Published on 09 January 2023

Can Wellbutrin Cause Anxiety: Is It True?

Table of Contents

Depression is one of the mental health illnesses; it occurs at any age and affects your health and quality of life. . According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression occurs due to various factors, such as low-income, family history, past trauma, stress, life-changing events, physical health conditions, loss of loved ones, etc. 

A person with high-stress levels is more likely to develop depression and Anxiety. Nowadays, depression episodes are widely seen in adulthood—an estimated rate of 21. If you deal with persistent depression levels, there are some ways to figure out your illness.

If you are suffering from depression, there are many ways to manage your condition, including counseling, medication, and lifestyle modification.

Some conditions require medical care; you should speak to your doctor about your options. The drug Wellbutrin is one of the effective mood stabilizers which plays a role in overcoming depression.

However, some people have doubts about its effectiveness in treating Anxiety and whether or not it can contribute to worsening their current state. Let us get into the details. 

What Is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is a drug sold under the brand name bupropion; It is available in two forms Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR. It is a Food and drug administration-approved (FDA) drug. 

It treats conditions like mood disorders and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is used off-label to treat Attention Deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug is not approved for those under 18 years of age.  

How Does Wellbutrin Work?

Wellbutrin belongs to the aminoketones class; it affects the neurotransmitters called dopamine and norepinephrine by working the neurotransmitters. These chemicals are crucial to the mood. Dopamine helps in sleep, pleasure, and spirit.

Norepinephrine helps circulate blood and keeps the body alert and awake. People with depressive episodes will probably have low dopamine levels, affecting their mood. 

The drugs increase the chemical class of norepinephrine and dopamine level in the brain. Boosting these chemical levels will eliminate depression, regulate mood, and keep you calm.

The drug is potentially safe and effective for extended periods with proper direction from healthcare providers. Most people will take the medications for more than 12 weeks. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Drugs like Wellbutrin work for depression associated with Anxiety treatment to reduce Anxiety levels; it will work effectively after using it for extended periods.
While using the drug for Anxiety, the patient will feel irritable, restless, and agitated. Due to the drug dosage, it will make you more anxious, so speak with your healthcare provider.
Typical functions of sleep and appetite result after using it for 1-2 weeks, but more prolonged physical depressive symptoms take time to erase from your body, nearly 6-8 weeks.
People taking antidepressants reported a sign of emotional blunting. According to a 2017 report using Wellbutrin, 33% say emotional blunting, and 21% say unable to cry.
Wellbutrin is one of the most effective antidepressants and safe ones compared with other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Signs Of Wellbutrin Working

After taking the drug for several days to a week, you will doubt the performance of Wellbutrin. You may be concerned about whether this drug is suitable, whether to adjust the dosage or shift to other drugs. Remember, the drug won't work immediately like other antidepressants. It takes up to 6 weeks or even longer to see the full effects and to show some changes in your health. 

During this phase, your doctor will advise you on how to use it and the timings. For some people, it may be used for a short time, but the drug's therapeutic effects will be seen after two to three weeks of regular use. 

You should remember that antidepressants will work differently from one person to another; You can follow up with your doctor to determine whether the prescribed medication is working or not for you. Nevertheless, you can keep an eye on the following signs that mean you're getting better:

  • If you start to sleep better
  • Improvements in appetite
  • Having more energy (Feeling active)
  • Enhanced concentration
  • Better memory power
  • Feeling less nervous
  • Becoming happy and enthusiastic
  • Feeling positive

You can see improvements in sleep, appetite, and energy after 1-2 weeks of using the drug. Progress in mood and behavior will take more time to recover, primarily up to 6-8 weeks. 

Does Wellbutrin Cause Anxiety?

Like any other drug, Wellbutrin has some side effects. One of these effects is Anxiety, which includes restlessness, insomnia, and agitation. In general Anxiety, related side effects will be seen during the initial stages or for a short period, according to your dosage.

Only two percent of people stop using the drug due to the adverse side effects of using the medicine, and changing the dosage periodically will help you to avoid side effects.

Even though the FDA disapproves of Wellbutrin in treating Anxiety due to lack of sufficient evidence, it has shown some success in treating patients with anxiety-related depression and is used off-label.


Can Wellbutrin Worsen Anxiety symptoms?

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness

Clinical trial data showed anxiety-related side effects after taking Wellbutrin in high doses. These side effects included insomnia, Anxiety, and restlessness.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 2% of people experienced the side effects and discontinued the drug. It worsened for some people, requiring immediate anti-anxiety intervention treatment. Common side effects are dry mouth, inflammation, nausea, and dizziness. Be sure to contact your doctor before taking the drug. 

How To Know That Wellbutrin Is Good For You?

If you have been diagnosed with the condition of Major depressive episodes, you are likely to take the drug Wellbutrin to treat your illness. The drug works effectively to treat your disease.

If you have some concerns about the suitability of the drug for you at the initial stages,
there are some signs to look out for. After using the medicine, you can see changes in how you think, feel and behave. 

  • You can sleep easier, 
  • Improvements in your mood and thoughts
  • Happy with doing activities
  • Showing interest
  • Able to focus
  • Having lesser depression symptoms

These are some positive signs; it is not seen as soon as taking the drug; to show some results, it takes some time to work in your system; after taking the pills, if you feel some signs of improvement, the drug is suitable for your health. You should immediately seek your doctor's help if you face severe adverse reactions.  

What To Take with Wellbutrin for Anxiety?

