a bottle of budeprion xl 300mg

Q. I would like to know what has happened with FDA’s investigation into generic Wellbutrin (bupropion). Has anyone heard about the results of the studies that were supposed to be completed by March 2013?

There is not a word on the FDA website. Even if the results were late, it’s now been several months.

I was on the brand for years since in the past the generic didn’t work for me. Now my insurance company will not pay for the brand name so I’m forced to switch back to the generic. I’m worried about getting depressed again.

A. Last fall the FDA admitted that one generic form of bupropion (Budeprion XL 300) was not bioequivalent to the brand name Wellbutrin XL 300. The formulation was removed from the market. Visitors to this website played a role in bringing this problem to the agency’s attention.

At that time the FDA asked other generic manufacturers to complete further tests by March 31, 2013. We have repeatedly asked the FDA for the results of these tests but we have not yet seen a report or any data.

We find it discouraging that the FDA has not released data about other generic bupropion formulations. The most recent response from the agency suggests that it won’t be releasing the kind of specific information we need to assess the bioequivalence of the other long-acting generic bupropion products that remain on the market. That does not seem patient friendly or transparent. The FDA has been bragging about its effort to be transparent, but when it comes to generic drugs, getting data is like pulling teeth. The agency seems to say, “trust us, we know what we are doing.” But we tend to follow Ronald Reagon’s famous admonition, “Trust, but verify.” We would like to see the data so we can verify for ourselves that what the FDA says is true.

Just recently we learned that a bupropion SR product made by Wockhardt of India might have caused problems. Although the FDA has banned importation of products from Wockhardt’s Wuloj plant (where bupropion SR was made), the agency has not called for removal from pharmacy shelves. To learn more about this odd affair, here is a link.

Your doctor may be able to appeal to the insurance company on your behalf if the generic does not work as well as the brand name did. Sadly, though, insurance companies fall back on the FDA’s assurance that generic drugs are identical to brand name medicines, even though we cannot see the data to back up this assertion.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. sylvia

    I had to change to generic bupropion due to insurance (Medicare supplemental insurance) not covering Wellbutrin. I was doing fine on Wellbutrin but on the generic my depression is worsening. Most articles seem to say that the Bupropion out now is comparable but I just don’t believe it. Is there any further research into this or do they think they have the problem solved because of taking the one off the market around 2015? Does anyone know of any discount way to buy the name-brand Wellbutrin?

  2. Charlie

    I can only take the real Wellbrutin XL. I have tried 5 generic and I can tell immediately that something was wrong. I begin crying non-stop. Presently, I have an exception from my insurance company, which I am afraid will go away once on Medicare, which will be 9 months from now.

    I do not know for sure, but believe it is the release “mechanism” in the Wellbrutin XL that is not being replicated in the generics. The generics flood my system with too much at one time and none across rest of the day. I am afraid the FDA only tests the “ingredients”.

    I wrote to the FDA..the generic brand manufacturers contacted me…but they are in denial that their products do not work for people. I just do not know what I am going to do. This is a serious quality of life issue.

  3. Lisa
    Yakima, Wa.

    I’m just learning about all if this and I’m shocked. I started on Wellbutrin 23 years ago for MDD. The drug felt like someone pulled me out of a deep dark hole. Over the years my dosage had been adjusted and of course the drug was eventually changed to Buproprion XL 300mg. my depression waxes and wanes. Sometimes I’m fine other times am struggling like now. I’ve been on Buproprion and Lamictal for several years now to combat break through symptoms. Now, my doctor wants to add an SSRI to the mix. I don’t want to do that! I’m already on enough meds. I’m wondering if this could easily be fixed by changing me back to brand name Wellbutrin.

    • Nicole
      New Jersey

      The generic version of Wellbutrin is definitely causing the problem. I was switched to the generic version of Bupropion XL 300mg once daily and it was not the same AT ALL. I am back on the BRAND NAME Wellbutrin XL 300mg a day and my depression has improved again. Your doctor can fight for you to get back onto the name brand. A bit of paperwork and wording to the insurance company can hopefully get you back on track. Good luck. Be happy. Of course, talk with your doctor, but it sounds like you may need to get back on the name brand.

