Wellbutrin is an antidepressant – a multiple reuptake inhibitor – it is used to treat depression and to stop smoking (as Zyban).
Off label however, it’s also used for weight loss, bipolar depression, ADD/ADHD, fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, lupus, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)… and since June 2006, SAD.
Please read on… (from the Mayo Clinic):
“People who have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and experience depression during waning daylight hours may find relief in a medication approved to prevent this potentially debilitating condition.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the antidepressant bupropion hydrochloride extended release (Wellbutrin XL) for prevention of depression in people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
With the approval, Wellbutrin XL becomes the first medication approved to prevent SAD, a type of depression characterized by seasonal episodes of depressed mood, loss of energy, social withdrawal, increased sleep and other, sometimes debilitating, symptoms. Wellbutrin XL is already FDA approved to treat depression.
The FDA noted that Wellbutrin XL’s effectiveness for preventing SAD episodes was demonstrated in three clinical trials. In the trials, approximately 1,000 people with seasonal affective disorder were randomly chosen to receive either Wellbutrin XL or a placebo beginning in the fall and winter, before the onset of symptoms of depression. Treatment was stopped in the spring.
Pooled results of the three studies showed that 84 percent of people taking Wellbutrin XL were free of depression, compared with 72 percent taking the placebo. All of the studies were funded by Wellbutrin XL’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline.
As with other antidepressants, Wellbutrin XL poses potential side effects and health risks. Certain antidepressants, including Wellbutrin XL, may be associated with worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior”.
Point 1 – how good is that placebo sugar pill! It cured 72% of people in the trials (with no side effects).
Point 2 – why bother with Wellbutrin at all when the sugar pill is so good – and GSK tells us that if we take its drug, we’d better watch out, because “Wellbutrin XL poses potential side effects and health risks. Certain antidepressants, including Wellbutrin XL, may be associated with worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior”. [Not to mention there is a risk of seizure with Wellbutrin XL]
Point 3 – Find out about other Wellbutrin side effects here.
The FDA – doing a great job as ever.