Wellbutrin Side Effects

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Wellbutrin side effects can be a difficult obstacle to face when taking this medication to help with mental health disorders like depression. While Wellbutrin and similar antidepressants have beneficial effects, they can also lead to unwanted side effects. Although not everyone will experience these side effects, it is always advisable to seek medical attention if they occur.

Wellbutrin Side Effects List

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant indicated to address various health conditions. The medication is available as immediate-release, sustained-release, or extended-release tablets for oral consumption.

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Wellbutrin stands apart from other antidepressants due to its minimal impact on sexual function and libido, potentially even enhancing these areas. It is frequently prescribed alongside other antidepressants to mitigate sexual side effects like loss of libido. 

In the first weeks of taking Wellbutrin, potential side effects include headaches, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, constipation, and a rapid heartbeat

These are some other common Wellbutrin side effects:

  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Altered taste perception
  • Hair loss
  • Increased sweating
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Joint discomfort
  • Tremors
  • Increased urination

Certain severe side effects of Wellbutrin warrant immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the following while on any version of Wellbutrin, seek prompt medical attention:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting
  • Exaggerated feelings of well-being
  • Allergic reactions
  • Changes in vision
  • Agitation
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hostility
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Changes in sexual desire or function
  • Hearing problems
  • Impulsiveness
  • Confusion
  • Inability to sit still
  • Panic attacks
  • Dark urine
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe headache
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Severe or prolonged nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Unusual swelling
  • Worsening depression
  • Increased suicidal ideation
  • Seizures
an image of someone dealing with wellbutrin addiction

Wellbutrin Long-Term Side Effects

While many individuals tolerate Wellbutrin well and experience relief from their symptoms, there are potential long-term side effects of Wellbutrin to consider. Some of these effects may emerge after extended use of the medication. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary from person to person. Discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. 

Some long-term side effects of Wellbutrin might include: 

Weight changes

Some individuals may experience changes in weight over the long term, either gaining or losing weight. 

Sexual function

Although Wellbutrin is less likely to impact sexual function than other antidepressants, some people might still notice changes in sexual desire or performance over the long-term. 

Blood pressure

Prolonged use of Wellbutrin may trigger changes in blood pressure. Regular monitoring and communication with your healthcare provider can mitigate this.

Risk of seizures

While the risk of seizures with Wellbutrin is generally low – especially at standard doses – long-term use might slightly increase this risk. Those with a history of seizures, head trauma, or certain medical conditions may be more vulnerable. 

Liver function

Rare cases of liver issues have been reported with long-term use of Wellbutrin. Monitoring liver function through regular blood tests can help detect any abnormalities. 

Behavioral changes

Some people may experience shifts in behavior or mood over an extended period. Pay attention to any unusual or concerning changes and report them to a healthcare professional. 

Withdrawal effects

Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms may present when discontinuing the medication after long-term use. Gradual tapering under medical supervision can help reduce these effects. 

As with any medication, the benefits and risks of long-term Wellbutrin use should be weighed in consultation with a healthcare provider. Regular check-ins, open communication, and adjustments to treatment can help optimize mental health outcomes.

Side Effects of Stopping Wellbutrin

If you have been taking Wellbutrin for an extended period and are considering discontinuing the medication, do so under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Stopping Wellbutrin abruptly, especially after long-term use, can lead to a range of side effects, commonly referred to as withdrawal symptoms. Some potential side effects of stopping Wellbutrin without proper tapering may include: 

  • Flu-like symptoms: Individuals may experience flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, chills, and fever.
  • Mood changes: Emotional shifts, including irritability, mood swings, and increased anxiety or depression, can occur during withdrawal.
  • Dizziness and vertigo: Some people might experience feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, or vertigo.
  • Gastrointestinal distress: Nausea, vomiting, and digestive disturbances can arise as the body adjusts to the absence of the medication.
  • Sleep disturbances: Insomnia or vivid dreams may be reported when discontinuing Wellbutrin.
  • Electric shock sensations: Referred to as brain zaps, some people describe experiencing brief electric shock-like sensations in the head.
  • Fatigue and malaise: General feelings of fatigue, weakness, and lack of energy can be part of the withdrawal process.
  • Rebound symptoms: In some cases, the original symptoms that led to Wellbutrin treatment might temporarily resurface or worsen during withdrawal – Wellbutrin anxiety side effects, for instance.

To minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms, work closely with your healthcare provider when considering discontinuation. A gradual tapering schedule under their guidance can help your body adjust more smoothly and reduce the likelihood and severity of withdrawal effects. Open communication about your experience and any concerns is essential to ensure a safe and effective transition. 

an image of people who got help for wellbutrin addiction

Get Treatment for Wellbutrin Withdrawal at California Detox

If you have been using antidepressants like Wellbutrin long-term and you are concerned about the withdrawal process, we can help you every step of the way at California Detox in Laguna Beach, CA. 

Our supervised medical detox programs allow you to taper off Wellbutrin under close medical supervision. Detox addresses the issues of physical dependence and allows you to move directly into ongoing inpatient treatment to address the psychological component of addiction. 

During inpatient treatment, you can access therapies that include: 

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Psychotherapy (CBT and DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Holistic therapy
  • Aftercare support and planning

Call California Detox admissions today at 949.694.8305 and reclaim your life from dependence on prescription medications like Wellbutrin.


Wellbutrin is a medication commonly used to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder. It is also prescribed to aid in smoking cessation and may have applications in treating ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and bipolar disorder.
Many Wellbutrin side effects are temporary, lasting from a few days to a few weeks. If side effects persist, consult your healthcare provider.


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