Wellbutrin Dosage

by on August 1, 2012

Every person is given a dosage of Wellbutrin (bupropion) based on a number of factors that include the patient’s age, medical condition being treated, and other medications currently taken.

Below is the usual Wellbutrin dosage for specific medical conditions. Take note that it is possible for your healthcare provider to prescribe a totally different dosing schedule. Do not adjust your dose unless specifically instructed by your healthcare provider.

Treatment of Depression

Wellbutrin is usually taken in two or three dosages per day. If using the immediate-release tablet of Wellbutrin, the maximum single dose should not exceed 150 mg and doses should be taken at least 6 hours apart from each other. Meanwhile, the slow-release and extended-release tablet is usually taken once or two times a day depending on your healthcare provider’s instructions.

The recommended starting dose of immediate-release tablet of Wellbutrin is 100 mg two times a day and then increased to the target dose of 300 mg/day after three days. If the prescribed dose is not effective, it may be adjusted until the maximum daily dose of 450 mg.

The recommended starting dose for sustained-release tablet of Wellbutrin is 150 mg per day. The dose may be increased up to the daily maximum of 200 mg.

The recommended starting dosage for extended-release tablet of Wellbutrin is 150 mg per day and adjusted until the target daily dose of 300 mg. Extended release formulation of Wellbutrin is taken once a day.

'Off Label' Treatment for Smoking Cessation

The brand name of bupropion intended for smoking cessation (to aid people to quit smoking) is Zyban.  However, Wellbutrin has often been prescribed “off-label” for this same purpose.  The FDA has not approved Wellbutrin products for use in smoking cessation programs.

Among the different Wellbutrin products, the Wellbutrin SR formulation is the most chemically identical to Zyban and comes in the same strength.

When used as a treatment for smoking cessation, bupropion (Zyban or Wellbutrin SR) is used for three days at a starting dosage of 150mg once per day.  The dosage may then be increased if the patient is tolerant of the medication.  Smoking is stopped two weeks after starting bupropion treatment.

General Dosing Information

Here are some considerations for people taking Wellbutrin:

  • Continue taking this medication to get its full benefit. Usually, it takes four weeks or longer to achieve the desired effects of Wellbutrin. Do not be discouraged if this medication does not work immediately for you.
  • Wellbutrin may be taken with or without food. If this medication upsets your stomach, you can try taking it with foods.
  • Taking the last dose of Wellbutrin at bedtime may cause trouble sleeping. If you experience insomnia with this medication, talk with your healthcare provider about adjusting your last dosage to an earlier time.
  • Take this medication around the same time of the day to maintain the desired levels of the drug in the body.
  • For maximum benefit, take this medication exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Wellbutrin may not be as effective when not taken properly. Avoid missing doses.
  • Read your prescription label carefully before initiating treatment. If you have questions or do not understand the dosing instructions, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Do not discontinue taking the drug without consulting your healthcare provider.