  4. Rick
    Richmond, VA

    I could cut and paste several of these posts and use them because my situation is very similar. I stated on the brand Wellbutrin, 150XL, several years ago, and it seemed to help me but once I went to the generic (PAR) I seemed to back slide gradually until I finally just about hit rock bottom earlier this year. My Doctor upped it to 300XL (Actavis) but I started having bizarre dreams, so I went back to the 150 XL.

    Now after 3 months I’m even worse than rock bottom, (dread getting up in the morning, anxious all day). I could not afford the brand but this week I learned from the Wellness Guarantee program at http://wellbutrinxl.com/savingscard/consumer/guarantee-program, and I have ordered the brand 150XL and will take two a day until I determine if I have any bad reaction. If I feel better I’ll stay on 300mg a day or go back to 150 but at least I feel some hope after reading that the brand may help. I’ll keep you posted once I receive them.

  5. Cindy

    I had been on generic buproprion xl for a few years. My doctor had me on 450mg – a 300mg and 150mg. All was fine, until I filled a 30 day supply at Ralphs and got Global Pharmacy, which was a yellow oval tablet rather than round white. Horrible stomach cramps, blood in my stool! I made the connection that it was only since taking the Global Pharmacy brand generic.

    I was doing fine on Anchen/PAR. I found that Costco had a great price for the 90 day supply. The problem is that they started stocking a manufacturer called Bluepoint, at least for the 30 day supply. I couldn’t find anyone who was stocking the Anchen/Par for both dosages. Well, the Bluepoint is beyond horrible – I feel like I’m having a heart attack! Heart palpitations, coughing – all tied in to when I started on the Bluepoint. I called my insurance to find out how much the brand Wellbutrin would be – it was over $4000 for a 90 day supply for 450mg/day!!!! I am going to give the Valeant program a shot, providing I can find a new psych in time, as I got rid of the one who spent most of my visit time complaining about the type of insurance I had, and said there was no difference between brands of generic medications. I swear, these doctors are brainwashed!!

  6. Sheri

    I stumbled upon this forum after trying to find information on generic Wellbutrin. I take 150xl and started having terrible panic attacks and anxiety about a year ago. My MD told me wellbutrin can cause anxiety and switched me to another antidepressant. I recently started going to psych and therapy and decided to go back to Wellbutrin due to the yuck side effects of other medication. I took 1 month brand and felt awesome… Back to my happy, positive, healthy, kind self. After my first followup I got a 90 day supply and pharmacy filled generic even after it was written brand with no subs. I didn’t notice until I was home and just decided to take it – couple months… Maybe wanting brand was all in my head. I literally felt like I was losing my mind. I had the worst anxiety with major panic attacks.. The best way to describe my feelings were scared all the time.. Everyday things became so frightening. I had lost my father a couple years ago and my therapist told me the Anxiety was just unresolved feelings from my past and part of grieving… I knew it may be partially true but not the change in my mental status. I was reading about anxiety and doing breathing exercises and working out and eating perfect and I just could not shake this uneasiness. After my 90 days of hell where almost up and followed up with psych, she assured me it wasn’t the meds and she would write brand for me again. I filled with brand and after 2 days I felt normal again.. Calm… No panic… Happy… Positive.. Myself again. I am glad to have found this forum so I can be assured I am not crazy. Go brand – I hope the generic will be eventually pulled from pharmacies… Not everyone has sensitivity to these medications but for those of us who do, thank you for giving us a voice. Good luck to all!

  7. Greg

    I’ve been on Bupropion for 18 years, since before a generic was available (of the SR, at least). From spring 1997 until whenever in the mid 2000s it became available as a generic, I was on the brand name Wellbutrin SR. Although generic SR (Sandoz or Mylan) does the job as far as regulating brain chemistry and keeping depression in control is concerned, if you were to ask me if at the time I thought brand name SR was superior, the answer would be a resounding ‘yes.’

    I also think the generic may produce more nebulous (or sometimes clear, even) gastrointestinal disturbances, be it constipation or trapped gas or a bit of bloating. Whatever. These are symptoms that for the most part I didn’t really have on the brand name, except for a couple months at the very beginning as my body was acclimating to the drug.

    The bottom line is: For depression, a good generic SR (again, Sandoz or Mylan) will totally do the job in an effective manner. However, to me, it’s more a question of how your individual body will respond with respect to potential physiological side effects, such as weird gastro disturbances, etc.

  8. Chelsea

    Hi I was on Generic Wellbutrin for about 6 weeks and the side effects were horrible. No memory, itchy restless sleep, dark creepy thoughts just overall it was a scary experience.

