How long does it take for Wellbutrin to work?

Disease Health News

Wellbutrin is the brand drug of the popular antidepressant medication, Bupropion. Like other antidepressant drugs, it might take numerous weeks to observe the complete effect of the drug. However, it’s normal to observe steady improvement. Let’s understand more about how long does it take for Wellbutrin to work?

What Is Wellbutrin?

What Is Wellbutrin
What Is Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is a well-accepted atypical antidepressant. It exerts its action by altering the levels of various chemicals present in the brain. It comes in the market in the form of a tablet. The medication is recommended as a treatment for health problems such as depression and seasonal affective disorder.

Also, Wellbutrin may be recommended as a drug for smoking cessation. Studies propose that Wellbutrin may lower cravings and withdrawal symptoms in ex-smokers. This makes it simpler for them to give up tobacco products like cigarettes. In comparison to a majority of other antidepressants, Bupropion is less expected to result in a few adverse effects including dizziness, weight loss or gain and sexual impairment.

Wellbutrin and Aplenzin are the brand drugs of Bupropion. It is an antidepressant drug recommended by the USFDA to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and nicotine addiction. In addition, the medication can be used off-label to treat conditions like obesity, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), neuropathic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Bupropion is exceptional to other antidepressant medications as it’s a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). It is a new formulation of antidepressant medications that infrequently lead to the side effects of its previous counterparts like weight gain and sexual impairment. Thus, the medication is considered moderately safe when used as recommended.

Bupropion comes in 3 major forms:

  • Sustained-release tablet
  • Extended-release tablet
  • Immediate-release tablet

The difference between Wellbutrin XL and SR is the mode of release of the drug in the body. XL stands for “extended release” and people must take it only once a day. SR refers to “sustained release” and must be consumed twice a day, normally in the morning and afternoon.

Wellbutrin XL is available in 150 mg and 300 mg tablets. In addition, Wellbutrin SR is a tablet and is available in the dosages, 100 mg, 150 mg, and 200 mg. People may consume Wellbutrin with or without food.

How does Wellbutrin work?

How does Wellbutrin work
How does Wellbutrin work

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) falls under the category of drugs called aminoketones. It acts by having an effect on the way a person’s body forms neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Both these neurotransmitters are important for improving moods.

Neurotransmitters are kind of chemical messengers used by a person’s body. Their role is to transmit signals between neurons. These are internal messaging systems for a person’s body, distributing directions between the neurons and from neurons to other body tissues.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls sleep, learning, motivation, pleasure, mood and a range of other vital functions. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that controls the alertness and action of the body. It assists to enhance the heart rate, pump blood all over the body, keep a person alert, awake, and capable of focusing and recalling vital information.

How long does it take for Wellbutrin to work for Depression:

Wellbutrin For Depression
Wellbutrin For Depression

Individuals with depression might experience low levels of neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine. By inhibiting a person’s brain from resorbing DA and NE, aminoketone drugs including Wellbutrin (bupropion) may enhance the levels and treat the signs of depression. You may see some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks.

How long does it take for Wellbutrin to work for ADHD:

Wellbutrin For ADHD
Wellbutrin For ADHD

Wellbutrin assists in improving focus and concentration. The medication keeps the neurotransmitters, DA and NE available to the brain’s neurons for a longer period. You may see some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks.

How long does it take for Wellbutrin to work for Smoking Cessation:

Presently, professionals are uncertain exactly why bupropion is efficacious as a treatment for individuals who wish to quit smoking. Yet, they think that its effects on dopamine may be accountable for at least some of its efficacy as a smoking quitting aid. 

Contrasting to other smoking cessation treatments, Wellbutrin doesn’t comprise nicotine. In its place, it might act by mimicking a few of the nicotine effects, which also lead to release of additional dopamine by the brain.

Wellbutrin For Smoking Cessation
Wellbutrin For Smoking Cessation

Although this doesn’t necessarily make you less addicted to nicotine, it can help you more easily deal with the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and cravings for nicotine that often develop when you quit smoking. 

Not every person has the similar signs of depression, but common ones can be:

  • Low energy
  • Feeling depressed, empty, sad, and hopeless
  • Lack of interest or liking in activities a person generally enjoys
  • Sleeping more or less than normal
  • Consuming more or less than normal
  • Feeling worried
  • Trouble concentrating

A person’s energy, sleep, and appetite might begin improving in the first week or two. This might be a significant indication that the medication is working. It often takes 6-8 weeks prior to any improvement in the person’s mood or recuperating interest in activities he or she enjoys.

Using Wellbutrin may enhance the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Hence, close monitoring of such side effects is vital. Also, a few individuals might be at risk for a seizure from taking Wellbutrin. Hence, it is better to begin a low dose of this medication and increase it progressively for safety. This might also make it take longer for the medicine to have its complete effect. You may see some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks.

How long does it take for Wellbutrin to work?

Bupropion might take a number of weeks to start working as a treatment for MDD, SAD, and nicotine addiction. People might notice considerable significant improvements to physical signs including appetite, sleep patterns, as well as energy levels during initial weeks of treatment.

Yet, it might take nearly 4-6 weeks to experience any significant improvements in mood and interest in activities. Wellbutrin for treating MDD might be needed long after the signs are controlled to avoid the depressive signs from re-developing. In contrast, Wellbutrin for smoking quitting and SAD is only needed for a shorter duration.

Since Wellbutrin for treating nicotine addiction takes a number of weeks to begin functioning, many individuals are suggested to initiate a “quit date” and begin Wellbutrin treatment while still smoking to provide the drug enough time to take effect. When to take Wellbutrin? Wellbutrin for quitting smoking is usually advisable 7-12 weeks after smoking cessation to reduce withdrawal signs. So, now you know how long does it take for Wellbutrin to work.

