Wellbutrin is known by its generic name Bupropion and is an antidepressant typically prescribed to treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
This medication is recommended for treating bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression. Wellbutrin can also be effective as a smoking cessation aid. This medication is available as Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR.
Wellbutrin is quite an effective medication when used as prescribed. However, like every antidepressant, there are some vital disadvantages to consider.
People may have various reasons why Wellbutrin is not suitable for them and decide to quit using the medication.
Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms may occur when a patient stops using the drug. Before you stop Wellbutrin, you must speak with your healthcare provider extensively.
Need prescription for Wellbutrin?
Get access to a licensed medical professional.
How Does Wellbutrin (Bupropion) Work?
Wellbutrin is a popular antidepressant, especially in the United States. This medication is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.
Wellbutrin works by affecting the levels of the neurotransmitters called dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain. These hormones are responsible for the feelings of arousal, attention, cognitive function, and stress reactions.
The way Wellbutrin (Bupropion) works makes the medication different from other antidepressants following discontinuation.
For instance, many patients get antidepressant discontinuation syndrome from stopping antidepressants. This syndrome is also widely referred to as antidepressant withdrawal.
Withdrawal is a prominent risk with antidepressants that are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs affect the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.
While these antidepressants are adequate against mental health conditions, the attendant effects of withdrawal following discontinuation can range from mild to severe for the patient.
However, Wellbutrin is renowned for mild or typically non-existent symptoms of withdrawal.
Wellbutrin Withdrawal Symptoms Overview
Wellbutrin is known for its mild or mostly non-existent discontinuation symptoms in contrast to other antidepressants. Nevertheless, there are still some Wellbutrin withdrawal side effects that may occur following a sudden discontinuation of the antidepressant.
For instance, patients may see a rise in depression and irritability after suddenly discontinuing Wellbutrin. In some cases, people may experience severe joint pain.
It is vital to note that Wellbutrin does not cause heightened addiction, and people can move away from the drug with appropriate care from a healthcare expert.
Perhaps one of the most significant issues with discontinuing Wellbutrin is the depression that follows for most people. This is why quitting Wellbutrin requires professional psychotherapy and care.
If not correctly checked, this can lead to suicide ideation or tendencies, anxiety, and severe paranoia.
Wellbutrin Withdrawal Symptoms
Some of the mild symptoms of Wellbutrin withdrawal can include the following:
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Profuse sweating
As explained earlier, Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms are typically mild. However, in some cases, the following severe symptoms may occur:
- Heavy or profuse sweating
- Unbearable headaches
- Suicidal thoughts
- Harmful or dangerous behaviors
Can Wellbutrin be Toxic?
Wellbutrin is a highly effective medication for some mental conditions like depression, seasonal affective disorder, and anxiety.
However, despite its advantages, there is documented evidence of the antidepressant’s toxicity to patients who abuse its use.
Wellbutrin toxicity doesn’t necessarily affect many people who abuse the drug. However, it is crucial to take note of it.
Wellbutrin abuse can cause severe seizures. Sometimes, if Wellbutrin is abused in large quantities, it can trigger severely violent seizures.
These seizures can be fierce enough for the patient to break bones from flailing.
In addition, Wellbutrin toxicity has also been reported to trigger cardiac failure in some people.
Also, abuse of Wellbutrin can have some negative consequences for the brain and body.
It can also cause kidney and liver failure in people with a history of long-term abuse.
Wellbutrin and addiction
Wellbutrin is a popular antidepressant because of its uniqueness to other antidepressants. However, it does not negatively impact the patient’s weight (weight loss) and sexual functions.
In addition, Wellbutrin’s side effects are significantly mild when used as prescribed by a healthcare expert.
Alternatively, this medication can cause more severe side effects like seizures and cardiac failures if taken in larger quantities.
Some people may also react negatively to this medication.
The most common adverse effects include increased blood pressure and excessive sweating.
In the past, Wellbutrin has been compared with addictive substances like cocaine and heroin, howbeit, with a less intense high.
Even though some people agree that Wellbutrin is not their first choice of drug to get high, the antidepressant is a less severe substitute for hard drugs- attesting to the drug’s addictiveness.
Wellbutrin (Bupropion) Withdrawal Symptoms timeline
Withdrawal effects can occur with Wellbutrin, lasting up to several months, because drug abuse is not the entire issue. For many people, addiction to Wellbutrin is triggered by mental disorders, trauma, and more.
