Wellbutrin Description

What is Wellbutrin/Bupropion?

Tablets of the anti-depressant drug Wellbutrin
Tablets of the anti-depressant drug Wellbutrin


GENERIC NAME:
bupropion

BRAND NAME:
Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM:
Bupropion is a prescription drug sold under the brand names Wellbutrin® (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin XL, and Wellbutrin XR) and Zyban®.  Bupropion under the name Wellbutrin is approved for use as an anti-depressant.  Bupropion under the name Zyban is approved for use as a smoking cessation treatment.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that women who took bupropion during the first trimester of pregnancy may be at increased risk of giving birth to a baby with congenital heart defects.

Bupropion is an antidepressant medication that affects chemicals within the brain that nerves use to send messages to each other. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters. Many experts believe that depression is caused by an imbalance among the amounts of neurotransmitters that are released. Nerves, in a process referred to as reuptake, may recycle released neurotransmitters. Bupropion works by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine; an action that results in more dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine to transmit messages to other nerves. Bupropion is unique and unlike other antidepressants in that its major effect is on dopamine, an effect that is not shared by the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs [for example, paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft)] or the tricyclic antidepressants or TCAs [for example, amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramin)]. The FDA approved bupropion in December 1985.

PRESCRIBED FOR:
Bupropion is used for the management of major depression and seasonal affective disorder (depression that occurs primarily during the fall and winter). It is also prescribed for smoking cessation.

DOSING:
Bupropion usually is given in one, two or three daily doses. For immediate-release tablets, no single dose should exceed 150 mg and each dose should be separated by 6 hours.

For depression the recommended dose of immediate-release tablets is 100 mg 3 times daily (300 mg/day); maximum dose is 450 mg daily. The initial dose is 100 mg twice daily. The dose may be increased to 100 mg 3 times daily after three days.
The initial dose of sustained-release tablets is 150 mg daily; target dose is 150 mg twice daily; maximum dose is 200 mg twice daily.

The initial dose of extended-release tablets is 150 mg daily; target dose is 300 mg daily; maximum dose is 450 mg daily. Extended release tablets are administered once daily.

When used for smoking cessation, bupropion usually is started as 150 mg once daily for three days, and then the dose is increased if the patient tolerates the starting dose. Smoking is discontinued two weeks after starting bupropion therapy.

Wellbutrin SR is given as two daily doses. Wellbutrin XL is given as one dose daily.

DRUG INTERACTIONS:
Bupropion should be used cautiously in patients receiving drugs that reduce the threshold for seizures. Such drugs include prochlorperazine (Compazine), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), and other antipsychotic medications of the phenothiazine class. Additionally, persons who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines [for example, diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax)] are at increased risk for seizures.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol) may reduce the effect of bupropion by reducing the blood concentration of bupropion. Monamine oxidase inhibitors should not be combined with bupropion because of the risk of severe reactions. At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI and initiation of bupropion. Bupropion may affect the action of warfarin (Coumadin).


Verdicts & Settlements

Scott has been involved in numerous and diverse settlements and verdicts throughout his 18 year legal career.  He prides himself on taking care of the injured people he represents.  Scott has represented individuals from almost every state in the country and can point to settlements involving millions of dollars. Whether it be a faulty medical device, a flawed manufacturing process, a failed prescription drug or some other issue that has caused personal injury, Scott has the experience, determination and the integrity to represent a client’s interests aggressively and see that justice is served. The following examples are but a few of recent notable accomplishments:

  • Hundreds of Scott’s clients from numerous states received monetary awards in the Silicone breast implant litigation. These cases involved defective leaking or ruptured silicone implants which caused significant injury, illness and/or damage to women who relied on the manufactures of the implants.  Scott worked with the women all the way through to verdict or settlement and was responsible for ultimately settling client cases for millions of dollars.

  • Scott represented clients in the Rezulin litigation which involved a drug used by diabetics. The FDA ultimately removed the drug from the market due to liver and cardiac adverse events. Scott was involved in hundreds of hours of document review and depositions in the U.S. and Europe.  He deposed corporate witnesses who designed, manufactured, marketed and sold the drug and his clients received exceptional settlements.

  • Scott and his partner Ed Blizzard were involved in representing hundreds of individuals who suffered as a result of defective Sulzer hip and knee implant replacement joints.  Scott and Ed worked at both the state and federal level and were instrumental in developing documents and deposing corporate witnesses so that ultimately a global settlement of all claims was announced.  Scott and Ed were able to secure millions in settlement for their clients.

  • Scott represented many clients who encountered problems as a result of the diet drugs Pondimin and Redux.  He was involved with discovery committees, reviewed thousands of documents and deposed many corporate witnesses.  He tried many of these cases to verdict receiving large settlements for his clients. In December 2000, Scott tried a case in Philadelphia for two ladies from Utah who developed heart valve damage after taking the diet drug combination known as Fen-Phen. After a two week trial the jury awarded each of his clients $100 million dollars. This $200 million dollar verdict stands today as the largest Fen-Phen valvular heart disease verdict in the country. Because of this verdict, Scott was inducted into the Million Dollar and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

  • Scott’s clients in the Ephedra litigation were compensated well for the damages they suffered.  These cases involved  products such as Herbalife, Dexatrim, Stacker and Hydroxicut that were associated with heart attacks and strokes. He was heavily involved in developing justification documents and taking corporate depositions that ultimately led to large dollar settlements for his clients.  

Most recently, Scott began working on Paxil birth defect cases. Paxil is an antidepressant still used by millions of Americans daily.  In recent years, however, it has been associated with significant heart defects when ingested by women during the first trimester of a pregnancy.  Scott has been actively prosecuting these cases against GSK, maker of the drug. One of his cases was the first to be set for trial.  The case was resolved in favor of Scott’s client.

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Current Litigation:

Celexa
  • Heart Defects
  • Lung Defects

Zoloft
  • Heart Defects
  • Lung Defects

Prozac
  • Heart Defects
  • Lung Defects

DARVON & DARVOCET
  • Heart Rhythm

PAXIL
  • Birth Defects

REGLAN
  • Tardive Dyskinesia
  • Tardive Dystonia

ACCUTANE

ACTOS

DEPAKOTE

DePuy

MERIDIA

WELLBUTRIN

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* Verdicts and settlement amount does not reflect client portion

Blizzard, McCarthy & Nabers, LLP represents clients in mass tort and primary pulmonary hypertension lawsuits nationwide, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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