Wellbutrin and Warfarin

Publication Date: 
Mon, 12/01/2014
By: Alere Staff

Wellbutrin, also called the generic name “bupropion”, is a medication used to treat both major depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).1 In some cases, Wellbutrin can aid patients in quitting smoking. Listed in the aminoketone class of antidepressants, some common side effects of Wellbutrin include:

  • Agitation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Tremors
  • Changes in appetite, weight loss or gain
  • Seizures (at higher doses)

It is recommended that you do not take Wellbutrin if you experience seizures, have an eating disorder or if you have suddenly stopped drinking alcohol, seizure medication or sedatives.1,2

The combined use of warfarin and an antidepressant may lead to a drug-drug interaction. Wellbutrin may change the effectiveness of warfarin (or brand of warfarin such as Coumadin®).1 In some cases, using these drugs together may make you bruise or bleed more easily, especially if you are already taking warfarin and begin to take Wellbutrin. When it is necessary to use both warfarin and an antidepressant, your doctor may want to increase the frequency of monitoring your INR and signs and symptoms of bleeding.3

As with any new medication or supplement, it is important to let your health care provider know that you are taking warfarin as well as following your doctor’s dosing instructions. While taking warfarin, always know the signs of bleeding, which include: bruising, pinpoint red spots on your skin, or black, tarry stools. If you develop any of these symptoms, make sure to notify your doctor or nurse.

To learn more about how different antidepressants affect warfarin, refer to our article on antidepressants here.

References:

  1. Ogbru, O. PharmD. Wellbutrin. Retrieved November 18, 2014 from the RxList website: http://www.rxlist.com/wellbutrin-side-effects-drug-center.htm.
  2. Wellbutrin. Retrieved November 18, 2014 from the Drugs website: http://www.drugs.com/wellbutrin.html.
  3. Allen, S. N. PharmD, BCPP, et al. (2013) Treatment of Depression in Patients on Anticoagulation Therapy: Antidepressant-Warfarin Drug Interactions. U.S. Pharmacist. Retrieved November 18, 2014 from the U.S. Pharmacist website: http://www.uspharmacist.com/content/d/featured%20articles/c/45055/.

COUMADIN® is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company. Alere is not affiliated or associated with Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company or the COUMADIN® trademark.