Effectiveness and Safety of Bupropion in Children and Adolescents with Depressive Disorders: A Retrospective Chart Review
Kukju Kweon 1, Hyo-Won Kim 2*
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, Ulsan, Korea , 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
Received: April 11, 2018; Revised: July 12, 2018; Accepted: August 14, 2018; Published online: August 14, 2018.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and safety of bupropion extended-release for the treatment of depressive disorder in children and adolescents.
Methods: This was a 12-week, retrospective chart review of bupropion, which included 127 youth (age 15.3±2.3 years, 66 boys) with depressive disorders (105 with major depressive disorder, 14 with dysthymia, 11 with adjustment disorder with depressed mood, and seven with depressive disorder not otherwise specified). Illness severity at baseline and at the 4th, 8th, and 12th weeks was retrospectively scored using the Clinical Global Impressions-Depression-Severity (CGI-Depression-S) and/or Clinical Global Impressions-Depression-Improvement (CGI-Depression-I).
Results: The mean dose of bupropion was 180.0±52.6 (range, 75–300) mg/day and the mean duration 33.9±53.1 (range, 7–295) weeks. The CGI-Depression-S scores were significantly decreased over 12 weeks (F=132.125, p<0.001, partial η2=0.508). Fifty-eight subjects (45.7%) were determined to be responders at 12 weeks (defined by a CGI-Depression-I score ≤ 2). Forty-six patients (36.2%) discontinued bupropion before the 12 weeks (19 due to adverse events, 15 due to poor effectiveness, three due to referral to other clinics, and nine due to follow-up loss for unknown reasons). Overall, bupropion was well tolerated. The most common adverse event was irritability (n=12, 9.4%), which resolved spontaneously in eight subjects or after drug discontinuation in four subjects.
Conclusion: Our results provide preliminary evidence of the effectiveness and safety of bupropion in children and adolescents with depressive episodes. Large, prospective, placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Keywords: bupropion, Depressive Disorder, children, adolescent, Treatment Outcome, Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions