Does Wellbutrin Lead to Gain or Loss of Weight?

Does Wellbutrin Lead to Gain or Loss of Weight?

The medicines listed on this website are only there to give you knowledge. Just because they are on the list doesn’t mean that anyone will be given them; in the end, treatment decisions are up to the healthcare workers. The medicines on this list are not all of them. Doctors may recommend other drugs, even ones that don’t contain stimulants, depending on the patient’s specific health needs and circumstances.

The possible effect of pharmaceuticals on body weight is one area that often causes people to express worry. The effects of Wellbutrin (bupropion), an antidepressant, on weight might be confusing for those who are thinking about using it or have been using it.

There has long been curiosity in the connection between Wellbutrin and weight. The goal of understanding the medication’s impact on physical well-being is shared by patients and medical practitioners. So, does Wellbutrin result in either weight loss or gain? This article looks at scientific research in an attempt to clarify how Wellbutrin affects body weight.

It is crucial to remember that the material provided here should only be used for educational reasons and should never be used in place of expert medical advice.

What Is Bupropion, or Wellbutrin?

What Is Bupropion, or Wellbutrin?

Bupropion[1*], a generic name for wellbutrin, is an atypical antidepressant drug. It is a member of the medication family called norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRI).

Wellbutrin alters the balance of several chemicals in the brain, including the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which are important in mood control. It is thought that Wellbutrin reduces depression symptoms by raising the levels of these neurotransmitters.

Other brands and generic forms of bupropion are readily accessible and include:

  • Wellbutrin SR
  • Wellbutrin XL
  • Aplenizin
  • Forfivo XL

What Separates Wellbutrin SR from Wellbutrin XL

Bupropion comes in two distinct formulations: Wellbutrin SR (sustained-release) and Wellbutrin XL (extended-release). Their authorized indications, release methods, dose regimens, and a few additional features are different. Below is a summary of the key distinctions.

Wellbutrin SRWellbutrin XL
FDA-approved usesMajor depressive illnessPreventing seasonal affective disorder and major depressive disorder
Release durationThe purpose of this formulation is to release bupropion into the circulation gradually over an extended period of time, typically 12 hours.Because of the extended-release mechanism used in this formulation, bupropion may be released gradually and continuously over the course of around 24 hours.
Dosage strengths100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg150 mg and 300 mg
Dosage frequencyUsually, two dosages are given daily, separated by at least eight hours.Usually, it is taken once a day. Due to once-daily dosage, clinicians may find that it helps patients stick to their prescription regimens.

What Applications Does Wellbutrin Have?

The FDA has authorized Wellbutrin, which is often given to treat major depressive disorder (MDD)[2*] and seasonal affective disorder (SAD)[3*], a distinct kind of depression that typically strikes during certain seasons, most frequently in the autumn and winter. Additionally, bupropion is given as a help to stop smoking. It may facilitate quitting smoking[4*] by lowering withdrawal symptoms and cravings for nicotine.

Off-label uses of wellbutrin prescriptions include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, bipolar illness with depression, and antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.

It’s crucial to remember that Wellbutrin should only be used precisely as directed by a healthcare professional and that it may take many weeks for it to fully treat mental disorder. The patient and their particular ailment determine the dosage and length of therapy.

How Does Weight Change With Wellbutrin?

The effects of Wellbutrin on body weight differ from person to person. In contrast to some other antidepressants, Wellbutrin is usually regarded as weight-neutral or may cause most people to lose a little amount of weight. However, for a variety of reasons, some persons taking Wellbutrin may gain weight.

Weight Gain and Wellbutrin

Compared to many other antidepressant drugs, wellbutrin (bupropion) is generally thought to have a reduced risk of causing weight gain. It’s crucial to remember that each person may react differently, and some may continue to gain weight[5*] while on Wellbutrin.

It is comparatively rare for Wellbutrin adverse effects to include weight gain. Compared to other antidepressants, such as tricyclic antidepressants[6*]. (TCAs) like nortriptyline (Pamelor) and some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like paroxetine (Paxil), it tends to happen less frequently and to a lesser extent These drugs are more frequently linked to weight gain.

Wellbutrin and Loss of Weight

While taking Wellbutrin, some people may suffer considerable weight loss or reduced appetite; this side effect is less common than the intended one. Uncertainty surrounds the precise mechanism via which Wellbutrin may aid in weight reduction. Still, a few possible causes may be at play:

  1. Repression of appetite. Wellbutrin may have an impact on the brain’s levels of neurotransmitters including norepinephrine and dopamine, which in some people may result in appetite reduction. This may cause one to eat less food, which might contribute to weight reduction.
  2. A rise in energy costs. In some individuals, wellbutrin may raise energy expenditure or metabolic rate. This may result in a modest increase in caloric expenditure and help with weight reduction.
  3. Giving up smoking. Additionally, wellbutrin is given to help smokers stop, and stopping smoking may help people lose weight. Any weight loss that occurs after using Wellbutrin to stop smoking may be the consequence of quitting rather than a side effect of the medicine.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that not everyone using Wellbutrin will experience weight loss, and that each individual may have different side effects. Furthermore, any weight loss associated with Wellbutrin is often moderate and modest. If the thought of possibly losing weight worries you, speak with your doctor about how to handle this side effect or choose an other course of action.

