Wellbutrin to lose weight

Health News Weight Loss

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is a prescription drug for smoking cessation and depression. The medication may result in weight loss in a few individuals. Thus, it is at times recommended as a weight loss drug in the form of Contrave. It is a combination medicine of Bupropion and Naltrexone. If the concerned doctor has recommended Wellbutrin for depression or assist with smoking cessation, he or she may be curious about its side effects, i.e., weight loss.

Wellbutrin is the brand medication known as Bupropion. It is thought to be an atypical antidepressant. This implies that it works in a different manner than the major categories of antidepressant drugs that are useful for treating depression.

The commonly recommended antidepressants belong to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medications exert their action by balancing the brain’s level of serotonin. It is a neurotransmitter that controls a person’s memory, mood, cognition, and many other physiological processes.

Wellbutrin mechanism of action:

Wellbutrin mechanism of action
Wellbutrin mechanism of action

Bupropion is a norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). The medication acts by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. In addition, dopamine and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters and are related to the control of energy level, sleep, and mental awareness.

Originally, Bupropion was developed as an antidepressant drug. However, it gained FDA approval for  quitting smoking. Now, healthcare providers are recommending Wellbutrin XL as a once-a-day alternative, or Wellbutrin SR (or Bupropion SR) as a twice-a-day alternative.

Similar to other antidepressants, Bupropion is the only available option by prescription. Even though, it might be an initial alternative for any patient, it can be classically recommended only after other antidepressants have proven unsuccessful.

In addition, similar to other antidepressants, Bupropion comprises particular dosage instructions to be followed. Initiating and quitting the medication must only be performed with medical advice from a doctor. As, withdrawal signs are likely if stopped shortly.

How to use Wellbutrin to lose weight?

Bupropion (the generic type of Wellbutrin medication) was at first, recommended as an antidepressant. It is the only antidepressant drug that accompanies weight loss. Doctors observed that a majority of agreeable side effects. These days, Bupropion is at times recommended as part of a drug for weight loss (Contrave), and a stop-smoking support (Zyban).

Bupropion results in weight loss:

  • A 2016 research study that assessed the lasting weight loss effect of several antidepressant drugs observed that non-smokers who consumed Bupropion lost 7.1 pounds over 2 years. This effect was absent in smokers. Weight was gained in the users of the other antidepressants in the research study.
  • Bupropion appears to be efficacious for weight-loss maintenance too. A 2012 research study observed that overweight adults who consumed Bupropion SR in 300mg or 400mg lost 7.2% and 10% of their body weight, correspondingly, over 24 weeks and continued that weight loss at 48 weeks.

What is Wellbutrin?

Are you taking Bupropion
Are you taking Bupropion?

Bupropion prevents a person’s brain from absorbing free-floating norepinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine. This enhances the levels of both chemicals in a person’ brain. Professionals aren’t precisely sure how the medication acts to promote weight loss. It might work on receptors and neurotransmitters in a person’s brain that have an effect on metabolism and appetite.

Bupropion comes in a generic form and under numerous brand names, such as:

  • Wellbutrin
  • Aplenzin
  • Budeprion XL
  • Forfivo XL
  • Buproban
  • Budeprion SR

Wellbutrin Uses:

Bupropion is a FDA-approved medication for treating major depressive disorder (MDD) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In addition, the medication helps individuals quit smoking (smoking cessation).

Are weight loss medications appropriate?

If a person is interested in consuming Bupropion for weight loss, discuss with the concerned doctor regarding whether a weight loss drug is a correct alternative for the person. Doctors consider various factors before recommending a weight loss drug. These involve the potential benefits of the drug, any likely side effects, a person’s medical status and drugs, his or her family’s medical history, and price of medications.

Doctors usually suggest weight loss drugs for individuals with a BMI of 30 or higher. This implies obesity. If the BMI is 27 to 29, doctors might recommend a weight-loss medication if a person experiences medical issues connected with obesity including hypertension (high blood pressure) or type 2 diabetes.

Also, the doctor may determine that the overweight or obesity might be best treated with easy lifestyle modifications including a healthy eating plan, regular physical activity, and better sleep before recommending drugs.

Wellbutrin for weight loss dose:

The generic drug of Wellbutrin is Bupropion. The medication can be used alone or together with Naltrexone to support weight loss. The combination is known as Contrave, and it differs in dosage and can be enhanced progressively for those who might tolerate it. Wellbutrin dose is based upon guidance suggested by the concerned doctor.

Patients might be recommended an initial dose of Contrave, which is one tablet (naltrexone 8 mg/bupropion 90 mg) one time on a daily basis in the morning for one week. This dose can then be enhanced at second week to one tablet two times a day, given in the morning and evening.

People can then be given an enhanced dose of two tablets in the morning in the third week and one tablet in the evening if tolerable. They can increase the dose to two tablets two times a day at week 4 in the morning and evening. Also, they may carry on with this dose for the remainder of the treatment course.

The general dose of this medication is two tablets (naltrexone 16 mg/bupropion 180 mg) twice daily, with the maximum dose as naltrexone 32 mg/bupropion 360 mg/day. If a person fails to tolerate the maximum dose, the concerned doctor may decide the appropriate dosage for the person.

The major reason individuals fail to tolerate the maximum dose is because of the side effects. Due to this, the concerned healthcare provider might suggest the off-label use of Wellbutrin alone to help in the weight loss efforts.

Wellbutrin Side-Effects:

Bupropion may lead to some side effects. Common Wellbutrin side effects can be mental alterations such as agitation or hostility, headache, dry mouth, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. Severe side effects may involve confusion, convulsions, hallucinations, high BP, and hypersensitive reactions.

