How to Stop Taking Wellbutrin: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Wellbutrin, also known by its generic name bupropion, is a medication commonly prescribed for treating depression and SAD. It is an antidepressant that affects certain chemicals in the brain and improves mood, energy levels, and concentration. While Wellbutrin can be effective for many people, it also carries several side effects that can be difficult to manage. These side effects may be some of the reasons an individual may decide to discontinue Wellbutrin. If this is the case, it’s essential to know how to stop taking Wellbutrin to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

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Overview of Wellbutrin Withdrawal

Wellbutrin is a common antidepressant that can help manage various mental health conditions, including:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Wellbutrin is one of the prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ease these conditions, but some people use it as a smoking cessation aid to help them quit smoking.

Wellbutrin comes in various forms, including:

Wellbutrin XL: A healthcare provider may recommend that patients with MDD or SAD take the extended-release formulation of Wellbutrin once daily.

Wellbutrin SR: Patients dealing with SAD may take the sustained-release formulation of Wellbutrin twice daily under the supervision of their healthcare expert.

While Wellbutrin is generally a safe and effective antidepressant, it can cause withdrawal symptoms in some people. Patients must discuss safely and correctly taking Wellbutrin with their doctor or pharmacist. The incorrect use of Wellbutrin can lead to physical and psychological side effects.

The FDA released a medical disclaimer that explains the potential adverse effects and risks of using Wellbutrin, including suicidal thoughts and the potential for drug abuse, dependence, and addiction. It’s critical to have medical supervision when taking Wellbutrin.

Should you discontinue your use of Wellbutrin, you must do so gradually and with the guidance of a healthcare expert. Stopping or suddenly reducing your dose of Wellbutrin can lead to severe withdrawal signs.

Read also: A Comprehensive Guide on Wellbutrin Withdrawal

Reasons for Quitting Wellbutrin

There are countless success stories of people with mental illness who have safely and effectively used Wellbutrin to manage their condition. However, as with other medications, there are instances when individuals may need to stop taking Wellbutrin.

The possibility of abuse is one of the main reasons someone might want to stop taking Wellbutrin. Additionally, people with a history of substance abuse or addiction may need an alternative treatment option.

Before quitting Wellbutrin, talk to your doctor about why you want or need to stop it. They may recommend a lower dose instead of discontinuing the medication.

Common Reasons Individuals Decide To Discontinue Wellbutrin

Each user’s experience with Wellbutrin may be different, but some of the most common reasons why someone might decide to stop taking it include the following:

Resolution of Symptoms: Some individuals may feel that their depression or other symptoms have improved and no longer require medication. In this case, a doctor may reduce and gradually discontinue the dosage of Wellbutrin.

Unpleasant Side Effects: Certain patients might experience bothersome side effects, including headaches, nausea, insomnia, weight loss or gain, and restlessness.

If the side effects become unbearable or if they outweigh the benefits of taking Wellbutrin, your doctor may recommend reducing and eventually discontinuing the use of Wellbutrin.

Drug Dependency: Long-term use of Wellbutrin can lead to physical or psychological dependence. If an individual wants or needs to stop taking it, they should do so gradually with the help of their doctor.

Switching Medications: A healthcare provider may recommend switching to a different antidepressant that suits the individual’s needs better. Taper off Wellbutrin gradually, according to your doctor’s recommendation, before starting the new medication.

Pregnancy or Breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant may need to stop taking Wellbutrin due to potential risks to the fetus.

If you’re breastfeeding, you should stop taking Wellbutrin as it can pass through the milk during breastfeeding and may cause harm to the baby.

Medical Conditions or Interactions: New medical conditions or drug interactions may require discontinuation of Wellbutrin. Discuss any changes in your health or medication with your doctor.

Addiction Treatment: If an individual is undergoing treatment for drug addiction, their doctor may recommend that they stop taking Wellbutrin to prevent potential relapse.

Symptoms of Wellbutrin Withdrawal

Discontinuing Wellbutrin may lead to antidepressant withdrawal signs, which can differ in intensity and duration from person to person.