Do Other Antidepressants Lead to Gaining Weight?

One possible adverse effect of antidepressant drugs is weight gain. Antidepressants do not, however, always result in weight gain, and the degree varies. Antidepressants and weight fluctuations have a complicated link that may be impacted by a number of variables, such as the particular medicine, the person’s metabolism, lifestyle, and underlying medical issues.

Weight gain is more often linked to certain antidepressant classes than to others. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), for instance, such nortriptyline and amitriptyline, are more likely to result in weight gain[7*]. In a similar vein, weight gain may also result with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such tranylcypromine and phenelzine.

It is widely accepted that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and escitalopram (Lexapro), have a decreased potential to cause weight gain. Nevertheless, SSRIs[8*] may still cause weight changes[9*], and some people may gain weight while taking these drugs.

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)[9*] like duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor) are examples of other antidepressants that have been linked to both weight gain and reduction, however the effects may differ from person to person.

What Wellbutrin Side Effects Are There?

Similar to other prescription drugs, bupropion may have adverse effects. It’s crucial to remember that not everyone has side effects, and that each individual may experience them differently in terms of intensity and frequency. The possible side effects of bupropion are listed here, however for specific guidance, it is always better to speak with a healthcare professional.

Common adverse effects include: 

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Parched lips
  • Hadache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Ignorance
  • Insomnia, or trouble falling asleep, or adjustments to sleep habits
  • A rise in perspiration
  • Constipation
  • Modifications in weight or appetite
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Hazed vision

Less frequent adverse effects:

  • Palpitations or a fast heartbeat
  • Joint or muscle pains
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
  • Dysfunctional relationships

Uncommon yet dangerous adverse effects (that need to be reported right once to a medical professional):

  • There are a number of symptoms that might accompany allergic reactions, such as rash, swelling, itching, extreme disorientation, or trouble breathing.

  • Shifts in mood or behavior, such as severe sadness, anxiety, agitation, animosity, or thoughts of suicide.

  • Seizures (risk is normally modest, although greater dosages may raise the risk).

Briefly stated

Any medicine may cause weight changes, but bupropion doesn’t have the same risk of body mass alterations as other depression treatments. But it’s important to understand that everyone reacts differently to medicine. While using Wellbutrin, some individuals may gain weight, however this is normally less frequent. The way a medicine affects a person’s weight might vary depending on a number of factors, including lifestyle choices, underlying medical issues, and individual metabolism.

Talking to a healthcare professional is crucial if weight gain or loss is a problem. They may assist navigate the possible advantages and disadvantages of Wellbutrin on body mass index or suggest other treatment alternatives, all dependent on the unique circumstances of each individual.


When taking Wellbutrin, how much weight may you gain?

Taking Wellbutrin usually results in slight weight fluctuations. A small number of people using Wellbutrin may have weight increase, and a small percentage may experience weight reduction, according to a systematic review [10*]. It might be difficult to forecast the precise effect on a particular person, and the amount of weight gain or reduction can differ from person to person.

Is your metabolism accelerated by Wellbutrin?

It is believed that wellbutrin (bupropion) has a negligible impact on metabolism[11*], which may help explain why for some people it has weight-neutral or even weight-reducing effects. Nonetheless, the effect on metabolism is usually regarded as minimal, and it is unclear exactly how Wellbutrin influences weight.

The main component of Wellbutrin, bupropion, alters a few neurotransmitters in the brain, most notably norepinephrine and dopamine. It is thought that these neurotransmitter effects might affect hunger and energy balance, which could result in variations in body weight.

It’s vital to remember that although Wellbutrin may, in some cases, marginally speed up metabolism, the drug’s overall effect on weight is probably going to be small. Exercise routines, nutrition, lifestyle choices, and individual metabolism all have a big impact on managing weight.

Does bupropion make weight loss difficult?

The complicated process of controlling one’s weight is impacted by a number of variables, such as individual variances, metabolism, exercise, and a balanced diet. Let’s say you are on bupropion and are having trouble losing weight, or you are worried about how it may affect your weight. In such instance, it’s crucial to talk to your prescribing healthcare practitioner about your particular circumstances. Based on your requirements, they may provide you individualized counsel and direction. They could also recommend suitable tactics or changes to your treatment regimen.

How quickly does Wellbutrin cause weight loss?

Wellbutrin isn’t a medication for weight reduction. Individuals on Wellbutrin (bupropion) may see substantial differences in the rate of weight loss. Most people experience very slight variations in weight, which may be attributed to a variety of variables including metabolism, food, activity, and individual variances.