Look out for urgent medical help if a person experiences such side effects while on Bupropion. Bupropion may also lead to drug interactions with other drugs such as:

  • Anticoagulants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Medications that enhance dopamine levels
  • Digoxin
  • HIV antivirals
  • Anti-seizure drugs

Weight Loss Treatments:

If a person is considering a drug to manage obesity, Wellbutrin is one of the numerous alternatives. Other drugs may involve Liraglutide (Saxenda), Phentermine/Topiramate (Qsymia), and Bupropion/Naltrexone (Contrave). Remember, that no weight-loss tablet would work magic. The concerned doctor would suggest a healthy diet and regular physical activity together with any drug.

How does Bupropion aid in weight loss?

Wellbutrin for weight loss
Wellbutrin for weight loss

In non-technical terms, the medication aids people who experience stress-associated eating far better than people who experience tedium-associated eating. If a person simply has bad eating habits, this might not be the greatest option for him or her.

If a person is an emotional eater, this might be a great medication for him or her. It excites the receptors i.e., noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. This offers a greater amount of energy, suppresses appetite, and improves a person’s mood.

Stress enhances the levels of cortisol and ghrelin which act as an appetite-suppressant. Dopamine and noradrenaline are appetite-suppressants. As the drug improves stress and mood, it was originally called an antidepressant. Yet, later studies exhibited that it assisted individuals in quitting smoking. As a result, Bupropion has been FDA-approved to aid in smoking cessation.

Additional studies presented that the drug is helpful in offering better weight loss than diet alone. Even in 2001, it was proven in a research study of non-depressed females trying to lose weight that thrice as many consuming Bupropion saw achievement as people who were consuming placebo (a fake pill). Consequently, Bupropion is one of the constituents of the most recommended FDA-approved brand drug for weight loss, Wellbutrin.

Bupropion Risks:

People can quit smoking if they are consuming this drug. A lot of patients are very happy with the successful effects of this medication. They are now less stressed and more productive at work. Infrequently, people have reported that they have become anxious or crabby.

If that occurs, instantly people can stop the use of this medication and report to their concerned doctors to let them inform them that they stopped. People can also stop using Bupropion directly without having to wean off of it like other drugs.

They must not consume Bupropion if they have had a diagnosis of anorexia or seizures or if they are hypersensitive to Bupropion or if they use MAO-inhibitors. The FDA added a warning label to a majority of drugs asserting that they may lead to rare cases of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Wellbutrin Precautions:

Wellbutrin is usually a well-tolerated medication. Yet, it interacts with over 400 medications. To avoid such interactions, ensure that the concerned doctor knows what other prescription drugs, supplements, and OTC drugs they are consuming.

  • Wellbutrin and alcohol: It is recommended not to take Wellbutrin with alcohol. This interaction can cause severe serious side effects. It might enhance the risk for seizures in individuals who might already be at higher risk.
    In addition, the medication accompanies a higher risk of suicidal thoughts, chiefly in kids, teens, and young adults. In case of such changes that may be a concern for the person while on Wellbutrin, it is better to consult with the concerned healthcare provider.
  • Wellbutrin in pregnancy: Although Bupropion isn’t usually considered a first line treatment for depression during pregnancy, it may be an alternative for females who failed to respond to other drugs. Studies propose that consuming Bupropion during pregnancy may be connected with heart defects or miscarriage in women.
  • Bipolar Disorder and Wellbutrin: A major depressive incident may occur in the initial symptoms of bipolar disorder. The concerned healthcare provider must monitor the patient for symptoms of this. Wellbutrin is not recommended in bipolar disorder.
  • Driving and doing heavy physical jobs: Drowsiness, sleepiness, hazy vision, and a false sense of wellbeing may happen while on Wellbutrin. Due to this, making use of heavy machinery or driving must be considered sensibly.

Wellbutrin and other Drugs:

Wellbutrin versus Zoloft:

 Wellbutrin VS Zoloft
Wellbutrin VS Zoloft

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) and Zoloft (Sertraline), both are antidepressant medications for managing major depression. In addition, Wellbutrin can be helpful for treating seasonal affective disorder. Also, Zoloft can be useful for treating social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Both the drugs are different forms of antidepressants. Wellbutrin is an amino ketones and Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Wellbutrin and Lexapro:

While both Wellbutrin and Lexapro are useful for treating depression, they are not similar forms of drug, Wellbutrin acts by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine in the neuronal synapse. Whereas, Lexapro works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin. All of these neurotransmitters are important in regulating a person’s mood and behavior.


How much Wellbutrin to lose weight?

Weight alterations are considered a side effect for both Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR. Research of Wellbutrin XL has established that 23% of individuals consuming a dose of 150 to 300 mg per day lost 5 pounds or above.

Is Wellbutrin an SSRI?

Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant that is not a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Is Wellbutrin a stimulant?

No, Wellbutrin is not a stimulant medication. It is a form of antidepressant that belongs to the class of norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs).

Can Wellbutrin cause anxiety?

As per the FDA, Wellbutrin may lead to anxiety-associated side effects in a few individuals. These side effects can be anxiety, or restlessness.

Can Wellbutrin cause weight gain?

While evaluating all the antidepressant drugs, Wellbutrin carries the least potential to cause weight gain. In a majority of cases, it is associated with a neutral change or may result in weight loss gradually.

Can Wellbutrin make you tired?

Research has found that Wellbutrin is just as effective as SSRIs for the remission of major depressive signs. People consuming this medication are less likely to experience signs of sedation and fatigue as compared to people treated with SSRIs.