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Use of Bupropion in Combination with Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Authors
Journal
Biological Psychiatry
0006-3223
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
59
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.06.027
Keywords
  • Antidepressant
  • Bupropion
  • Combination Therapy
  • Refractory Depression
  • Norepinephrine Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
  • Sexual Dysfunction
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Incomplete symptom remission and sexual side effects are common problems for which bupropion often is added to treatment with selective serotonin and serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs and SNRIs) for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). This article reviews the literature on combining bupropion with SSRIs or SNRIs. We used MEDLINE to select studies that included patients diagnosed with MDD treated with any combination of bupropion and an SSRI or SNRI, either to enhance antidepressant response or to ameliorate antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction. Bibliographies of located articles were searched for additional studies. Controlled and open-label studies support the effectiveness of bupropion in reversing antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction, whereas open trials suggest that combination treatment with bupropion and an SSRI or SNRI is effective for the treatment of MDD in patients refractory to the SSRI, SNRI, or bupropion alone. The available data suggest that, although not an approved indication, the combination of bupropion and either an SSRI or an SNRI is generally well tolerated, can boost antidepressant response, and can reduce SSRI or SNRI-associated sexual side effects. Additional randomized controlled studies are needed to answer important questions, such as those regarding optimal dose and duration of treatment.

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