Aplenzin

Aplenzin treats depression and prevents of seasonal major depression. It may take several weeks for you to feel the benefit of Aplenzin.

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Aplenzin Overview

Reviewed: August 15, 2012
Updated: 

Aplenzin is a prescription medication used to treat depression and prevents seasonal depression.

Aplenzin belongs to a group of drugs called antidepressants, which work by affecting certain natural chemicals in the brain.

This medication comes in extended-release tablets and is typically taken once daily

Common side effects of Aplenzin include nervousness, constipation, trouble sleeping, headache, and nausea.

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  • Attention Deficit Disorder With Hyperactivity
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Aplenzin Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Aplenzin

Aplenzin is a prescription medication used to treat depression and to prevent seasonal major depressive episodes in those who have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Aplenzin Drug Class

Aplenzin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Aplenzin

The most common side effects of Aplenzin are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness (tremor)
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Heavy sweating

If you have nausea, take your medicine with food.

If you have trouble sleeping, do not take your medicine too close to bedtime. 

Aplenzin can cause serious side effects (see "Black Box Warning" and "Drug Precautions").

Aplenzin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate))
  • Ticlopidine
  • Clopidogrel
  • Antivirals such as ritonavir, lopinavir, efavirenz
  • Medications used to treat seizures such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin
  • Dopaminergic Drugs (levodopa and amantadine)
  • Beta blockers such as metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
  • Medications for irregular heartbeat such as flecainide and propafenone 
  • Medications for mental illness such as haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal), and thioridazine (Mellaril)
  • Medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), and phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Other antidepressants such as desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac)

This is not a complete list of all drug interactions of Aplenzin. Ask your doctor for more information.

 

Aplenzin Precautions

Aplenzin can cause serious side effects which include:

  • Seizure: There is a chance of having a seizure (convulsion, fit) with Aplenzin, especially in people with certain medical problems or who take certain medicines.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension): Some people get high blood pressure, that can be severe, while taking Aplenzin. The chance of high blood pressure may be higher if you also use nicotine replacement therapy (such as a nicotine patch) to help you stop smoking.
  • Manic episodes. Symptoms may include greatly increased energy, severe trouble sleeping, racing thoughts, reckless behavior, unusually grand ideas, excessive happiness or irritability, and talking more or faster than usual. 
  • Vision problems. Symptoms may include eye pain, changes in vision, swelling or redness in or around the eye. 
  • Severe allergic reactions: Some people have severe allergic reactions to Aplenzin. Stop taking Aplenzin and call your doctor right away if you get a rash, itching, hives, fever, swollen lymph glands, painful sores in the mouth or around the eyes, swelling of the lips or tongue, chest pain, or have trouble breathing. These could be signs of a serious allergic reaction.
  • Unusual thoughts or behaviors: Some patients have unusual thoughts or behaviors while taking Aplenzin, including delusions (believe you are someone else), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), paranoia (feeling that people are against you), or feeling confused. If this happens to you, call your doctor.

Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment. 

  • Depression or other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts or actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions. 

Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed.

  • Call your healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings. (such as thoughts about suicide or dying, attempts to commit suicide, new or worse depression)
  • Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled. Call the healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms. 

Do not take Aplenzin  if you:

  • are allergic to the active ingredient in Aplenzin or to any of the inactive ingredients.
  • have or had an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
  • have or had a seizure disorder or epilepsy.
  • are taking any other form of bupropion already (immediate-release, sustained-release, extended-release tablets)
  • drink a lot of alcohol and abruptly stop drinking, or use medicines called sedatives (these make you sleepy) or benzodiazepines and you stop using them all of a sudden.
  • have taken within the last 14 days medicine for depression called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), such as Nardil (phenelzine sulfate), Parnate (tranylcypromine sulfate), or Marplan (isocarboxazid).

Do not drink a lot of alcohol while taking Aplenzin. If you usually drink a lot of alcohol, talk with your doctor before suddenly stopping. If you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, you may increase your risk of having seizures.

Do not drive a car or use heavy machinery until you know how Aplenzin affects you. Aplenzin can impair your ability to perform these tasks.

Aplenzin Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Aplenzin there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Aplenzin.

Inform MD

Tell your doctor about your other medical conditions including if you:

  • are allergic to Aplenzin or to any of its ingredients. 
  • have ever had depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, or other mental health problems.
  • have liver problems, especially cirrhosis of the liver.
  • have kidney problems.
  • have an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia.
  • have had a head injury.
  • have had a seizure (convulsion, fit).
  • have a tumor in your nervous system (brain or spine).
  • have had a heart attack, heart problems, or high blood pressure.
  • have diabetes and use insulin or other medicines to control your blood sugar.
  • drink alcohol.
  • abuse prescription medicines or street drugs.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Aplenzin can harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding. Aplenzin passes through your milk. It is not known if Aplenzin can harm your baby.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Many medicines increase your chances of having seizures or other serious side effects if you take them while you are using Aplenzin.

Aplenzin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Aplenzin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Aplenzin passes through your milk. It is not known if Aplenzin can harm your baby.

Aplenzin Usage

Take Aplenzin exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

  • Take Aplenzin at the same time each day.
    • If you are taking Aplenzin for the prevention of seasonal major depressive episodes associated with seasonal affective disorder, it is important to keep taking Aplenzin through the autumn-winter season, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Take Aplenzin once a day, with or without food.
    • Do not chew, crush, or break Aplenzin tablets. Swallow tablets whole. 
  • If you miss a dose, do not take an extra tablet to make up for the dose you missed. Wait and take your next tablet at the regular time. This is very important. Too much Aplenzin can increase your chance of having a seizure. 
  • Do not take any other medicines while using Aplenzin unless your doctor has told you it is okay.
  • For treating depression, it may take several weeks for you to feel that Aplenzin is working. Once you feel better, it is important to keep taking Aplenzin exactly as directed by your doctor. Call your doctor if you do not feel Aplenzin is working for you.
  • Do not change your dose or stop taking bupropion without talking with your doctor first.

Aplenzin Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • how you respond to this medication
  • your kidney function
  • your liver  function

The recommended starting dose of Aplenzin (bupropion hydrochloride) for major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder 348 mg once daily.  

Your doctor will start you on a low dose and increase the dose if needed. 

For those whose liver or kidneys are not working as well as they should, the recommended dose will be lower. 

Aplenzin Overdose

If you take too much Aplenzin call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If Aplenzin is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

 

Other Requirements

  • Store Aplenzin at 25°C (77°F). 
  • Keep Aplenzin and all other medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Store out of direct sunlight.
  • Keep the medication in its tightly closed bottle.

Aplenzin FDA Warning

WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS and NEUROPSYCHIATRIC REACTIONS

  • Increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults taking antidepressants.
  • Monitor for worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
  • Serious neuropsychiatric events have been reported in patients taking bupropion for smoking cessation.