Some common signs of withdrawal include:

  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Strange dreams or nightmares
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Excessive sweating

How to stop taking Wellbutrin - symptoms of withdrawal

How To Stop Taking Wellbutrin: Preparation

Knowing how to stop taking Wellbutrin safely and correctly is integral to drug withdrawal. It’s vital not to change the dosage or stop taking Wellbutrin suddenly without talking to your doctor.

Consultation With a Healthcare Professional

Discontinuing Wellbutrin safely and correctly requires the help of a healthcare expert. Before making any changes to your medication regimen, it is crucial to consult with your doctor. They will be able to assess your unique situation, discuss your reasons for wanting to stop Wellbutrin and provide guidance on the best course of action.

Understanding Potential Withdrawal Symptoms and Side Effects

Knowing the potential withdrawal symptoms and side effects of quitting Wellbutrin can help you better prepare for the process. This knowledge will allow you to differentiate between usual withdrawal effects and potential complications. Some people may also experience antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, a general term for the various physical and psychological symptoms that can occur when a patient suddenly stops taking antidepressants.

Developing a Personalized Tapering Plan

Tapering off Wellbutrin involves gradually reducing the dosage to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Your healthcare expert will help you create a personalized tapering plan based on your current dosage, overall health, and other relevant factors. This plan should include instructions on slowly reducing the dosage of Wellbutrin while being mindful of potential side effects.

Gradual Tapering Process

Once your healthcare provider gives you a personalized tapering plan, it’s time to reduce the dosage of Wellbutrin gradually. Depending on your doctor’s recommendation and how long you’ve taken the medication, this tapering process may take several weeks or months.

Strictly follow your healthcare professional’s instructions throughout the entire tapering process. Never skip a dose, take an extra one, or stop taking Wellbutrin without consulting your doctor first.

Be sure to keep close contact with your healthcare expert throughout the process. Tell them immediately if you experience withdrawal symptoms so they can adjust your dosage accordingly.

Benefits of Tapering off Medication

Tapering off Wellbutrin offers several benefits, including:

Reduced Withdrawal Symptoms: Gradually lowering the dosage can minimize the intensity and duration of withdrawal symptoms.

Stabilization: Tapering allows your body and brain to slowly adjust to the decreasing medication levels.

Increased Safety: Abruptly stopping antidepressant medications can be risky and may lead to severe adverse effects.

How To Stop Taking Wellbutrin: Step-by-step guide

The tapering process involves several key steps:

Consult With Your Doctor: As previously mentioned, discuss your desire to taper off Wellbutrin with your healthcare expert, and they will guide you through the process.

Establish a Schedule: Work with your doctor to create a tapering schedule that details how and when to reduce your dosage.

Follow the Schedule: Adhere to the program diligently to ensure a smooth tapering process.

Monitor Progress: Keep records of any changes in your mood or symptoms during the tapering process, and report them to your doctor.

Tapering schedules can vary depending on the individual, their current dosage, their goals, and their doctor’s recommendation. Typically, the process can take several weeks to months, gradually reducing the dosage regularly. Follow the tapering schedule established by your doctor, and consult them before increasing or decreasing the dosage.

Monitoring and Adjusting the Tapering Process as Needed

During the tapering process, it is essential to communicate regularly with your healthcare professional. They will help monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to the tapering plan based on your response to the changes. This regular communication will ensure a smooth and safe transition off of Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin Withdrawal Timeline

Everyone’s experience with Wellbutrin withdrawal is unique — some people may experience milder symptoms, while others may have more intense ones. The withdrawal timeline can vary depending on dosage, duration of medication use, and individual physiology.

Generally, withdrawal symptoms may appear within a few days to a week after the last dose and persist for several weeks or months. Sometimes, the withdrawal period may last up to a year or more.

Stopping Wellbutrin Safely

Discontinuing Wellbutrin safely involves adhering to the personalized tapering plan designed with the help of your healthcare professional. Discontinuing the medication may lead to adverse side effects. Do not attempt to change your medication regimen without a doctor’s supervision.

Quitting Wellbutrin abruptly, commonly referred to as “cold turkey,” is not recommended due to the potential for severe withdrawal symptoms. It is best to taper off the medication under medical supervision and within a custom tapering plan.