People who want to stop using Wellbutrin must recognize the need for patience because addiction treatment is not a race.
Withdrawing from Wellbutrin requires expert consideration from your healthcare provider. In addition, this process requires work and time.
For instance, if you register with a drug detox center, a professional healthcare provider can help you get off Wellbutrin safely and slowly in a manner that is safe for you.
However, for people who abruptly quit Wellbutrin and stop using the drug without tapering off, here’s a typical timeline of the attendant symptoms.
People who abruptly stop using Wellbutrin are at serious risk for seizures within the first three days of cessation.
Patients can also experience flu-like symptoms, mood swings, and emotional irregularities.
Some people may experience disordered thinking within this period.
Wellbutrin withdrawal in the first week:
The first week of Wellbutrin withdrawal may trigger fatigue and tiredness, depression, mental confusion, and joint pain.
Typically, most of the physical symptoms of withdrawal would wear off by the second week following cessation.
However, mental symptoms like depression, nightmares, and sleeping problems may persist after discontinuing Wellbutrin.
Third and fourth weeks:
Most patients regain their lost appetite for food within this period following withdrawal from Wellbutrin.
During this period, people might gain more weight because they’ll crave more food than when they were on the drug.
In addition, the urge to return to using Wellbutrin is usually powerful during this period because the depressive symptoms of withdrawal can remain persistent and problematic for most people.
Getting professional help before stopping Wellbutrin is vital for the process’s ease, safety, and success.
When does withdrawal start for Wellbutrin?
About 30% of people who use Wellbutrin have reported experiencing some form of withdrawal after they stopped using the drug.
A withdrawal symptom may typically occur within the first few days of cessation.
However, it is more common for the symptoms to be more severe in the first couple of weeks.
It is crucial to note that the chances of severe withdrawal symptoms are higher in long-term use of the antidepressant.
Additionally, most people report that withdrawal comes with anxiety, agitation, sorrow, and regret.
How to cope with Wellbutrin (Bupropion) Withdrawal
There are different effective ways to cope with Bupropion withdrawal, and several cases show evidence of successful withdrawal therapies.
A comprehensive approach may include medicinal intervention, psychotherapy, and a range of events that can excite and stimulate the patient’s mind.
For instance, most Wellbutrin addiction treatment centers encourage patients to engage in life-affirming activities that quickly boost their sense of achievement.
In addition, patients are regularly given positive reinforcement as mental exercises to participate in.
Furthermore, drug detox centers encourage patients to be more physically active so the body can naturally expel the drug from its system.
In addition, physical activities can also provide patients with a natural high or a sense of pride and achievement when they complete an action.
Read Also: Does Wellbutrin Suppress Appetite?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Wellbutrin is different from most antidepressants because the attendant symptoms of withdrawal are typically mild and manageable.
However, sometimes the Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms can be severe and highly uncomfortable for some people.
Symptoms of Bupropion withdrawal usually start within two days of the last use and may persist for up to a week or longer.
Further research shows some people may experience withdrawal five days after the last Wellbutrin use. See the 1999 case study here.
The symptoms of Bupropion withdrawal can occur for several months, especially in patients with long-term use of the medication.
Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that can interact with many drugs. Wellbutrin can cause drug interactions with psychotics, other antidepressants, and drugs that boost dopamine levels in the brain.
This medication may also trigger a false positive result on a drug test and lower a patient’s tolerance for alcohol.
This medication should not be taken within two weeks of using monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Some of these include tranylcypromine (Parnate®), phenelzine (Nardil®), isocarboxazid (Marplan®), and selegiline (Emsam®).
One of the most effective ways to cope with Bupropion withdrawal is to engage in exciting physical activities that can stimulate the brain.
Completing physical activities can also offer a sense of achievement, further boosting the patient’s positivity.
Physical activity plays a vital role in easing the effects of Bupropion withdrawal and can reduce feelings of stress, fatigue, and anxiety.
This can also improve the patient’s sleep quality and boost feelings of general well-being.
Quitting Bupropion abruptly is not recommended, except when seizures occur while using the drug.
There are several reasons why patients should not quit Wellbutrin abruptly or cold turkey.
Some withdrawal signs may occur without warning, even after a considerable time after stopping the medication.
Patients may start feeling depressive symptoms again a couple of weeks after abruptly discontinuing Wellbutrin.
Other possible effects include sleeping irregularities, flu-like symptoms, and anxiety.