Is Aplenzin better than Wellbutrin? (+3 comparison)
In this concise article, we will discuss the basic differences between Aplenzin and Wellbutrin. We will also indicate what the studies show about both medications, how to ensure the safe use of Aplenzine and Wellbutrin and the differences in the cost and accessibility of Aplenzin compared to Wellbutrin.
Is Aplenzin better than Wellbutrin?
Aplenzine is not necessarily better or worse than Wellbutrin. Both medications are forms of bupropion. Bupropion is an antidepressant that works by affecting certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters are dopamine and norepinephrine.
Aplenzin contains bupropion hydrobromide and Wellbutrin contains bupropion hydrochloride. Both medications contain the same active ingredient but in different combinations. (1)
The choice between Aplenzin and Wellbutrin depends on various factors such as the individual’s specific condition, medical history and how the individual responds to the medication. The efficacy and tolerability of these medications can vary from one person to another.
How does Aplenzin differ from Wellbutrin?
Aplenzin and Wellbutrin are both brand names for the same medication; however, there are some differences between these two formulations. Some of these differences are shown below (2,3) :
and extended-release (XL) and sustained-release (SR)
|various dosage strengths
|Wellbutrin, Wellutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zypan
|specific dosage strengths
What does the research suggest?
Research studies have indicated that both Aplenzin (bupropion hydrobromide) and Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) are effective in treating depression and other mood disorders. They belong to the same class of medications known as norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs).
Several studies have explored the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Aplenzin and Wellbutrin to show that they have the same properties. Clinical trials show that Aplenzin is bioequivalent to Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL. They share the same side effects, indications and drug interactions profile.(4)
The choice between Aplenzin and Wellbutrin often depends on factors such as formulation preference, individual response to the medication and any specific considerations related to the patient’s medical history.
Aplenzin is contraindicated in patients using Wellbutrin, Zyban or any other medication containing bupropion. The incidence of seizure increases when Aplenzin and Wellbutrin are taken together. Therefore, individuals should consult a healthcare professional for awareness and guidance. (3)(5)
Out of the patients surveyed, 96.7% opted to continue with XL bupropion HBr instead of switching back to XL bupropion HCl. The singular patient who decided against continuing with XL bupropion HBr described it as excessively potent and stimulating, especially when compared to HCl. (6)
How to ensure the safe use of Aplenzin or Wellbutrin?
Certain individuals should avoid taking Aplenzin or Wellbutrin due to the potential risks. To ensure the safe use of Aplenzin or Wellbutrin, you should not use them in the following situations (3):
- Seizure: Aplenzin and Wellbutrin increase the risk of experiencing seizures. Individuals who had or have seizures must avoid the use of any medication containing bupropion.
- Using medications containing bupropion: Combining Aplenzin with Wellbutrin or Zyban can increase the risk of seizures. As the dose of bupropion increases, the incidence of seizures increases.
- Allergies: Individuals with a known allergy to bupropion or any other ingredient in these medications should avoid taking Aplenzine or Wellbutrin.
- Eating disorder: Individuals with a history of anorexia or bulimia nervosa should avoid Aplenzin and Wellbutrin. This is because bupropion can exacerbate these conditions.
- Using Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): MAOIs belong to a class of antidepressants that dangerously interact with bupropion. This interaction can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening reactions.
- Alcohol or Substance abuse: Individuals with a history of alcohol or substance abuse such as sedatives or benzodiazepines should be aware of the potential risks of taking Aplenzin or Wellbutrin.
Differences in the cost and accessibility of Aplenzin compared to Wellbutrin
The cost and accessibility of Aplenzinn compared to Wellbutrin can vary. Factors such as insurance coverage, generic availability and regional pricing can influence the overall cost for individuals. In addition, the accessibility of these medications may depend on local pharmacy availability and prescription regulations.
The widespread and cost-effective use of generic drugs prompts prescribers, pharmacists and patients to make effective switching decisions. The ability to interchange generic drugs significantly impacts their prescription feasibility and switchability. (7)
In summary, Aplenzin is not better than Wellbutrin. In fact, they are bioequivalents. They both contain the same active ingredient and share the same efficacy and safety profiles; however, there are some basic differences between them.
You should be careful not to use Aplenzin with Wellbutrin or any medication that contains bupropion to avoid potential risks and harmful interactions. I strongly suggest you work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate medication, dosage and formulation based on your specific needs and circumstances.
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National Center for Biotechnology Information (2023). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 11984562, Bupropion hydrobromide. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Bupropionhydrobromide#section=Information-Sources
Connarn, J.N., Flowers, S., Kelly, M. et al. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics of Bupropion in Three Different Formulations with Different Release Kinetics in Healthy Human Volunteers. AAPS J 19, 1513–1522 (2017) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1208/s12248-017-0102-8#citeas
Humayun F, Shehab TM, Tworek JA, Fontana RJ. A fatal case of bupropion (Zyban) hepatotoxicity with autoimmune features: Case report. J Med Case Rep. 2007 Sep 18;1:88 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2008202/
Price MZ, Price RL (2023) Extended-Release of Bupropion Hydrobromide (Aplenzin®) Compared to Bupropion Hydrochloride in Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder. J Dep Anxiety. 12:501. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/extendedrelease-of-bupropion-hydrobromide-aplenzin-compared-to-bupropion-hydrochloride-in-treatment-resistant-to-major-depressive–99253.html
Kharasch ED, Neiner A, Kraus K, Blood J, Stevens A, Schweiger J, Miller JP, Lenze EJ. Bioequivalence and Therapeutic Equivalence of Generic and Brand Bupropion in Adults With Major Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2019 May;105(5):1164-1174. doi: 10.1002/cpt.1309. Epub 2019 Jan 18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6465131/