    Spoke with a friend who is on non-generic and told me to get on Brand that there is a huge difference between the two.

    My doctor prescribed brand for me and the cost was $800!!!!! I did some research and you can get brand for $50 or free depending on your insurance through the Wellbutrin Guarantee Program – here is the link http://wellbutrinxl.com/savingscard/consumer/guarantee-program
    They called my pharmacy and transferred my prescription. So fingers crossed I have a better experience with the Brand. Hope this helps for those of you who didn’t know about the guarantee program :)

    • Greg
      Los Angeles CA

      I’d love to hear your feedback on how well your body tolerates the brand XL by comparison to the negative experience you had with the generic. Less stomach disturbances on the brand than with the generic? Or no? Thank you.

    • Julia

      Thank you for this link! I realize the post is over a year old but the link is still valid and I just spoke with this pharmacy that is directly contracted for WB XL. My doc will fax my Rx tomorrow and hopefully all will go well. I was freaking out when I found out my ins. wont cover this drug and I was thinking I was being forced to go generic… of which I have had terrible reactions to the generics in the past. I wont do them again and was trying to prepare myself to pay out of pocket when I came across your post. Thank you Thank you Thank you! $50 for brand is significant compared to $850 (discounted price from $1K!!). I felt compelled to post an update that the link is valid …. http://wellbutrinxl.com/savingscard/consumer/guarantee-program
      All the best :)

      • Kristen

        Hey is this link still valid? Thanks!!

      • Angela

        This is only a warning label pamplet. Where is the contact info to get the prescription or paperwork to change to name brand. Please help!
        My pharmacy just told me it will be 857.00 a month. Generic is not working for me at all.

    • emi
      Charlottesville, VA

      Thank you for the info. My doc prescribed me wellbutrin, however my insurance directs to fill.

  9. Lynn

    I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what I can do? I am on medicare and have the part D. Medicare no longer is covering Welbutrin the last time I filled it, I paid $337.00. I can find one company who will help, but their cost will be $400.00 and $77.00 for the insurance coverage. I can’t take the generic so was wondering how you find a pharmacy in Canada that you can fill your prescription, that is reputable.

    When you look on the internet, there are several but how do you know if you are getting the right drug and it’s really a pharmacy and not a scam?

  10. Lynn

    I have been on brand name Wellbutrin for about 11 years . I had taken the generic for a while and felt really bad on it. I went back on the brand and have felt fine. Now Medicare has taken it off it’s list of drugs which means I either go back on the generic or pay $335.00 a month. How do they find that fair?
    I guess I will have to pay it, but would like to find a reputable pharmacy in Canada and see if I could get it from them. Does any one know of one?
    Thank you,

  11. Deborah G.
    Winston Salem NC

    I, too, have had the brand vs. generic experience though mine was with Cymbalta. Brand worked great, insurance company took advantage of the advent of the Affordable Care Act, as I believe ALL insurance companies have done, and used that as an excuse to cut benefits, raise premiums and shorten their RX list of coverage. Result? I was switched to generic Cymbalta and became a whole new me, raged-out, suicidal and unrecognizable even to myself. I tried two different manufacture sources. I’ve been off it since mid-July, and I’m still having brain zaps. Now my Doc wants to put me on brand necessary Wellbutrin XL. My cost: $1,204.33 per month. That’s with BCBS.

  12. rj

    I have always been on the name brand here in Canada, our health care is far superior than the health care in the USA, I take remron, valeant wellbutrin and a couple other pills. I just think when you’re on pills that are involved with the brain you can’t take chances and play around with it, it is hard to regulate all the new generic drug manufacturers and they try to keep costs down on their pills and thats why they are putting out garbage pills.

    I do have great benefits and they do pay 95% and the wife’s pays 85% so 3 months of valeant 300mg wellbutrin costs $9 and all the rest are fully covered but to get to my point a lot of manufacturers have a co-pay program, those of you that want name brand wellbutrin, valeant has that program and you guys should look into it. Valeant is far superior than any other wellbutrin manufacturer out the. Please look into program and stop playing around with your brain. I have a friend that swears by the mylan brand wellbutrin, but that all she’s ever had and its been great for her so some may work some may not work, I just know that my wellbutrin will not change because the pharmacies have to carry the name brand and a few generic brands, and they can change the generic brands from day to day, one day mylan next week teva and the next a different brand.

