By Irfana
B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)
19 May 2022 -
Medically reviewed by
Freny
D. Pharm
How long does Wellbutrin stay in your system?
Table of Contents

Wellbutrin is the brand name of a prescribed medication called "Bupropion".Wellbutrin is an antidepressant used to treat Major Depressive Disorder(MDD).There are two brand names for Wellbutrin called Wellbutrin SR(sustained-release) and Wellbutrin XL(extended-release).

Wellbutrin is a typical antidepressant that belongs to a group of medications called norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitors(NDRI). Wellbutrin is used to treat symptoms of depression.

Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL two are atypical antidepressants which means it changes the level of one or more neurotransmitters or has multiple mechanisms of action.

Wellbutrin is prescribed to treat depression and SAD, which is Seasonal affective disorder. Before taking this medication always consult your doctor first. Buy Bupropion from a certified online pharmacy.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form or type of depression related to changes in seasons that begin and end at about the same time every year. Wellbutrin is prescribed for depression and also helps people to quit smoking.  (Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A)

How does Wellbutrin work?

Wellbutrin belongs to the norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor(NDRI) drug class. Sometimes, Wellbutrin can also be known as an aminoketone antidepressant.

Wellbutrin works by blocking nerve cells in the brain(neurons) from taking them up in the brain after this releases the neurotransmitter called dopamine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for regulating mood and brain response.

Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter also called noradrenaline, which is responsible for the body's stress response, sleep and feeling of happiness.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which is related to the feeling of pleasure, rewards, motivation and being productive. It is often called the "happy hormone". So overall, Wellbutrin increases the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain, which reduces the symptom of depression. (Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A)

What are the forms and strengths of Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin comes in three tablet form

How to consume Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin can take several or many days to produce noticeable changes and up to six weeks to show its full effect.Wellbutrin can take several weeks to find the most effective therapeutic dose.You can consume Wellbutrin with or without food.

A typical dose of Wellbutrin is around 150 mg per day, although the starting dose is always lower and the upper dosage limit is 400 mg per day.Wellbutrin for the immediate release can be taken two to three times daily.

What is the Half-Life of Wellbutrin?

Everyone's body processes medication in a different manner. So there is no particular period for the half-life of any drug. The half-life is the amount of time taken by your body to eliminate half of the drug from your body. The half-life of Wellbutrin is 21 hours.

Wellbutrin has a longer half-life of 33 to 37 hours which means they remain in your bloodstream for a longer time and create fewer withdrawal symptoms.After consuming Wellbutrin, it takes almost 7 hours to reach the peak level. The peak level can be the highest concentration of drugs in a patient's bloodstream.Wellbutrin stays in the system for 4.4 day and after that it gets eliminated from the body. (Calabrese, J.R. and Markovitz, P.J., 1991)

How much time does Wellbutrin take to stay in the body?

We can perform several drug tests to know how long Wellbutrin stays in your body.

  • Blood Test-Blood test gives the most accurate result and is the best indicator to identify whether a drug(medication) is still active in your system. Wellbutrin takes about five hours to reach the level in the bloodstream. It can stay in the blood for several days or longer than four days. Wellbutrin has a longer half-life to remain in your blood for longer than other drugs.
  • Hair Test-Hair tests are not very common because they are less accurate and more expensive than other tests. Wellbutrin is not usually searched by hair test, but it can stay in hair up to 90 days.
  • Urine test- More research is needed for urine tests as the results are unknown, and we cannot state how long Wellbutrin stays in urine. But some Studies say that Wellbutrin lasts in the urine for a few days or more than four days; most drug screening tests will not check for Wellbutrin because it is a common drug for abuse.
  • Saliva test-The drug test of saliva is not usually done for Wellbutrin. The time taken by Wellbutrin to stay in the saliva is around 4.4 days after the last dose. Saliva tests can detect the drug for a slightly shorter amount of time than urine tests.

Factors that affect and help to state the period of Wellbutrin in your body

Many factors influence how long Wellbutrin lasts in the body. But the result might be different for everyone because each person eliminates Wellbutrin from their body at a different rate. The speed of the process depends on-

  • Age-The age factor plays an important role as it defines the working system of the body. Young adults can quickly process the medication, but older people take longer to detox from Wellbutrin. This is due to metabolism speed and includes the overall body and organ functioning. Your body system must work well to eliminate the drug from the body, and age can make the process slower.
  • Gender- The factor of gender can influence the period of drug elimination. The hormones are suspected of playing a pivotal role. If you are a pregnant woman or planning for a baby, consult your healthcare provider before consuming Wellbutrin.
  • Weight-People who are overweight or obsessed have a higher body fat percentage, so it becomes difficult to break down Wellbutrin from your body. Usually, it becomes a longer process and enlarges the drug's half-life.
  • Metabolism-Drugs can be metabolised in different ways. The main goal of metabolism is to make drugs easier to excrete. The excretion process can speed up if the metabolism is fast since the rate of metabolism is higher in young adults and lower in older people.
  • Liver functioning- Your liver mainly metabolised Wellbutrin as it acts as a filtration device for toxins in the body. So your liver plays an important role in the excretion of drugs. If your liver isn't working well or not functioning properly, it can take a much longer period to process the medication out of your system. So your liver must be healthy and functioning well for Wellbutrin to move through the body efficiently.
  • Dosage amount and frequency: In the rare case that Wellbutrin is being abused, it can build up the drug in the system. Large amounts of dosages and prolonged use or high frequency of use can lead to addiction or abuse. So if the drug builds up in the body, it takes longer to remove. So try to start with low doses to avoid such effects.

What are the effects of consuming Wellbutrin?

While consuming Wellbutrin, you may experience some common side effects during the start of your treatment which may disappear after some time.

Common Side Effects-

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth and the strange mouth taste
  • Joint pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling anxious or nervous
  • Sleep problems(insomnia)
  • Tremors

If the symptoms are bothersome and worsen day by day, you need medical advice.

Severe Side Effects-

  • Seizures
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hypertension
  • Hearing problems or ringing in the ears
  • Undesired mood or mental changes
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviour
  • Severe depression or anxiety
  • Changes in appetite(i.e.weight gain or weight loss) (Demyttenaere, K. and Jaspers, L., 2008)

Who can't take Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin may not be suitable for some people so take precautions before consuming it.

You should notify your healthcare provider if you ever suffer from such conditions which are mentioned below-

  • People who have allergic reactions to medication, supplements, vitamins, etc.
  • People with liver or kidney problems
  • People with diabetes and high blood pressure
  • People with bipolar disorder
  • People with a background of drug addiction or alcoholism
  • Older people above 65 years
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers
  • Children or adults younger than 18 years.

Conclusion

Wellbutrin works by affecting the levels of two neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine, which reduce the effects of depression and give a relaxed feeling.Wellbutrin is available in different forms, and their dosages vary from each other. Generally, you can consume 150 mg once a day, which can exceed 450 mg per day.

Wellbutrin takes several days or six to eight weeks to show its effects. It contains a half-life of 21 hours and has a longer half-life, around 33 to 37 hours.Wellbutrin takes almost 7 hours to reach the peak concentration and stays in the system for about 4.4 days, which means four and half days.

The other several factors like age, weight, metabolism, etc., also play an essential role in detecting the Wellbutrin in your body.

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