As with other substances, discontinuing Wellbutrin cold turkey can be dangerous and lead to severe physical and psychological complications.

Tapering off Wellbutrin

Tapering off Wellbutrin involves gradually reducing the dosage over some time. This method allows your body to adjust to decreasing medication levels, minimizing withdrawal symptoms slowly. It is a safer and more effective approach than stopping the medication altogether.

Read also: A Comprehensive Guide To Using Wellbutrin For Sleep

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms

If you experience withdrawal symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, they may adjust your dosage or recommend medications to manage them.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms and Their Duration

Some common withdrawal symptoms and their approximate duration include:

Mood swings: May persist for a few weeks

Nausea: May last for a week or two

Headaches: Usually subside within a few days to a week

Fatigue: Can last for several weeks

Irritability: May persist for a few weeks

Dizziness: May last for a few days to a week

Insomnia: Can last for several weeks

Flu-like symptoms: May persist for a week or two

Anxiety: Can last for several weeks

Trouble concentrating: May persist for a few weeks

Coping Strategies and Self-Care Techniques During the Tapering Process

During the tapering process, it’s essential to prioritize self-care and employ coping strategies to manage any discomfort:

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Ensure you get sufficient sleep, eat a balanced diet, and engage in regular physical activity.

Find Support: Share your journey with friends, family, or support groups, as having a support network can be beneficial during this time.

Practice Relaxation Techniques: Consider mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and stress.

Healthy Distraction: Engage in hobbies or activities to keep your mind occupied.

How To Manage Discomforting Wellbutrin Withdrawal Symptoms

Do not panic or attempt self-medication if you experience discomforting withdrawal symptoms during tapering. Instead, reach out to your healthcare professional. They can offer additional support or recommend specific strategies to alleviate your symptoms.

How To Safely Stop Taking Bupropion

To safely stop taking bupropion (Wellbutrin), follow these essential steps:

Consult Your Healthcare Provider: Discuss your decision to stop taking bupropion with your doctor, and together, create a tapering plan that suits your individual needs.

Follow the Tapering Plan: Adhere to the tapering program as closely as possible, and report any changes in symptoms to your healthcare professional.

Monitor Your Progress: Keep track of your physical and emotional well-being throughout the tapering process, and share your observations with your doctor.

Seek Support: Lean on your support network during this time, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.

Long-Term Treatment for Wellbutrin Withdrawal

Some individuals may experience lingering withdrawal symptoms even after successfully tapering off Wellbutrin. If this occurs, seek ongoing support from your doctor. They may recommend alternative treatments or therapies to address any persistent symptoms.

When To See a Doctor

Generally, you must see your doctor before you attempt to taper off Wellbutrin so they can develop a personalized plan. If you’re experiencing severe or concerning withdrawal symptoms during tapering, seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, consult your physician if you need clarification on the tapering process or encounter any unexpected changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, abruptly stopping a high dose of Wellbutrin, such as 450 mg, can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Taper off the medication under medical supervision to minimize the risk of severe withdrawal effects.

Tapering off Wellbutrin involves gradually reducing the dosage over time, following a personalized tapering plan created with the help of your healthcare professional.

The time it takes for Wellbutrin to leave your system can vary depending on individual factors. However, withdrawal symptoms may generally begin to appear within a few days to a week after the last dose and may persist for several weeks or longer.

Tapering off Wellbutrin 150 mg XL involves gradually reducing the dosage, either by cutting pills or using lower-dose formulations under the guidance of your healthcare professional.

Tapering off Wellbutrin 150 mg taken twice a day can be achieved by incrementally adjusting the dosage of each daily intake according to your tapering plan, as your healthcare professional recommends.

The duration of Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms varies for every individual but may last for several weeks or even months. TGradually tapering off the medication can help reduce the length and intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Yes, weaning off Wellbutrin can cause fatigue as one of the withdrawal symptoms. When reducing the dose, your body may need time to adjust, leading to feelings of tiredness. Prioritize self-care during this period to manage fatigue effectively.


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.

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