Does Wellbutrin Suppress Appetite? Everything You Should Know

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Wellbutrin’s generic name is bupropion, and the Foods and Drugs Administration approves it for the treatment of depression. Wellbutrin is considered an antidepressant and prescribed to treat mental wellness issues like seasonal affective disorder and smoking discontinuation. This medication is available as Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL.

Does Wellbutrin suppress appetite? This medication belongs to the norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) class that works by boosting the norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain. Wellbutrin helps to make people feel better by influencing mood and depression.

Wellbutrin is typically prescribed to treat SAD and major depressive disorder. SAD typically occurs during specific seasons, more significantly during the winter or fall.

Wellbutrin is also prescribed for smoking cessation because it can help lower nicotine cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Healthcare experts also prescribe the drug to manage other off-label conditions such as bipolar disorder related to depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and sexual dysfunction triggered by antidepressants.

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Does Wellbutrin Suppress Appetite?

Wellbutrin has several side effects that can come into play with different individuals when they use the drug. Does Wellbutrin suppress appetite? One of the side effects is weight loss because Wellbutrin can affect how much an individual craves food.

Weight loss is one of the off-label uses that healthcare providers prescribe Wellbutrin because the drug can cause a temporary loss of appetite.

It’s crucial to note that Wellbutrin doesn’t primarily make you lose weight, and this off-label use doesn’t work for everyone.

Wellbutrin’s effect on a patient’s appetite may differ from one user to the other. Unlike typical antidepressants that boost weight gain,

Wellbutrin is considered more body weight-neutral and can even trigger a loss in weight due to the temporary loss of appetite some people may experience.

Alternatively, some people may experience weight gain in their body mass while on this medication.

How does wellbutrin suppress appetite?

Although the FDA hasn’t approved Wellbutrin or Bupropion for weight loss, the drug is one of the active ingredients in the weight loss medication, Contrave. The FDA approves Contrave for weight loss.

Wellbutrin works by boosting the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, influencing mood and depression.

The noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin stimulation by Wellbutrin typically aids weight loss by dampening appetite for food. In addition, the medication can decrease your feeling of stress and boost your energy levels, making you burn more calories.

Wellbutrin can suppress appetite for food to a significant level in people who are prone to eating more when they’re stressed because the drug reduces stress and improves an individual’s mood.

Side effects of Wellbutrin

Like with most drugs, Wellbutrin may cause some adverse effects. It is vital to inform your doctor or healthcare expert if you experience any common side effects and they do not go away.

Some of the side effects include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Excitement
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Sore throat

Sometimes, the side effects of Wellbutrin can be more severe.

Some of the severe side effects include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle of joint pain
  • Irrational fears
  • Seizures
  • Irregular, rapid, or pounding heartbeat

If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor or healthcare expert immediately.

Some people may also experience:

  • Blisters or rash
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Inflammation of the tongue, lips, eyes, ankles, lower legs, throat, eyes, or face
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

It is crucial to pay attention to any unusual changes in your body while using Wellbutrin. Ensure to contact your doctor when you’re in doubt immediately.

Antidepressants that suppress appetite

The primary job of antidepressants is to help boost mental health conditions. However, the attendant side effects can affect an individual’s appetite and body weight. Antidepressants typically work on the level of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

These hormones are crucial in satisfaction, cravings, and feeding behaviors. More significantly, people who crave food in stressful conditions may lose some enthusiasm for food on some antidepressants.

For instance, antidepressants like duloxetine and fluoxetine may reduce an individual’s appetite for food, causing temporary weight loss.

Fluoxetine, also known as Prozac, is an SSRI, and duloxetine, or Cymbalta, is an SNRI. They both work by maintaining the level of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain and may also have similar effects to Wellbutrin.

Antidepressants and weight gain

Typically, people experience weight gain when using antidepressants than weight loss. In 2019, results from 27 studies showed that people averagely experience a 5% increase in weight when they start using antidepressants.

Some of the factors that increase the chances of an individual gaining more weight on antidepressants include the following:

When an individual is depressed, they tend to burn fewer calories than they take in due to reduced activity

Some antidepressants can impact the body’s metabolism, making calories burn much slower than usual

Some antidepressants boost appetite making some people eat more calories than their bodies need

Some SSRIs typically cause weight gain. Some of them include the following;

  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)

Wellbutrin weight loss

Alternatively, some antidepressants may cause a decrease in appetite and want of food in some people. This means they get to burn more calories than they consume, making them lose weight.

In addition, mental illness symptoms can impact an individual’s eating habits and activity levels. Using some antidepressants may further impact some people’s appetite for food.

A study conducted in 2018 showed that weight gain over 5 years in the subjects was associated with the use of antidepressants.

For instance, Prozac (fluoxetine) and duloxetine (Cymbalta) are antidepressants that are likely to cause weight loss in some people.

The effect of these drugs on the body’s weight can be hinged on the Wellbutrin dosage and duration of an individual’s treatment.

Safety Precautions and warnings of Wellbutrin

Like every drug, it is crucial to understand the warnings and precautions before using Wellbutrin so that the potential risks can be weighed against the good of the drug. Before using Wellbutrin, it is vital to consider the following factors:


No conclusive study indicates the dangers of Wellbutrin on infants for mothers using this medication during breastfeeding. You must consult your medical expert before using Wellbutrin.


You must inform your medical professional if you have allergic reactions to this drug or other medications. In addition, you should let your doctor know your other allergies, including to foods, preservatives, or animals.

Older people

From the studies and results, Wellbutrin hasn’t demonstrated any significant geriatric-related problems that would hinder its effectiveness in older people.

Notwithstanding, older people may experience the side effects of the medication with more intensity.

In addition, older people are more prone to age-related kidney or liver diseases, so using Wellbutrin may require caution.


Healthcare professionals don’t typically recommend Wellbutrin for treating depression in children. This is because children are more sensitive to the adverse effects of the medication than adults.

In addition, studies have yet to establish the safety and effectiveness of bupropion in discontinuing smoking.

Drug interactions

Some drugs should not be used together to avoid interactions that may harm the patient’s health. Notwithstanding, sometimes your doctor may prescribe one medication alongside another even though an interaction might occur.

Tell your doctor if you take any of the below-listed medications before using Wellbutrin.

  • Bromopride
  • Eliglustat
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Linezolid
  • Methylene Blue
  • Moclobemide
  • Nialamide
  • Ozanimod
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Tranylcypromine

Read Also: How to Get Wellbutrin Prescription Online

Frequently Asked Questions

Wellbutrin is sometimes prescribed off-label for people who want to lose weight. However, Wellbutrin is not approved by the FDA for weight management therapy.

Wellbutrin can help with the loss of weight because the medication can affect a person’s appetite and enthusiasm for food.

More people may gain weight when using antidepressants than lose body weight.

Alternatively, some antidepressants may cause a decrease in appetite and want of food in some people. This means they get to burn more calories than they consume, making them lose body weight. Antidepressants are typically prescribed to treat mental health issues and are not officially approved for losing or gaining weight.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.