A doctor likely describes the drug Wellbutrin to treat your Anxiety; some other treatment options are available that you can try in combination with the anti-depression medicines.


Exercise has shown high results on the other side of low Anxiety levels. Research States people who practice exercise regularly have lesser symptoms of Anxiety and depression other than people who don't exercise.


Doing Meditation is excellent for your health; the drug will help you cope with your Anxiety. Thirty minutes of mindful Meditation significantly reduces the Anxiety and stress levels in the patient. 


It is a way of counseling practice to deal with your emotional disturbance, to make you relax, and relieve certain Anxiety levels to control. Using it with Wellbutrin shows a significant improvement in your health. 

If your doctor considers changing the drug, in some cases, the doctor suggests SSRI or SNRI medication. For acute Anxiety related to Wellbutrin, you can take an Anxiety drug like benzodiazepines.

Hence, it is essential to follow your healthcare provider's instructions on what to take with Wellbutrin. So make sure to inform your doctor before starting any new treatment.  

Misconceptions Of Wellbutrin

People have misconceptions about whether the drug Wellbutrin will help cause Anxiety or not or make the existing Anxiety worse. This is not true; taking the medication in lower doses will prevent this from happening. You should know that taking antidepressants has of causing stress.
Some people believe that Wellbutrin is ineffective in treating people with depressive episodes. But people going from anxious depression will see a significant difference after using the drug and benefit from a generalized Anxiety disorder. 

Depression will occur in people with grey areas and complete Anxiety disorders. So it is essential to talk to your healthcare provider to choose dosage. One other myth is people taking Wellbutrin is not a good fit for people with sleep disturbance or insomnia cases.

Insomnia is one of the side effects present in Wellbutrin. So the drug won't cause you the risk of insomnia because it is already present, so that you can consult your healthcare provider for better outcomes.  

Possible Side Effects Of Wellbutrin

Side effects are common adverse reactions to the drug; All drugs have side effects taken for the first time. Hence it is essential to understand their risk factors,

Common side effects

Serious Side Effects


Worsening the depression


Increased suicidal thoughts

Blurred vision

Severe liver problem

Dry mouth



High blood pressure


Severe heart problems



Side effects are common and temporary and go only on after a few weeks to a few days. If you notice any changes in your health or any severe side effects from the medication, immediately contact your healthcare provider. 

Precautions Of Wellbutrin

Every drug has caution measures that will guide you on how to use the medication, how to interact with other substances, and who should not take it; before following the drug, make a complete list or ask your respected doctor to inform them about your health illness. 

Avoid taking the medication if you have any 

  • Allergic reactions.
  • Seizure disorder
  • If you suddenly stop using alcohol or other sedative drugs like Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.

Inform your doctor if you have any other medical conditions, like,

  • Brain or spinal cord tumor
  • Heart Disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • Any other mental illness
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  1. While taking the drug during the initial stage will cause you to suffer from unwanted suicidal thoughts, so you should report to your doctor your progress in health.
  2. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become one because the drug may affect your unborn baby.
  3. Avoid taking the drug During breastfeeding; for more doubt, consult your doctor immediately. 

Wellbutrin Interactions

Wellbutrin interactions are typical, but some lead to severe changes which require immediate monitoring, such as Wellbutrin should never interact with such drugs as are,

  • MAO inhibitors: Taking Wellbutrin with Monoamine oxidase inhibitors(MAOIs) will lead to rising risk factors of high blood pressure or seizure so avoid taking the drugs such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and selegiline.
  • Avoid taking Anti-seizure medication, barbiturates, and benzodiazepine drugs. 
  • Avoid taking antipsychotic drugs like pimozide and thioridazine due to the risk of heart rhythm problems. 
  • Avoid taking certain heart medications such as beta-blockers or antiarrhythmics. It will result in low blood pressure or impact health. 
  • Corticosteroids
  • Certain opioids
  • Theophylline
  • Blood thinners 

Avoid interacting with alcohol; this can provoke neuropsychiatric events, so you should control the intake of alcohol with the drug. 

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

So far, we have discussed the drug Wellbutrin; it belongs to a group used to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder; Wellbutrin is also used to help Anxiety disorders. It can be used to treat Generalised Anxiety disorder, but it is not FDA-approved for the treatment of Anxiety. 

However, it is available for off-label use but won't suit everyone with Anxiety. The drug may work effectively for one and not the same for another one.

For better health and wealth, you should focus on appropriate care, which is needed, so before starting any new procedure, consult with your healthcare provider for the right direction. 

  • Perrine, Daniel M., et al. "A short, one-pot synthesis of bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin)." Journal of Chemical Education 77.11 (2000): 1479. From Obtained on 07/01/2023
  • Granger, Arthur L., et al. "An assessment of patient preference and adherence to treatment with Wellbutrin SR: a web-based survey." Journal of affective disorders 90.2-3 (2006): 217-221. From Obtained on 07/01/2023
  • Hile, Amanda L. "Bupropion for the Treatment of ADHD." Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science 2.1 (2020): 15. Obtained on 07/01/2023 
  • Carrasco, M. Carmen, Jose Vidal, and Rosa Redolat. "Bupropion induced changes in exploratory and anxiety-like behaviour in NMRI male mice depends on the age." Behavioural processes 98 (2013): 117-124. From Obtained on 07/01/2023 
  • Hesse, Leah M., et al. "CYP2B6 mediates the in vitro hydroxylation of bupropion: potential drug interactions with other antidepressants." Drug metabolism and disposition 28.10 (2000): 1176-1183. Obtained on 07/01/2023