listed in Tables 2 through 5, those events listed in other safety-related sections, those adverse events subsumed under COSTART terms that are either overly general or excessively specific so as to be uninformative, those events not reasonably associated with the use of the drug, and those events that were not serious and occurred in fewer than 2 patients. Events of major clinical importance are described in the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections of the labeling.

Events are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions of frequency: Frequent adverse events are defined as those occurring in at least 1/100 patients. Infrequent adverse events are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1,000 patients, while rare events are those occurring in less than 1/1,000 patients.

Adverse events for which frequencies are not provided occurred in clinical trials or postmarketing experience with bupropion. Only those adverse events not previously listed for sustained-release bupropion are included. The extent to which these events may be associated with BUDEPRION XL™ (bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets) is unknown.

Body (General): Infrequent were chills, facial edema, musculoskeletal chest pain, and photosensitivity. Rare was malaise. Also observed were arthralgia, myalgia, and fever with rash and other symptoms suggestive of delayed hypersensitivity. These symptoms may resemble serum sickness (see PRECAUTIONS).

Cardiovascular: Infrequent were postural hypotension, stroke, tachycardia, and vasodilation. Rare was syncope. Also observed were complete atrioventricular block, extrasystoles, hypotension, hypertension (in some cases severe, see PRECAUTIONS), myocardial infarction, phlebitis, and pulmonary embolism. Digestive: Infrequent were abnormal liver function, bruxism, gastric reflux, gingivitis, glossitis, increased salivation, jaundice, mouth ulcers, stomatitis, and thirst. Rare was edema of tongue. Also observed were colitis, esophagitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gum hemorrhage, hepatitis, intestinal perforation, liver damage, pancreatitis, and stomach ulcer.

Endocrine: Also observed were hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone.

Hemic and Lymphatic: Infrequent was ecchymosis. Also observed were anemia, leukocytosis, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Altered PT and/or INR, infrequently associated with hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications, were observed when bupropion was coadministered with warfarin.

Metabolic and Nutritional: Infrequent were edema and peripheral edema. Also observed was glycosuria.

Musculoskeletal: Infrequent were leg cramps. Also observed were muscle rigidity/fever/rhabdomyolysis and muscle weakness.

Nervous System: Infrequent were abnormal coordination, decreased libido, depersonalization, dysphoria, emotional lability, hostility, hyperkinesia, hypertonia, hypesthesia, suicidal ideation, and vertigo. Rare were amnesia, ataxia, derealization, and hypomania. Also observed were abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG), aggression, akinesia, aphasia, coma, delirium, delusions, dysarthria, dyskinesia, dystonia, euphoria, extrapyramidal syndrome, hallucinations, hypokinesia, increased libido, manic reaction, neuralgia, neuropathy, paranoid ideation, restlessness, and unmasking tardive dyskinesia.

Respiratory: Rare was bronchospasm. Also observed was pneumonia.

Skin: Rare was maculopapular rash. Also observed were alopecia, angioedema, exfoliative ">dermatitis, and hirsutism.

Special Senses: Infrequent were accommodation abnormality and dry eye. Also observed were deafness, diplopia, increased intraocular pressure, and mydriasis.

Urogenital: Infrequent were impotence, polyuria, and prostate disorder. Also observed were abnormal ejaculation, cystitis, dyspareunia, dysuria, gynecomastia, menopause, painful erection, salpingitis, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and vaginitis.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Controlled Substance Class

Bupropion is not a controlled substance.


Controlled clinical studies of bupropion (immediate-release formulation) conducted in normal volunteers, in subjects with a history of multiple drug abuse, and in depressed patients showed some increase in motor activity and agitation/excitement.

In a population of individuals experienced with drugs of abuse, a single dose of 400 mg of bupropion produced mild amphetamine-like activity as compared to placebo on the Morphine-Benzedrine Subscale of the Addiction Research Center Inventories (ARCI), and a score intermediate between placebo and amphetamine on the Liking Scale of the ARCI. These scales measure general feelings of euphoria and drug desirability.

Findings in clinical trials, however, are not known to reliably predict the abuse potential of drugs. Nonetheless, evidence from single-dose studies does suggest that the recommended daily dosage of bupropion when administered in divided doses is not likely to be especially reinforcing to amphetamine or stimulant abusers. However, higher doses that could not be tested because of the risk of seizure might be modestly attractive to those who abuse stimulant drugs.


Studies in rodents and primates have shown that bupropion exhibits some pharmacologic actions common to psychostimulants. In rodents, it has been shown to increase locomotor activity, elicit a mild stereotyped behavioral response, and increase rates of responding in several schedule-controlled behavior paradigms. In primate models to assess the positive reinforcing effects of psychoactive drugs, bupropion was self-administered intravenously. In rats, bupropion produced amphetamine-like and cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects in drug discrimination paradigms used to characterize the subjective effects of psychoactive drugs.