Side Effects of Wellbutrin to Be Aware of

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant in the class of drugs known as norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). It’s primarily used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) and can help prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression that occurs during specific seasons of the year, typically in the colder months. 

Like any drug, Wellbutrin XL (extended-release) and Wellbutrin SR (sustained release) can cause a variety of side effects. When taking this — or any — antidepressant medication, it’s a good idea that you know about common, less common, and serious potential side effects to look for. 

Your doctor should cover everything you need to know before you begin taking an antidepressant, but you can also educate yourself on Wellbutrin use. Learn what to look for, how long side effects can last, and how to manage the side effects of Wellbutrin here. 

Common Side Effects You Might Expect With Wellbutrin

All prescription drugs have possible side effects that can range from mild to severe. Most will occur within a few days to a few weeks of starting certain medications. For some people, side effects will lessen as the body adjusts to a medication. 

Wellbutrin side effects in the first week can include:


Difficulty sleeping



Sore throat

Other common side effects of Wellbutrin you might experience include:

Dry mouth

Increased sweating

Decreased appetite (which can lead to weight loss on Wellbutrin)


Stomach pain



Less Common Side Effects of Wellbutrin

There are also some less common, but still possible, side effects of Wellbutrin. These might include: 

Change in sense of taste

Blurred vision

Rapid heartbeat 



Muscle pain

Ringing in the ears

Sore throat

Frequently needing to urinate

Serious Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Your doctor will inform you of the serious side effects from Wellbutrin to be aware of. Knowing what to look for before you start taking a drug is vital so you can immediately seek professional help if necessary. 

Risk of seizures

Although rare, studies show a known risk of seizure is linked to higher doses of Wellbutrin. It’s important to point out that this risk is dose-dependent, which means the risk increases with a higher dose or when the drug isn’t used as indicated. 

Factors that may increase the risk of Wellbutrin-related seizures include:

Having a history of seizures

Taking high doses of Wellbutrin

Abruptly stopping Wellbutrin

Other medical conditions, including but not limited to disordered eating or brain injuries

Drug interactions

Allergic reactions

Some people can have an allergic reaction to Wellbutrin. If you have any of the following signs after you take this drug, seek care as soon as possible. Discuss any known allergies you’re aware of with a medical professional before taking Wellbutrin. 

Signs of allergic reactions may include:

Developing a rash or hives

Swelling of the face, lips, throat, or tongue

Having difficulty breathing

Going into anaphylactic shock

Certain psychological side effects

It’s possible to have psychological side effects while taking Wellbutrin. Note that not everyone will experience these adverse effects, and it’s common that the benefits of the drug outweigh any risks. 

If you notice any of the following, contact your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss what you’re experiencing:

Increased feelings of agitation or irritability 

Feelings of anxiety to the point of a panic attack

Insomnia or other sleep disturbances

Change in mood, mood swings

Increased thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior — more common in children, adolescents, and young adults

Angle-closure glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma is a serious eye condition in which a blockage causes a sudden increase in eye pressure. It’s listed as a very rare but possible side effect of Wellbutrin. If you have a history of eye conditions or if you start to experience any changes to your vision after taking Wellbutrin, talk to your doctor immediately for medical advice. 

Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma can include:

Severe eye pain

Blurred vision



Seeing halos around lights

How Long Do Wellbutrin Side Effects Last?

How long Wellbutrin side effects last will vary from person to person. Many — like insomnia, nausea, and headache — resolve within a few days to weeks as your body adjusts to your antidepressant medication. 

How to Manage Wellbutrin Side Effects

Managing Wellbutrin’s side effects starts with discussing anything uncomfortable or concerning with your doctor. They’ll be able to assess what you’re experiencing and, if needed, adjust your dosage or make other changes to your treatment plan. 

In the meantime, some ways you can manage Wellbutrin side effects include:

Take your medication with food if it upsets your stomach

Drink plenty of water, especially if dry mouth is a side effect

Reduce your caffeine intake

Maintain a healthy and consistent sleep habit


Take Wellbutrin earlier in the day if you experience insomnia

Monitor your mood and contact your doctor if you notice extreme mood swings

Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs 

“When taking Wellbutrin XL or XR, one should be mindful of the potential for increased anxiety or agitation, particularly in those who struggle with pre-existing anxiety disorders. If you experience these side effects, it’s crucial to communicate them to your psychiatrist. They may adjust your dosage or prescribe additional medications to help mitigate these symptoms while still benefiting from Wellbutrin.”

– Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC, LMHC

See If Wellbutrin Is Right for You with Talkspace 

Wellbutrin treatment can be game-changing in helping you manage symptoms of depression. It can help you get back on track toward leading a healthy and productive life full of rewarding relationships and a new outlook. 

Talkspace can be the first step in taking control of your mental health. Our licensed, experienced mental health professionals are there when you need them, whether that means you’re seeking therapy or need help with diagnosis, prescriptions, or medication management.

Contact Talkspace today to start the process and get Wellbutrin prescribed by an online psychiatrist.


Naguy A, Pridmore S, Alamiri B. Bupropion-associated seizures. American Journal of Therapeutics. Published online October 16, 2023. doi:10.1097/mjt.0000000000001669. Accessed March 2024.

The post Side Effects of Wellbutrin to Be Aware of appeared first on Talkspace.

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