A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Wellbutrin Sexual Side Effects

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When taking antidepressants, sexual side effects are an unintended consequence. SSRI-based antidepressants boost serotonin levels which decreases libido. Wellbutrin is different from other antidepressants. It is a norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor and, as such, increases neurotransmitter levels which enhance sexual drive.

While it’s generally considered an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), some people reported changes in their sexual drive while taking Wellbutrin. This article is a holistic guide to understanding Wellbutrin sexual side effects.

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Can Wellbutrin Cure Sexual Issues?

Yes, Wellbutrin does ease sexual issues even though it isn’t ‘officially approved’ for sexual dysfunction treatment.

According to studies, Wellbutrin boosts the brain’s neurotransmitter levels and increases the sex drive of people on depression treatment. Wellbutrin’s relationship with testosterones also leads to arousal and higher sex hormones in patients.

Unlike other antidepressants (SSRIs) like Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil, which boost serotonin levels and cause sexual dysfunction as a side effect, Wellbutrin boosts sex drive and desire.

Sometimes, doctors prescribe Wellbutrin instead of SSRIs to treat depression for patients who experience sexual side effects.

Wellbutrin sexual side effects for men

Mainly, Wellbutrin is primarily used to numb the side effects of other antidepressant medications and not as a first option. Still, Wellbutrin is among the safest antidepressants in today’s medicine because it has minimal and tolerable side effects. Notwithstanding, in some cases, this Wellbutrin sexual side effects like premature ejaculation may occur in some men.

Some of the side effects related to sex include the following:

Increased Sexual Drive: Some studies have shown that one of Wellbutrin’s primary side effects is an increased libido in men who use the drug. Unlike other antidepressants, bupropion increased libido and sexual function, even for patients who didn’t use the medication daily.

People may also experience the following:

  • Increased sexual arousal
  • Improved orgasms

Other more common side effects of Wellbutrin include the following:

  • weight loss,
  • nausea,
  • constipation,
  • dry mouth,
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • ringing in ears
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • stomach pains
  • Frequent urination and uncontrollable shaking

More Serious Side Effects

Taking Wellbutrin might have some severe side effects, including;

  • Seizures,
  • Irrational fears,
  • Hallucinations,
  • Rapid heartbeats,
  • Confusion,
  • Muscle and joint pain

Antidepressants and Erectile Problems

Certain antidepressants cause erectile problems. Antidepressants that cause erectile issues are called selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Roughly 40% of people taking antidepressants experience sexual dysfunction (ED).

Below is a list of the most commonly used antidepressants:

  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil and Paxil CR)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

Typically, SSRIs relieve depression symptoms by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. However, the downside is that it can make it difficult for patients to ejaculate.

Additional antidepressants that may cause erectile issues include the following:

  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Domipramine (Anafranil) and
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)

Can Antidepressants Cause Permanent Sexual Problems?

While most antidepressants may cause unwanted sexual side effects, the dysfunction should return to normal after stopping the drug.

However, evidence suggests that sexual side effects can last longer in some men than others.

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough research to prove how common this is, how often it will happen, or how likely it will occur.

If you notice any unusual changes in your sex life while using antidepressants, talk to your healthcare professional immediately.

Does Wellbutrin Cause Erectile Issues?

No, research suggests Wellbutrin cause erectile issues. Wellbutrin is one of the known antidepressants that doesn’t cause erectile problems.

Scientists have performed clinical trials, but there aren’t any reports that suggest that Wellbutrin does cause erectile issues.

Furthermore, research suggests that if men switched from antidepressants which made them experience erectile issues, to Wellbutrin, the dysfunction might be reversed.

Can Wellbutrin sexual side effects help with erectile issues?

Evidence suggests that bupropion does improve your sex life. This medication can also enhance your orgasms, improve erections and increase arousal and sexual drive if you have erectile issues.

Bupropion boosts neurotransmitter levels in the brain and can be used as a remedy for sexual issues triggered by other antidepressants, specifically SSRI-induced impairment.

Bupropion’s versatility and targeted impact offer relief where traditional solutions fail.

What Side Effects Can Wellbutrin Cause?

Common side effects include the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety

More severe side effects may include suicide ideation and seizures.

The challenge is patients don’t know what these side effects are until they take the medications, and like all drugs, side effects differ from one person to the other.

Note: When prescribing this medication, physicians balance the benefits of Wellbutrin against the risks and the side effects patients might experience. In case of any concerns, patients should discuss them with their physicians before taking Wellbutrin.

