FDA Approves GlaxoSmithKline's Wellbutrin

Bupropion (amfebutamone) (brand names Wellbutrin and Zyban) is an antidepressant of the aminoketone class, chemically unrelated to tricyclics or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is similar in structure to the stimulant cathinone, and to phenethylamines in general. It is a chemical derivative of diethylpropion, an amphetamine-like substance used as an anorectic. Bupropion is both a dopamine reuptake inhibitor and a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It is often used as a smoking cessation aid.
International/alternate names include: Odranal (Colombia), Quomen (Thailand), Well (Korea), Zyban LP (France), Zyban Sustained Release (Australia)

Wellbutrin is prescribed to help relieve major depression. Symptoms include a severely depressed mood (for 2 weeks or more) and loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities accompanied by sleep and appetite disturbances, agitation or lack of energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, decreased sex drive, inability to concentrate, and sometimes, suicidal thoughts or behavior. Wellbutrin is thought to work by altering levels of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine.

Wellbutrin is used to treat major depression. Depression may be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Wellbutrin helps balance the levels of two neurotransmitters called dopamine and norepinephrine.

Wellbutrin, a relatively new antidepressant medication, is given to help relieve certain kinds of major depression.

Major depression involves a severely depressed mood (for 2 weeks or more) and loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities accompanied by sleep and appetite disturbances, agitation or lack of energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, decreased sex drive, inability to concentrate, and perhaps thoughts of suicide.

Unlike the more familiar tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil, Tofranil, and others, Wellbutrin tends to have a somewhat stimulating effect.

The drug is available in regular and sustained-release formulations (Wellbutrin SR).