Mania with bupropion:
a dose-related phenomenon?
Goren JL, Levin GM
Albany College of Pharmacy,
Ann Pharmacother 2000 May; 34(5):619-21


OBJECTIVE: To report a case in which bipolar depression was resistant to usual therapies, requiring dosages of bupropion >450 mg/d and to review the literature on mania associated with bupropion and propose a potential theory of a dose-related threshold associated with bupropion and mania. CASE SUMMARY: A 44-year-old white man with a 25-year history of bipolar affective disorder presented with depression resistant to usual therapies. Bupropion therapy was initiated and the dosage was titrated to 600 mg/d. After exceeding the maximum recommended daily dose (450 mg/d), he experienced a manic episode attributed to high-dose bupropion. DISCUSSION: Due to increased risk of seizures, current prescribing guidelines state that the total daily dose of bupropion is not to exceed 450 mg/d. Since bupropion is the agent least likely to cause a manic switch in bipolar disorder, this agent seemed a logical choice to treat the patient's depression. Due to a lack of response, the bupropion dosage was titrated to a maximum of 600 mg/d. Since the patient did not switch into mania until the dosage exceeded 450 mg/d, we speculate that this adverse reaction is a dose-related phenomenon. Scientific literature supports this theory. CONCLUSIONS: A switch into mania is a potential risk associated with antidepressant drug use in bipolar affective disorder. Bupropion is believed to be associated with a decreased risk compared with other antidepressant therapies. However, our case report as well as others support the theory that this decreased risk may be due to dosages not exceeding the recommended daily dose (450 mg/d). Doses of bupropion >450 mg/d should be used with caution in depressed patients with bipolar affective disorder.
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar depression
The manic spectrum
Bipolar polypharmacy
Drug-induced depression
Bupropion for nicotine quitters
Antidepressant-induced mania
Bupropion used to augment SSRIs
Switching to bupropion from a SSRI
Bupropion and the dopamine transporter
Mania and emotional intensity / hyper-reactivity
Bupropion: pharmacology and therapeutic applications

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