  13. ray

    Has anyone had good luck with valeant brand wellbutrin, or is there a better brand?
    People’s Pharmacy response: Wellbutrin is the brand name drug.

    • Greg

      It’s worth noting that Valeant ONLY makes the XL version of Wellbutrin. Valeant is the brand name for XL. When it comes to Wellbutrin SR, GlaxoSmithKline is the name brand. So on this thread, when you hear people talk about Valeant as a name brand for Wellbutrin, they’re referring to the XL, not SR or immediate release for that matter.

  14. cpmt

    some generics are better than others depending the manufacture. some people have good results with some and when their insurance changes the manufacture (the same generic medicine) stopped its benefits and the same generic don’t have the same effects and is not the same.

  15. SG

    Hi Folks,
    For me, the TEVA brand (their SR version) is what has worked perfectly for me for about eight years (1x/day 150mg SR in conjunction with Adderall for ADHD). I don’t remember if I ever took brand. But now, TEVA is no longer making any Wellbutrin generics. I switched to the Sandoz generic and I’ve had feelings of lightheadedness. I remembered that this lightheaded feeling was the same feeling I had when my psych and I tried going from 150mg/day to 200mg/day (TEVA). So maybe the issue I’m experiencing now is due to too high a dose. It’s quite possible that the TEVA brand didn’t get into my system well and so had a lower effective dose, which worked perfectly for me. So I’m going to try 100mg/day of the Mylan generic and see if my lightheadedness goes away.
    I’m no supporter of generics… but I’m telling my story because I don’t think it’s always about brand = good and generics = bad. It can simply be a matter of finding the right dose on the formulation you are taking. Or maybe switching to another generic.
    I certainly think the FDA should be tougher on generics to mimic more closely the behavior of brand. But feeling like a slave to the brand and the insurance company isn’t great outcome. And there are lots of generic choices for Wellbutrin. I’ll report back how I do on the 100mg SR Mylan version.

  16. DM

    OMG!!! I have been taking Generic Wellbutrin on and off for 10+ yrs. I was first prescribed brand Wellbutrin. It pulled me right out of a deep depression. I was doing fantastic. Because of the cost however I had no choice but to switch to the generic version. Within a short period of time I began experiencing the less effective results. I discussed with my Dr. And therapist numerous times that I’m just not myself. This is not me.. My Dr has tried other medications by themselves and with the Wellbutrin over the years but I just can not find the person I used to be… I ‘ve tried to trace back to when The last time I felt normal. It was when I was on brand Wellbutrin.
    I have also questioned my Dr many times (in fact again just at my last visit ) if there was a difference between the generic and brand drug or if one pharmacy’s drug supplier was better then anothers. He assured me they were exactly the same except for the cost.
    Then Today I was reading once again (as I have several times in the past) the side effects of Wellbutrin. I some how came across an article about the FDA findings on the generic Bupropion not being as effective as Wellbutrin. I have been thinking this for years !!
    Is this my answer? I am desperate? Will the brand Wellbutrin bring back my life?
    I am certainly going to bring this finding to my Dr attention ASAP. Pray for me that it is my solution as I hate the person I am now and want myself back. Oh Yeah, I forgot, can I afford it? :(
    Any advice, info, or help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for reading!

  17. R R

    Have you tried the Valeant discount program. I’m now getting a 30-day supply of the 300XL for $50.00 a month. It might even be lower depending on your insurance but at most $50.00 I’ve been on the PAR 150mg 2X a day, Watson 300XL and Actavis 300XL and only the PAR 2X a day worked well. I just got my new Valeant Wellbutrin and am already noticing a difference.

  18. ch

    I’m trying to find which manufacturer of generic bupropion Xl 300 Mg is better and multiple searches have led to few answers. Is there anyone satisfied taking a generic bupropion Xl? If so-which manufacturer’s buptopion Xl is it (the pharmacy can tell you which manufacturer they use).

  19. Kat

    I have been on generic form of wellbutrin xl for two months and I am not feeling the effects that I have had in the past while taking non-generic form. I can’t afford the brand name and am forced to take generic. I wondered if I started taking the generic sr if I would have better results?

