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Why does Wellbutrin take so long to work?

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The current blogspot will discuss the time taken by wellbutrin to treat depression, bipolar and smoking cessation among adults and children. We will learn the treatment action and the possible reason that makes wellbutrin to take long for treating the respective symptoms. 

Why does Wellbutrin take so long to work?

The antidepressant wellbutrin takes a long time to treat the depression and associated symptoms. It works by affecting our nervous system. As an antidepressant it prevents the neuron from taking up the serotonin from the synaptic space and thus increases the amount of serotonin between the two neurons themselves. 

Wellbutrin usually takes 3-4  weeks for action against depression as the change in depressive symptoms is prominent only after the serotonin levels in the individual’s neurons are balanced.

Since wellbutrin is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, it works by inhibiting the uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin and regulating the amount of serotonin in our bodies to decrease the symptoms associated with depression.

Usually our body gets adapted to the mechanism of action of wellbutrin at a slow pace and thus it takes 6 months or more for wellbutrin to treat the depressive symptoms. Wellbutrin tends to act on the neurotransmitters in our brain and affect the chemical activity. It takes two weeks to show prominent initial effects.

One of the side effects of Wellbutrin can be rage episodes.

Usually improvement in the physical symptoms of the patient prescribed with wellbutrin is evident in the first 3 weeks of treatment. However with regards to the low mood, lack of pleasure and low interest the wellbutrin usually takes 6-8 weeks to show visible changes.

Wellbutrin takes a long to respond on the person’s depressive symptoms because wellbutrin usually causes a weak effect on the nerve cells in the brain so that the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine are regulated in the neurotransmitters of the brain. As time passes by, the wellbutrin results in increasing the production and regulating the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the human body due to which mood gets changed positively, the brain responses are more quick and depression decreases.

The delayed action of wellbutrin can also be explained by the fact that the drug acts not directly on the serotonin transporters in the body. Rather it shows its effect by acting upon the genes and the DNA that are responsible for the serotonin transport in the body. As a result of the action of wellbutrin on the DNA the serotonin blockers become less active and the quantity of serotonin blockers in the brain of the individual being treated with wellbutrin decreases. Thus there is an eventual surge in the  restoration of serotonin levels in the brain. The mechanism of action of wellbutrin to block the serotonin blockers explains why it takes too long to respond to the depressive features among the patients with depression.


In the current blogspot we talked about “why does serotonin take so long to work?”. We learned that the mechanism of action of wellbutrin as an antidepressant is the main reason that makes wellbutrin to take long to respond to the depressive symptoms. Wellbutrin  is based on blocking the serotonin uptake by working on the genes that are concerned with serotonin transporters. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Why does wellbutrin take so long to work?

How long after taking wellbutrin will I feel better?

After taking wellbutrin, the visible effects in sleep, appetite and energy are visible in the first 2 weeks. However, for the symptoms of low mood, loss of interest and lack of pleasure, it usually takes wellbutrin 6-8 weeks to show visible positive effects.

How does it feel when wellbutrin starts working?

Shortly after starting treatment with wellbutrin, the following symptoms are visible:


Can wellbutrin help immediately?

The regular formation of wellbutrin immediate release can be administered three times a day to see visible effects in the symptoms of depression. The regular formation starts working after a few hours of intake and is recommended to treat major depressive disorder.


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