WELLBUTRIN XL and Generics

There are different generic versions of WELLBUTRIN XL. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires generic medicines to be bioequivalent to their brand name counterpart. This means that they work the same way. But there are some things that can be different.1,2

It is important to know the differences and how they can impact your treatment experience.

1 - Appearance


Generic Versions of WELLBUTRIN XL

Graphic representation of WELLBUTRIN XL and generic versions of WELLBUTRIN XL. Not actual size.

  • Generic versions of brand name medications may smell, look, and taste different1,2
  • Being given a different generic version of WELLBUTRIN XL that is different in appearance from month to month could become confusing1,2
  • With brand name WELLBUTRIN XL, you will have the comfort of knowing you are getting the same tablet each month
2 - Inactive ingredients
  • Generic versions of WELLBUTRIN XL may contain different inactive ingredients2
  • Inactive ingredients do not affect how well a medicine works but may cause different side effects2,3
3 - Refills
  • If you are taking a generic version of WELLBUTRIN XL, you may be given a different generic each month
  • Each generic could have different inactive ingredients2,3

Only the Brand Offers SmartCoatTM Technology With Steady 24-Hour Coverage

When you are suffering from depression, it can be reassuring to know that your antidepressant is providing you with coverage 24 hours a day. That’s why brand name WELLBUTRIN XL uses patented SmartCoat technology, allowing for a steady release over a 24-hour period.4-6

This means a consistent level of the active ingredient is available in the body over the course of each day.

Patented SmartCoat technology

play button icon See how SmartCoat
technology works

Ask for “WELLBUTRIN XL” by Name at the Pharmacy

There are steps you can take to make sure your pharmacist fills your prescription with brand name WELLBUTRIN XL and not a generic.

At your doctor’s office:

You have the right to ask your healthcare professional for a brand name medication, and your pharmacist has to fill the specific prescription when it states to “dispense as written.”

Prior to picking up your prescription:

See Savings & Access tab above to find out if you are eligible* for a Copay Savings Card, and bring it with you to the pharmacy.

Before leaving the pharmacy:

Check that you received WELLBUTRIN XL, a creamy white to pale yellow round tablet with “WELLBUTRIN XL” and the dose strength shown on the tablet.

*This offer is not valid for patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid or any other federal or state funded healthcare program or where prohibited by law. Please see Savings & Access tab above for full eligibility criteria, terms and conditions.

Questions to ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist

For your healthcare professional
  • Who from your office can help me find out if my insurance company will cover brand name WELLBUTRIN XL?
  • Will you write my prescription for WELLBUTRIN XL so that it specifically asks for the brand name product?
For your pharmacist
  • Am I set up in your system to automatically receive generics?
  • Will you ask me before substituting a brand name with a generic medicine?

If you find you have been given a generic, speak to your healthcare professional to confirm they authorized this substitution.

Find out about a simple (and fast!) way to get brand name WELLBUTRIN XL filled at the pharmacy and delivered to your home for free!


WELLBUTRIN XL is a tablet that comes in 2 dosage strengths7

150 mg

300 mg

Graphic representation of WELLBUTRIN XL. Not actual size.


  1. Peters JR. From our perspective: the importance of the physical characteristics of generic drugs. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/newsevents/ucm471446.htm. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  2. Straka RJ, Keohane DJ, Liu LZ. Potential clinical and economic impact of switching branded medications to generics. Am J Ther. 2017;24(3):e278-e289.
  3. Brown T. Inactive ingredients in medications cause trouble for some. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/910411. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  4. Fava M, Rush AJ, Thase ME, et al. 15 years of clinical experience with bupropion HCl: from bupropion to bupropion SR to bupropion XL. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2005;7(3):106-113.
  5. US Patent 6096341.
  6. US Patent 6143327.
  7. WELLBUTRIN XL (bupropion hydrochloride extended-release) Prescribing Information. Bausch Health Companies Inc.
  8. Modell JG, Rosenthal NE, Harriett AE, et al. Seasonal affective disorder and its prevention by anticipatory treatment with bupropion XL. Biol Psychiatry. 2005;58(8):658-667.
  9. Mayo Clinic. Bupropion (oral route). https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/bupropion-oral-route/description/drg-20062478. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  10. InformedHealth.org. Depression: how effective are antidepressants? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK361016/?report=printable. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  11. Ashton AK, Jamerson BD, Weinstein WL, Wagoner C. Antidepressant-related adverse effects impacting treatment compliance: results of a patient survey. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2005;66(2):96-106.
  12. Kelly K, Posternak M, Alpert JE. Toward achieving optimal response: understanding and managing antidepressant side effects. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2008;10(4):409-418.
  13. Fortney JC, Pyne JM, Edlund MJ, et al. Reasons for antidepressant nonadherence among veterans treated in primary care clinics. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011;72(6):827-834.
  14. Hu XH, Bull SA, Hunkeler EM, et al. Incidence and duration of side effects and those rated as bothersome with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment for depression: patient report versus physician estimate. J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;65(7):959-965.
  15. Gelenberg AJ, Freeman MP, Markowitz JC, et al. Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. 3rd ed. American Psychiatric Association; 2010.
  16. Clayton AH, Croft HA, Horrigan JP, et al. Bupropion extended release compared with escitalopram: effects on sexual functioning and antidepressant efficacy in 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;67(5):736-746.