  20. GT

    I started taking Wellbutrin SR about 12yrs. ago. My doctor tried me on Wellbutrin XL and also generic brand Wellbutrin. After much trial and error, it was evident that I could only take BRAND NAME WELLBUTRIN SR. I was able to get help with the purchase of this drug due to its extremely high cost and I had no insurance. When I turned 65 yo and became medicare eligible, I was no longer eligible to received assistance with the brand name Wellbutrin SR. To pay for one months supply of Wellbutrin SR twice a day cost me $450.00. Medicare helped some, but I reached the donut hole in 5-6 months and now it costs me over $200.00 EACH MONTH.
    I had to try the generic Wellbutrin SR because I could not afford brand. I took generic Wellbutrin SR the first day, approximately 2-3 hrs. after taking, I noticed some stomach pain and discomfort but didn’t think much of it. Later that afternoon, I took my other dose of generic Wellbutrin SR and several hrs later my stomach pain and discomfort came back. Still didn’t relate. The next morning I took my first general Wellbutrin SR and immediately had severe stomach pains that almost sent me to the Urgent Care. Only then did I realize that my stomach pains were coming from the generic Wellbutrin SR. I took no more of the generic and got the brand name Wellbutrin SR the next day and started taking only one a day to see if I could do with this dosage to save money.
    After about 6 weeks, I realized that I was headed down the wrong path. I knew I was not feeling right and that I HAD TO TAKE THE BRAND NAME WELLBUTRIN SR to be able to have a functional meaningful life as I had been having for 12 yrs. up until I was forced to try the generic Wellbutrin SR again. I have tried all avenues to get help with this brand name medication and have hit a dead end. Why can’t anyone come forth and test all generic forms of wellbutrin sr and see what is different!!!!!! Yes there is a difference!!!!!!

  21. Becky H.

    I have been on the generic brand “Bupropion HCL 150mg XL” since insurance cut out Wellbutrin. It’s probably been at least 2 years. My dose is 150 hcl xl 3 a day (450). Its been ok I quess even though it does not give me the satisfaction Wellbutrin did. BUT in the last 10 mts I have been fighting panic attacks, which I’ve never had before. Oh my they are horrible! Then just the other day I decided to read over the side effects of Bupropion again. There on the page it clearly stated (could cause panic attacks!!!) WOW! I want off this stuff & am going to my doc next week. I am on it for anxiety & also told it could help cope with my Fibromyalgia. I do not want to feel sedated or drowsy. I have to take care of my elderly parents. Most brands I have tried caused weight gain & that’s not an option for me. I’m 57 years old .
    Thank you

    • Rebecca

      I can relate for some reason my body does not like any generic medication at all not even anabiotic’s my body rejects it my insurance covered my name brand Wellbutrin SR as I cannot take the XL for many years now suddenly they’re not gonna pay for it because why?

      I think that’s not right there should be a law against it as it seems to me that it is not only me but there are lots of other people who’s body can’t handle generic. For some reason my body does not like any generic medication at all not even anabiotic’s my body rejects it.

      My insurance had no problem covering name brand and then suddenly they did and I have very good insurance it’s disgusting when we live in a place where we are told we cannot take the medication that our body is accustomed to taking and we are told to take generic it’s just the same when even the doctors tell us it is not the same the ingredients are slightly off.

      I feel there should be a law against it like I said if your insurance covered it previously they should cover it now and always not to sound repetitive. But of course they won’t listen to me because I am nobody in their eyes. What a sad day to be an American and looked at as nobody because we cannot take generic.

  22. sp

    Quite a while ago I discovered the generic worked better for me than the brand, and it is still working. Oddly enough I got a letter from my insurance company today telling me that they are raising the category for both generic and brand. Not sure if it’s related to this inquiry.

  23. Karen

    I’m forced to switch back to the generic.
    No, we are forced to make a choice between saving money and taking the generic, or paying more money out of pocket and getting the brand name.
    People make choices about what’s important to them all the time. I realize that paying out of pocket for drugs is not the American way.
    Not being depressed again is worth a lot of money.

  24. Thom

    I use to take Wellbutrin (bupropion) generic for depression and fatigue and found that it wasn’t working well. I was told I have poop out syndrome.
    This was several years ago. How long had this been going on with the Indian company? How do I know where it can from at this time? And can I start taking it again, if I was getting a reduced/potent pill? Thanks. Thom in DC.

  25. cpmt

    The insurance co. want the easy way out. They don’t care if a drug works or not and for them it is easier and cheaper to accept what FDA tells us even though they know is not the truth

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.