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Can Wellbutrin Cause High Blood Pressure?

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Updated October 17, 2012

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Question: Can Wellbutrin Cause High Blood Pressure?
Can Wellbutrin cause high blood pressure? I never had it before taking Wellbutrin and I don't have any of the risk factors, but my doctor doesn't seem convinced that my antidepressant is the problem. My pharmacist disagrees, however, and says that it can cause high blood pressure. Who is right?
Answer:

According to GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Wellbutrin, high blood pressure is rare but potential side effect of Wellbutrin. And, this is true regardless of whether you have any prior history of the condition. In fact, in some cases, it may become severely high, requiring prompt treatment.

Nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patches), which some patients may be using concurrently with Zyban, another brand of buproprion used for smoking cessation, can further increase your risk.

Wellbutrin has the potential to increase blood pressure because it affects the levels of certain neurotransmitters in your body which regulate not only mood, but also blood pressure.

If you must remain on Wellbutrin to control your depression, high blood pressure medication can be used to deal with this side effect. Otherwise, speak with your doctor about your options for switching to a different antidepressant. High blood pressure is a serious condition which can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke and should not be left untreated.

Sources:

Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) Prescribing Information. GlaxoSmithKline. Accessed: March 29, 2012. http://www.wellbutrin.com/.

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