What should You Do if an Antidepressant is Giving You Erectile Issues?

There are various options for patients with erectile issues from taking antidepressants. Some options include the following:

Wait: That’s right; you could wait for the erectile issues to disappear. Most side effects lessen once your body adjusts to your medication. However, if your erectile issues persist, seek medical assistance to change antidepressants or lower your dosage.

Stick to your antidepressants: The next option is sticking to them. If your antidepressants help with your depression, there’s no reason you shouldn’t stick to them. You could also try taking erectile issues meds alongside the antidepressant.

Talk to a physician: Talk to a physician about your overall health. Antidepressants may cause your erectile issues, but that doesn’t mean that’s the apparent culprit. It could be something else, say an underlying medical problem such as diabetes or heart disease.

Your physician may suggest a health checkup, which is understandable. This will help rule out the cause of your erectile issues or other unknown conditions.

Wellbutrin And Sexual Side Effects In Men

Antidepressants have some remarkable results against mental health disorders. They help with depression and bad moods but also help moderate the effects of anxiety and panic attacks.

Furthermore, they help people with bipolar disorder, or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), function more effectively and cope with their daily lives.

Unfortunately, there are some side effects involved. The more adverse effects of antidepressants like SSRIs could include weight gain, weight loss, insomnia, gastrointestinal issue, and, the most common is drug-induced sexual issues.

Wellbutrin does not have sexual side effects in men. Men on antidepressants that experience erectile issues or ejaculatory response are prescribed Wellbutrin to address these issues. Wellbutrin increases libido and sex function.

Wellbutrin And Sexual Side Effects In Women

Some postmenopausal women experience lower sexual drive due to hormonal changes. Other women might experience difficulty reaching orgasm, a condition called anorgasmia. You may also experience decreased libido and some dryness or reduced lubrication.

Wellbutrin increases norepinephrine and dopamine levels, enhancing female sexual responses such as increased libido.

This especially applies to some postmenopausal women. Reports indicate that out of women who took Wellbutrin to treat depression, only 2% experienced sexual issues, while 82% reported sexual issues while using SSRIs.

How To Manage Sexual Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Below, we explore a few Wellbutrin side effects and how to manage them.

Weight loss: This is one of the most common side effects of taking Wellbutrin. This could happen because your depression symptoms are reducing. Studies of Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL indicated weight loss as a sign. Talk to your healthcare expert; they can help you recommend ways to maintain your weight while on the medication,

Anger: Like studies suggested in Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL, this is a possible side effect. Anger could be a symptom of a more severe condition. Talk to medical professionals if you experience anger issues while taking the medication, so they can help you find ways to manage that.

Anxiety: Some common symptoms of anxiety include: increased heart rate, sweating, trouble breathing, dry mouth, feelings of dread, panic, restlessness, worry, racing thoughts, or difficulty concentrating. Make sure to talk to a medical professional about your anxiety symptoms. They could prescribe a different drug or suggest ways to lessen the symptoms.

Read also: A Comprehensive Guide To Using Wellbutrin For Sleep

Wellbutrin Effects On Libido

Wellbutrin treats depression but may also help with sexual symptoms such as decreased libido (reduced sexual drive). This side effect was especially indicated in studies conducted on Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL.

There were also other side effects, such as hypersexuality (high sexual drive), reported after the drug’s availability.

Bupropion influences sexual function. Others experience increased libido, and it could be an excellent alternative for patients with an active sexual life and affective disorder.

Not only is Wellbutrin one of the best antidepressant medications out there, but it also doesn’t cause sexual issues. Some trials also reported that it could treat dysfunction because of its pro-sexual effects.

Wellbutrin For Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)

HSDD is a sexual problem affecting roughly 10% of women of all ages. This means an absence or lack of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activities. This disorder is caused by conditions associated with depression. In the US alone, HSDD affects 20% of adult women, and it’s prevalent.

Bupropion is prescribed off-label by some physicians to treat premenopausal and postmenopausal women with HSDD. The dosage will depend on the physician’s prescription, with most patients starting with 150 mg/day.

Wellbutrin for Sexual Issues

Wellbutrin has proven to be an effective treatment for sexual dysfunction. Living with sexual issues can be quite stressful and embarrassing. This condition lowers your sexual desire and or satisfaction.

Wellbutrin treats sexual issues by working uniquely in the brain. It is an antidepressant that reacts with chemicals in the human brain, sometimes triggering sexual issues. It works by balancing these chemicals to improve your sexual function.

