Aplenzin (bupropion) is a brand-name drug prescribed for certain depressive disorders in adults. Aplenzin comes as an ER tablet that’s typically taken once per day. The dosage can vary depending on certain factors.

Aplenzin is an extended-release (ER) tablet. This kind of tablet releases medication into the body slowly over time. Aplenzin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to:

Aplenzin contains bupropion hydrobromide (bupropion HBr) and belongs to a drug class called aminoketone antidepressants. Aplenzin isn’t available in a generic version. However, a generic version of bupropion hydrochloride (bupropion HCl) is available. Bupropion HCl is a different form of bupropion than what’s in Aplenzin.

Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Aplenzin, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Aplenzin, see this article.

Note: This article describes typical dosages for Aplenzin provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Aplenzin, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Below is information about the form, strengths, and dosages of Aplenzin.

Aplenzin form

Aplenzin comes as an ER oral tablet. With ER medications, the drug is slowly released into your body over time.

Aplenzin strengths

Aplenzin comes in three strengths:

  • 174 milligrams (mg)
  • 348 mg
  • 522 mg

Typical dosages

Typically, your doctor will start by prescribing a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs. In some cases, doctors may adjust your dosage from those shown below.

Dosage for major depressive disorder (MDD)

Doctors may prescribe Aplenzin to treat MDD. “MDD” is a medical term for clinical depression.

The recommended starting dose for MDD is 174 mg. Typically, you’ll take this once per day in the morning. After 4 days, your doctor may recommend increasing your dosage to 348 mg once per day. This is the typically recommended dosage for treating MDD.

The maximum dosage that’s recommended for treating MDD is 522 mg per day.

For more information about your specific dosage for MDD, talk with your doctor.

Dosage for seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Aplenzin is also prescribed to help prevent episodes of depression in people who have SAD. Doctors typically start treatment in autumn. Then they begin lowering the dose in spring before stopping treatment.

The starting dosage for SAD is 174 mg, taken once per day in the morning. After 7 days, your doctor may recommend increasing your dosage to 348 mg once per day. This is the typically recommended dosage for SAD. It’s also the highest dosage studied for this condition in clinical trials of Aplenzin.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your dosage for SAD.

How to take Aplenzin

Aplenzin comes as an ER tablet that you swallow whole once per day, with or without food. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips or consult a doctor or pharmacist. Do not divide, crush, or chew Aplenzin. Doing so disrupts the release of the drug from the tablet.

It may be helpful to take Aplenzin around the same time each morning. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Aplenzin can work effectively. You’ll want to avoid taking it around bedtime, as trouble sleeping is a possible Aplenzin side effect.

If you miss a dose, take the next dose at your usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for a missed dose. (For information about taking too much of this drug, see “Aplenzin and overdose” below.)

Your doctor may provide additional guidance to follow while taking Aplenzin. This may include to:

  • avoid or limit alcohol consumption
  • avoid other forms of bupropion, including bupropion HCl (Wellbutrin, Zyban)
  • tell your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications
  • tell your doctor if your symptoms seem to be worsening instead of easing

If you have questions about how to take Aplenzin, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. There’s also a dosing fact sheet on the manufacturer’s website.

Long-term treatment

For MDD, Aplenzin is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Aplenzin is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

For SAD, people typically start Aplenzin in the fall and gradually stop in the spring. If it’s effective for your condition, your doctor may recommend taking it seasonally like this.

Before you start taking Aplenzin, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you. They can help answer questions about how long you can expect to take Aplenzin.


Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Aplenzin in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.

It’s important that you do not take more Aplenzin than your doctor prescribes. Doing so may lead to harmful effects or overdose, which can be serious or even fatal. An Aplenzin overdose may require monitoring and treatment at a hospital.

Effects of an overdose

Overdose effects of Aplenzin can include:

If you take more than the recommended amount of Aplenzin

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Aplenzin. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Aplenzin and dosage.

Is the dosage of Aplenzin similar to the dosage of Wellbutrin XL?

Yes, there are some similarities in the dosages of these drugs. However, there are differences as well, including the strength of each dose. Both Aplenzin and Wellbutrin XL come as extended-release (ER) tablets that are typically taken once per day for MDD.

The dosage in milligrams for Aplenzin versus Wellbutrin XL differs because they contain different forms of the active ingredient (bupropion). Aplenzin contains bupropion HBr, and Wellbutrin XL contains bupropion HCl. The table below shows how the recommended dosages compare:

AplenzinWellbutrin XL
Lowest (starting) dose per day174 mg150 mg
Maintenance dose per day348 mg300 mg
Maximum dose per day for treating SAD348 mg300 mg
Maximum dose per day for treating MDD522 mg450 mg

Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for you. To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

Is Aplenzin used to treat ADHD? If so, what’s the dosage?

Yes, Aplenzin may be prescribed off-label for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what the FDA approved it for. Aplenzin is approved to treat certain types of depression (MDD and SAD).

A 2017 review of several studies concluded that bupropion (the active ingredient in Aplenzin) may be effective in treating ADHD in some adults. But since Aplenzin isn’t FDA-approved to treat ADHD, the drugmaker doesn’t include a recommended dosage for it.

If you have questions about managing ADHD, talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend medication options or other treatments that will work for you.

Is there a risk of dependence with Aplenzin? What happens if I stop taking Aplenzin?

Aplenzin is not known to cause dependence. But even though Aplenzin dependence is unlikely, you should not stop taking the medication suddenly.

With dependence, a person becomes used to a drug and needs it to function as usual. They may experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking the drug after taking it for some time. (Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that happen after you stop taking a drug your body has become dependent on.)

If you’re interested in no longer taking Aplenzin, talk with your doctor first. If a decision is made to stop Aplenzin, your doctor will slowly lower your dose over time. This is known as a dose taper. It helps reduce your risk of symptoms when you stop taking Aplenzin.

Do not stop taking Aplenzin unless your doctor specifically recommends it. If you have questions about your treatment plan, talk with your doctor.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.