how long does it take for wellbutrin to kick in?

In this guide, we will discuss How long it takes for wellbutrin to kick in. We will also discuss what it is, it’s uses, and possible side effects while also taking into consideration its dosages and what happens if you miss a dose.

How long does it take for wellbutrin to kick in?

It may take about 1-2 weeks or even 6-8 weeks for Wellbutrin and Wellbutrin XL to work. Improvement in somatic symptoms like sleep, energy, appetite and libido can happen in the first 1-2 weeks. 

However, It may take Wellbutrin and Wellbutrin XL about 6 or so weeks to work on other symptoms like Depressed mood and lack of interest in activities.

As for Wellbutrin XL 300 mg, It may take about 1-2 weeks minimum to work on symptoms  like sleep, appetite and libido may improve and may take about 5-6 weeks for the drug to work on psychological symptoms like depressed mood, hopelessness etc. 

How long does it take to feel the effects of Wellbutrin?

It can take about a minimum of 1-2 weeks to feel the effects of Wellbutrin which manifests itself in its effects on alleviating the  physical symptoms of depression like sleep, appetite, libido and energy.

As for other psychological symptoms like hopelessness, and mood it can take up to 6-8 weeks for the Wellbutrin to work.

If you do not experience any positive effects of the drug within two to three months, it is advisable that you speak to your doctor about changing the dosage or switching to another drug.

What is Wellbutrin?


Wellbutrin is the brand name for the drug bupropion. It is an atypical antidepressant and belongs to a class of medications referred to as aminoketones. It works by affecting the way your body produces neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which are crucial to our moods.  

It works by modifying the levels of certain chemicals in your brain and is often sold in tablet form and is commonly prescribed as a treatment for conditions such as depression and seasonal affective disorder.

In terms of the ‘off-label’ prescription, Wellbutrin is also used to help smokers stop smoking. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD- though research for the efficacy of the drug for these conditions are limited. 

As indicated by NAMI:

After starting the medication, symptoms will gradually decrease over a period of weeks. In the case of MDD and SAD, sleep and other physical symptoms may improve before there is an improvement in mood or interest in activities.

If you are using wellbutrin to quit smoking or for SAD, the length of the treatment is usually shorter. However, your doctor will decide for how long you need to take the medicine.

Do not attempt to stop your medication suddenly or change your dose without consulting it with your doctor first.

Depression is also part of bipolar disorder and people suffering from this condition taking antidepressants, may be at a higher risk for switching from depression into mania. Some of the symptoms related to a manic episode include ‘high’ or irritable mood, very high self-esteem, decreased need to sleep and racing thoughts.

What are the side effects of Wellbutrin?

Like all antidepressants, Wellbutrin can cause certain side effects which are usually minor and temporary. 

Some of the common side effects of bupropion include:

  • Abnormal dreams
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine
  • Nasopharyngitis, rhinitis and other cold-like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Tachycardia (fast heart beat)
  • Tremor
  • Vomiting
  • Weight fluctuation

These side effects are often  mild and disappear over the course of several days or weeks. However if you experience persistent side effects, it’s best to talk to your doctor.

Like other antidepressants, wellbutrin may lead to serious side effects though less likely, these side effects include:

  • Panic attacks, changes in mood, impulsive behavior and worsened depression or anxiety.
  • Hypertension.
  • Vision issues
  • Seizures

Risk factors for the use of Wellbutrin include people with conditions such as:

  • Head injuries
  • Active brain tumors
  • A history of epilepsy
  • Withdrawal from or addiction 
  • Use of other drugs that may affect your seizure susceptibility
  • Liver or kidney issues, 
  • Diabetes 

It may take about 1-2 weeks for wellbutrin side effects to go away, because as the drug builds up in your system you may develop a certain tolerance to it, and it may cause the initial side effects to subside.

Wellbutrin side effects are generally mild to start with, and the fact that they usually go away within the first 1-2 weeks of treatment is a big reason for why this medication is prescribed for so many conditions and so often.