Unlike other antidepressants, Wellbutrin is an effective remedy and doesn’t have adverse side effects on your sexual health and performance. Most antidepressants are likely to lower your libido or suppress sexual arousal.

Wellbutrin and Erectile Issues in Men

Men with erectile issues find it difficult to have an erection or maintain it. This condition makes it hard to have a satisfying sexual experience. Wellbutrin could come in handy with treating erectile problems, even though it is an antidepressant.

On several occasions, some antidepressants cause erectile dysfunction, especially those that boost serotonin levels in the brain. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are an example of such medications. However, Wellbutrin works differently and has minimal or zero chances of causing sexual problems like erectile issues.

Wellbutrin may cure erectile issues by increasing norepinephrine levels in the brain. The chemicals are responsible for mood elevation and pleasure, therefore, increasing their levels in the brain; Wellbutrin potentially helps with improving erectile function and general sexual experience.

It is also important to note that Wellbutrin is only a potential remedy for erectile dysfunction. This means it is not guaranteed to cure erectile issues in every case. People will respond differently to medications; some may not even be cured after Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin and Sexual Problems in Women

Sexual issues is not just a condition for men only. Women may also face challenges with their sexual experiences and especially those using certain antidepressants. Wellbutrin, with its unique and effective mechanisms of work, may help cure antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.

If you are a woman experiencing low libido or difficulties getting sexual arousal as side effects of certain antidepressants, you could consult your doctor on the possibility of using Wellbutrin.

However, as with any medication, individual reactions may vary; thus, you should seek expert advice before any medication changes.

Wellbutrin Hypersexuality Side Effects

While Wellbutrin has the potential to cure sexual issues and other related conditions, it’s important to note that it could be a catalyst of hypersexuality. Hypersexuality is a condition where you experience increased sexual thoughts and urges. They can be overwhelming and could lead to depression in some individuals.

If you get to experience an abnormal increase in sexual thoughts and desire while on Wellbutrin, it is recommended that you consult a health specialist promptly.

When to see a doctor

If you are using certain antidepressants and you experience sexual dysfunction, you should immediately contact your doctor. Try to openly discuss matters concerning your well-being with your doctor as much as possible. This way, they will help examine your situation, understand your condition and prescribe potential remedies.

If you are considering switching to Wellbutrin or other medications, it is also recommended you seek expert advice before you make any moves. This helps the doctors assess your medical history and current situation before adjusting your medication plan.

Read also: A Comprehensive Guide on Wellbutrin Withdrawal

Frequently Asked Questions

When taken concurrently with SSRIs like Celexa, Wellbutrin is known to cancel out or reduce sexual side effects like low drive for sex, erectile issues, and delayed ejaculation caused by Celexa. Wellbutrin has even been used off-label to treat sexual side effects caused by SSRIs.

While most antidepressants, particularly SSRIs, increase the risk of sexual side effects such as erectile issues, studies indicate that bupropion (Wellbutrin XL) is not associated with these side effects.

Wellbutrin can cause hypersexuality, but it only happens to very few patients, about 10% of users. Hypersexuality as a side effect can occur when there’s a rapid dosage change or an attempt to discontinue usage. Some patients also experience hypersexuality when they combine Wellbutrin with other drugs.

Different people react differently to side effects from antidepressants. While it may take a week for the side effects to resolve in some people, it can take months in others. Also, depending on the type of antidepressant, sexual side effects may never resolve in some users.

When you experience sexual side effects from taking an antidepressant, you may have two options. You could either switch to a different antidepressant that doesn’t have the side effects or start a medication for erectile issues.

Wellbutrin has some side effects for patients with anxiety, depression, and ADD. The most common side effects include; increased drive for sex, dry mouth, and trouble sleeping.

Effexor has adverse withdrawals. Similarly, your body may take time to get used to the switch to Wellbutrin. So as you switch from Effexor to Wellbutrin, you may experience some strange side effects before the effects smooth out. Also, you’ll need to start with a low dose of Wellbutrin as you increase the dosage with time.

One of the common side effects of antidepressants is low libido and erectile issues. However, bupropion is different from other antidepressants. It is among the few antidepressants not associated with sexual issues.

Wellbutrin does not decrease libido. It can help offset reduced libido caused by other antidepressants. As a result, doctors prescribe Wellbutrin to replace SSRI-based antidepressants that cause sexual side effects.

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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