Wellbutrin (bupropion) is a popular prescription medication used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) and prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It also has several off-label uses.
Bupropion is the generic form of Wellbutrin and one of its active ingredients. It can also help individuals to quit smoking.
Wellbutrin has fewer reported cases of sexual dysfunction than other antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Luvox, and Prozac. As a result, it may appeal to some people. However, like other drugs, it has certain side effects. Fortunately, many of them are usually mild and may lessen as the body adjusts to the medication. However, some are much more severe and may require an individual to seek medical attention. Here are some potential side effects of Wellbutrin medication.
Consult EZCare doctors to get the most suitable medication prescribed.
Wellbutrin Side Effects During the First Week
Taking Wellbutrin for the first week may cause side effects such as:
- Mild headache.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Dry mouth.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Sore throat.
Other Common Side Effects of Wellbutrin
- Weight loss.
- Sleep problems.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Increased sweating.
- Stomach pain.
- Blurred vision.
- Muscle pain.
- Skin rash.
- Loss of appetite.
- Frequent urination.
Many people find relief from common side effects within a week or two. However, they should consult their doctor or pharmacist if the symptoms persist or worsen. Also, note that the list above does not have all the bupropion side effects. If someone experiences any other adverse effects, they should call their healthcare provider at once.
Also, help is required in the case of any of Wellbutrin’s long-term side effects:
- Angle-closure glaucoma.
- Heart attack.
- Severe allergic reactions.
Contraindications of Wellbutrin
Patients with several conditions cannot take Wellbutrin so as to avoid harmful effects on the body. These include:
- Hypersensitivity to the medication’s ingredients.
- Seizure disorder.
- Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). One can only take Wellbutrin 14 days after stopping MAOIs.
- A diagnosed anorexia nervosa or bulimia. Prior diagnosis can also make Wellbutrin an unsuitable option.
Discuss your symptoms, health history, and medication history with a doctor to get a medicine that will help you best.
Warnings and Precautions
Patients taking Wellbutrin for smoking cessation may notice serious neuropsychiatric effects. These include mania, depression, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, anxiety and aggression, and suicidal ideation or attempts. One should contact their doctor immediately if such adverse effects occur to get discontinuation instructions. Stopping Wellbutrin is also required in the case of seizures. Also, people with risks for cardiovascular issues should monitor blood pressure because Wellbutrin can increase it.
It is not the full list of precautions and warnings. Consult your prescribing physician before taking Wellbutrin.
How Long Do the Side Effects of Wellbutrin Last?
Depending on how quickly the body adjusts to Wellbutrin, its side effects could last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. However, some adverse effects may become more severe and take longer to fade away than others. See a doctor when symptoms persist beyond two to three weeks or when they become severe.
An increased vulnerability to depressive episodes and suicidal ideation or conduct is highlighted in a black box warning for Wellbutrin.
How to Avoid Wellbutrin Side Effects
A doctor will probably start by prescribing a low dosage of Wellbutrin to help reduce the potential for side effects. They may gradually increase the dosage to improve the patient’s condition later. Also, one should follow the next recommendations:
- Consult on using other medications. Patients should always consult their healthcare provider before starting treatment with Wellbutrin if they intend to use it together with the other medicines. These include MAO inhibitors, intravenous methylene blue, and linezolid.
- Do not double the dose after missing one. If a patient skips a Wellbutrin dose, they should not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. Taking any extra dose can increase the risk of severe after-effects like convulsions.
- Avoid alcohol. If a person decides to combine alcohol and Wellbutrin, it may increase their risk of severe side effects, such as seizures and suicidal ideation.
Also, if a person decides to stop using Wellbutrin abruptly without consulting their healthcare provider, withdrawal symptoms may occur. If the dosage does seem to work or its side effects become intolerable, seek medical attention instead of stopping the medication.
Just like any other medical drug, Wellbutrin usage can cause side effects. Some of the common side effects include anxiety, tiredness, and nausea. The more serious ones involve seizures, fainting, and suicidal ideation.
Most people who use Wellbutrin experience mild, short-lived side effects which may not require medical attention. However, if symptoms are severe, persistent, or worsening, it is essential to get in touch with a doctor immediately.