Wellbutrin side effects that usually go away within the initial 1-2 weeks are the common ones that are most likely to happen, and if the more serious side effects do occur they need to be taken seriously right away and the doctor should be consulted.

What is the recommended dosage for wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is available in several doses. If you’re prescribed any medication containing bupropion, check the packaging that came with the medication to ensure you take the correct amount.

The best dosage that you can take is the one prescribed by your doctor; however, typical for depression, the dosage is 150mg to 200mg per day, taken either as 100mg tablets taken twice per day or a single 150mg extended-release bupropion tablet taken in the morning. 

The maximum dosage of bupropion for depression is 300mg to 450mg per day. Based on your symptoms and response to the drugs, your doctor may adjust your dosage of the drug over time.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember and take the remaining doses for the day at evenly spaced times at least 4 hours apart. 

Do not attempt to take 2 doses at once and do not take more than you were prescribed by your doctor to make up for the dose you forgot. It is advisable that you wait and take your next dose at your regular time the next day.

How long does it take for wellbutrin to work for smoking?

It may take wellbutrin about 2-3 weeks to work for smoking, and even in this time period it may work slowly, and one may not start feeling like they don’t want to smoke right away, rather, there may be a gradual decrease in craving.

However, Wellbutrin may take longer to work to help someone stop smoking when the person has had the habit for some time and they are taking a low dosage of the medication.

How long does it take for wellbutrin to get in your system?

It may take Wellbutrin about 1 week to get in your system, and about 2-3 weeks for it to build up to the necessary levels for you to see serious improvement in whatever condition you are using it for.

The half life of Wellbutrin is about 3-4 hours, but when it is taken regularly, it can have a half life of about 21 hours. This  means that Wellbutrin can stay in your system for longer periods of time the longer you take it, and that is how it starts helping your mental health condition.

How long does it take for wellbutrin to get out of your system?

It may take Wellbutrin approximately 4.4 days for 99% of Wellbutrin to get out of your system, and this time period can vary significantly depending on various physical factors such as body mass, metabolism, lifestyle, condition of your liver and kidneys. In most cases it may take wellbutrin about 90 days to get out of your hair.

If you are concerned about how long it takes wellbutrin to get out of your system because you are concerned about withdrawal when coming off the drug It is advisable that you speak to your doctor about this as it is more safer that you are taken off it gradually, so that you don’t experience withdrawal. 

Conclusion

In this guide, we discussed How long it takes for wellbutrin to kick in. We also discussed what it is, it’s uses, and possible side effects while also taking into consideration its dosages and what happens if you miss a dose.

References:

Bupropion (Wellbutrin): What it is, How it Works, Side Effects & More. Hims. 18th July 2020. Retrieved on 18th November 2021. https://www.forhims.com/blog/wellbutrin-bupropion-overview

Bupropion (Wellbutrin). NAMI Retrieved on 18th November 2021. https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Bupropion-(Wellbutrin)

How long does it take for Wellbutrin XL and SR to work? Drugs.com. 16th April, 2021. Retrieved on 18th November, 2021. https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/long-wellbutrin-xl-sr-work-3557497/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How long does it take for wellbutrin to kick in

Does Wellbutrin help with anxiety?

Wellbutrin can help with anxiety for some people but for others it may worsen the symptoms. Wellbutrin is considered an antidepressant medication that has several on and off-label uses for anxiety. It is best to discuss its uses with a professional or physician. 

What is the best time of day to take Wellbutrin?

The best time of day to take wellbutrin, if you are taking the extended-release version, is once a day in the morning within a 24-hour time frame. However, try to take wellbutrin at the same time each day, and avoid taking it too close to your bedtime. 

Does wellbutrin cause weight loss?

Wellbutrin may cause weight loss according to some studies. This could be due to wellbutrin reducing your appetite.

How long does wellbutrin last?

Wellbutrin’s half life is 33 to 37 hours, meaning that the wellbutrin lasts at least a week in your system. 

Does Wellbutrin make you horny?

There is no known association between wellbutrin and increased libido. However, unlike other competing antidepressants, wellbutrin does not cause a decrease in libido.

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