Background: This trial was conducted to determine the incidence of seizures associated with the use of bupropion.
Method: A total of 3341 depressed patients from 102 sites were enrolled in this 8-week, prospective, open trial. Following the 8-week treatment phase, patients could elect to enroll in a humanitarian continuation phase of unlimited duration. Dosing was initiated at 225 mg/day and increased to 450 mg/day as tolerated. Investigators carefully monitored seizure occurrences and rated their patients' response to and tolerance of bupropion.
Results: A total of 1986 patients (61%) completed the 8-week treatment phase, and 1616 (81%) of these elected to be maintained on bupropion treatment in the humanitarian continuation phase. The observed seizure rate was 0.24% for the treatment phase and 0.40% for the entire study. An 8-week survival analysis performed on patients with a dosing regimen of 300 to 450 mg/day yielded a cumulative rate of 0.36%. Patients, including those previously resistant to antidepressant treatment, responded to and tolerated bupropion well.
Conclusion: These rates confirm earlier seizure estimates and fall within accepted parameters for antidepressant drugs. This trial enhances bupropion's position as a valuable alternative for the management of depression.