Wellbutrin Dosage:

Bupropion comes in numerous dosages. The ER bupropion tablets come in the doses of 75mg and 100mg, while SR versions of bupropion comprise 100mg, 150mg, 200mg, 300mg or 450mg of bupropion per tablet.

How to take Wellbutrin?

A person must always consume the medicine as per directions. Immediate-release Wellbutrin tablets may be broken if needed. People must take the medication on an empty stomach or with food. Also, store the medication at room temperature. Protect Wellbutrin tablets from light and moisture.

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What are the side effects of Wellbutrin?

Some of the common Wellbutrin side effects are:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Hot flashes
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Flushing
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Urinary tract infections

Wellbutrin Interaction:

Wellbutrin Interaction
Wellbutrin Interaction

Bupropion can interact with other drugs, such as OTC drugs, herbal products and health supplements:

  • Dangerous interactions may happen when Wellbutrin is used with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
  • Bupropion may also interact with other antidepressant drugs such as SSRIs, SNRIs, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) useful for treating major depression.
  • Other drugs that can interact with Wellbutrin are antiarrhythmics, antipsychotics, anticoagulants, beta-blockers, corticosteroids, dopamine precursors, and theophylline.
  • Wellbutrin and alcohol: Wellbutrin must never be mixed with alcohol. Doing so might enhance the side effects of Wellbutrin and might lead to a seizure risk.

Signs Wellbutrin is working:

Due to its effects on neurotransmitter levels, the medication may aid to lift a person’s mood and reduce the severity of the depression signs. After initiating Wellbutrin treatment, a person must start slowly observing changes in the way a person feels, thinks, and behaves. A person must look for the 6 signs that Wellbutrin is improving a person’s mental health and lowers the severity of the depression signs.

Person may feel more involved in hobbies and activities:

As Wellbutrin begins working, a person might observe that he or she feels more interested in the usual hobbies and activities.

Person finds it simpler to go to sleep:

Sound Sleep
Sound Sleep

Depression might have an effect on the sleep patterns, making it more troublesome for the person to go to sleep at night and maintain standard sleeping habits. Also, it might result in fatigue, which might result in deterioration of the sleep habits. If a person feels going to sleep easier than before, then it might be a good indication that Wellbutrin is beginning to work for him or her.

Person has some physical depression signs:

Depression may have an impact on a person’s physical and mental health. A lot of individuals experience physical signs while they’re depressed, such as joint pain, muscle pain, slower physical movements and speech, and even digestive problems. These might improve after a person begins taking drugs for depression, including Wellbutrin.

Person’s feelings and moods begin improving:

Mood Improvement
Mood Improvement

Another common indication that Wellbutrin is functioning is that a person’s moods, feelings and thoughts might begin becoming less negative. If a person has recently been recommended Wellbutrin and observes that his or her moods, thoughts and feelings start improving after some weeks, it’s probably an indication that the drug is working.

Person may be more capable of focusing and remembering things:

Depression may have an effect on mental function. This might affect a person’s educational progress, work capabilities, and capability of working daily.

Crafting decisions no more impossible:

If a person is using Wellbutrin for several weeks, he or she might find that it’s simpler to make decisions than before.

How to wean off Wellbutrin?

If a person experiences mental problems such as depression or bipolar disorder, it is vital to stay in contact with a healthcare provider about the medicine adjustment. If a person was consuming Wellbutrin to quit smoking, he or she might wish to keep a nicotine patch or nicotine gum on hand. This would aid in lowering likely nicotine cravings and any related agitation. So, now you know how long does it take for Wellbutrin to work and when to wean off Wellbutrin.


How long does it take for Wellbutrin to work for anxiety?

Wellbutrin seems to assist increased levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Wellbutrin’s effects classically emerge after 2 weeks of regular use, even though they might happen later for a few individuals.

How fast is weight loss on Wellbutrin?

Research studies of Wellbutrin SR indicate that 14% of individuals consuming a dose of 300 mg per day lost over 5 pounds. 19% of individuals lost over 5 pounds at a dose of 400 mg. Wellbutrin weight loss is correlated in this way. This is how long does it take for Wellbutrin to work for weightloss.

What to pair with Wellbutrin for anxiety?

Healthcare providers might suggest both Wellbutrin and an SSRI or SNRI drug. For acute incidents of anxiety or panic attacks associated with Wellbutrin, people may be recommended a short-acting anti-anxiety drug such as benzodiazepine or hydroxyzine.

When did Wellbutrin start working for you?

The regular Wellbutrin formula is an immediate-release drug. This implies that it starts functioning shortly after a person consumes it. As it works rapidly, it might be consumed up to thrice daily. In addition, this medication is helpful for treating MDD.

How long does Wellbutrin stay in your system?

A single dose of Wellbutrin would classically clear the body system in approximately 4 days. The half-life of Wellbutrin is between 18 to 21 hours. On the other hand, when a person is on a regular regimen, his or her blood levels must remain stable.

How to stop taking Wellbutrin?

The healthcare provider’s recommendation begins with a 300 mg dose, followed by 200 mg, then 150 mg and lastly 100 mg. However, the tapering plan must be individualized and adjusted depending upon the quantity a person has been using.

How long does it take for Wellbutrin to work for depression?

Wellbutrin, when taken as a depression treatment, generally takes around 6-8 weeks before it begins to work completely as a depression aid. Yet, a person might start experiencing improvements in the energy, sleep, and appetite levels as early as 1-2 weeks of treatment. Now, you know how long does it take for Wellbutrin to work.

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