How Long Does Wellbutrin Take to Work?

Category: Prescription Related Questions


Posted on March 8, 2024

Scott is passionate about health and wellness, and enjoys writing on various topic surrounding these fields. Scott lives in Seattle and spends his free time restoring old furniture and playing pickleball with his friends.

how long does wellbutrin take to work

Around the world, an estimated 280 million people are struggling with depression every day. For some, depression arises in the face of specific situations and fades with time. For others, depression never seems to fade completely.

Wellbutrin is one of the few medications approved to treat depression that isn't an SSRI. If you haven't had good results with SSRIs in the past, you may want to talk to your doctor about this atypical antidepressant. 

How long does Wellbutrin take to work? This will depend on a variety of factors, including your Wellbutrin dosage and the reason you're taking it.

Read on to learn more about how long you need to take Wellbutrin before feeling any effects.

How Does Wellbutrin Work?

The purpose of Wellbutrin is to stabilize your mood and improve your overall sense of well-being. The typical antidepressant, like the very popular Lexapro, works toward this goal by stifling serotonin absorption. This can sustain serotonin levels in the brain, making emotional regulation a little easier.

Wellbutrin, on the other hand, blocks the receptors that would absorb norepinephrine and dopamine. These are both neurotransmitters, like serotonin, that have a major influence on emotional regulation and positive feelings.

By blocking the absorption, Wellbutrin may sustain the functional lifespan of these neurotransmitters so you can feel their positive effects longer. Norepinephrine and dopamine also play a big role in things like memory, learning, and sustained attention. As a result, Wellbutrin may also help you to take more control over your productivity and focus, which can have a secondary impact on your sense of well-being. 

What Can Wellbutrin Treat?

While Wellbutrin is most commonly known as an antidepressant, doctors may prescribe it for other conditions or purposes. 

For example, some patients may use Wellbutrin to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD causes similar symptoms as depression, including:

  • Low mood
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue or daytime drowsiness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and work
  • Irritability 
  • Decreased sex drive

Unlike depression, SAD has direct links to specific weather patterns. Most people who experience SAD show symptoms in the winter months, when there is minimal sunlight and the temperatures plummet. However, there is a growing body of evidence that some patients deal with SAD in the summer.

Some patients will use Wellbutrin as a smoking cessation tool. Unlike nicotine gum and patches, Wellbutrin does require a prescription. If you choose to take Wellbutrin to quit smoking, make sure to work closely with your doctor.

How Long Does Wellbutrin Take to Work?

Most people will start to notice the early effects of Wellbutrin after about one to two weeks. These early effects may include:

  • Improved sleep
  • More daytime energy
  • Improved appetite

If you're taking Wellbutrin to treat major depressive disorder, expect a longer timeline. It can take up to six weeks to start feeling the full range of effects, which may include:

  • Better mood regulation
  • Improved outlook on life
  • Increased interest in work, hobbies, and relationships
  • Increased presence of mind

If you're taking Wellbutrin to quit smoking, you likely won't stay on the drug for long. Some doctors will prescribe Wellbutrin for as little as two weeks to help patients get through the first wave of withdrawals. Many patients have no desire to resume smoking after they stop taking Wellbutrin.

What Is the Most Common Wellbutrin Dosage?

When your doctor prescribes Wellbutrin, they will give you the exact dosage to follow. For the best results, do not take less than prescribed. If you experience negative side effects, talk to your doctor about changing your dosage or trying a different medication.

Wellbutrin dosages depend on the type of Wellbutrin you take. There are both Wellbutrin SR tablets (sustained-release) and Wellbutrin XL tablets (extended-release). 

Oftentimes, patients will start with one dose of 150 mg per day. After a set period of time, depending on the intended use and type of Wellbutrin you are taking, that may go up to a dose of 300 mg per day. Most patients will take the full dose at the same time each day, though some are instructed to take 150 mg in the morning and 150 mg eight hours later. 

What Are the Potential Wellbutrin Side Effects?

Like all medications, Wellbutrin can cause unwanted side effects. These may include:

  • Agitation
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty passing stool
  • Dizziness
  • Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Changes in sleep

Some patients report an increase in anxiety while taking Wellbutrin. If Wellbutrin has a negative impact on your mental health, talk to your doctor right away. You should also talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Pounding or rapid heartbeat

These are extreme side effects that most patients will not experience. Experiencing these side effects indicates that Wellbutrin may not be the right medication for you. 

Where Can I Fill My Wellbutrin Prescription?

You should be able to fill Wellbutrin at most American pharmacies. If you have health insurance, make sure you're getting your prescription filled at a pharmacy in your insurance network. 

If you don't have insurance or the cost of Wellbutrin is still higher than expected, consider looking at Canadian online pharmacies. Always verify that you are using a safe, licensed online pharmacy like PricePro.  

How Can I Stop Taking Wellbutrin?

If you want to stop taking Wellbutrin at any time, talk to your doctor. Wellbutrin safety includes coming off of Wellbutrin in a way that will mitigate negative effects.

Most of the time, this will involve tapering off of Wellbutrin. For example, if you currently take 300 mg per day, your doctor may suggest dropping down to 150 mg per day for one to two weeks before stopping altogether.

Fill Your Prescriptions for Less With PricePro Pharmacy

How long does Wellbutrin take to work? Most patients will start to notice a difference after one week. However, it may take longer to feel the full effects depending on the reason you've been prescribed Wellbutrin. 

Are you looking for a way to fill prescriptions from home without paying inflated prices? PricePro Pharmacy offers a wide variety of prescription and non-prescription medications at a price that most pharmacies can't match. Learn how to order your medication from PricePro today. 

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