IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

19 September 2021
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya Salam
Pharm D
WELLBUTRIN VS LEXAPRO
Table of Contents

Medications are sometimes necessary while dealing with overwhelming mental health conditions like Anxiety disorders or depression that cause problems in day-to-day living. Depression is a common disorder worldwide, with an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60. Its prevalence is majorly among adult females (10.5%) compared to males (6.2%).

To cope with such major depressive disorder, Wellbutrin and Lexapro are two medications prescribed by many healthcare physicians.

Lexapro and Wellbutrin are both effective at treating Anxiety & depression by acting on different neurotransmitters. While Lexapro increases available serotonin, Wellbutrin increases the availability of dopamine and norepinephrine to mediate mood changes.

Are Wellbutrin And Lexapro The Same?

Lexapro and Wellbutrin are antidepressants used to treat major depressive disorder & Anxiety disorders like panic attacks or social phobia. Lexapro is indicated for treating generalized Anxiety disorder, while Wellbutrin can be taken for the seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Both medications belong to different drug classes. Lexapro is an SSRI, while Wellbutrin belongs to the aminoketone class of drugs.

Although Lexapro has been approved for depression and generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is also prescribed for many other conditions. Studies have shown that it is also effective in different mood and Anxiety disorders. 

Dosage Instructions For Wellbutrin And Lexapro:

For Lexapro:

Lexapro is usually started at 10 mg once daily in adults or adolescents but can be increased to 20mg after 1 week.

For those suffering from depression, 20 mg may not be more effective than 10 mg daily. For treatment for generalized Anxiety disorder, the dosage is 10mg once per day.

Buy Lexapro online from a reputable and trusted online pharmacy. Lexapro can be taken with or without food as needed.

For Wellbutrin:

Wellbutrin immediate-release tablets are usually given in one, two, or three daily doses. A single dose should not exceed 150 mg for immediate-release tablets; each dose must be separated by 6 hours.

For depression, the recommended dose is 100 mg 3 times daily (300mg/day) with a maximum of 450mg per day. The initial dosage is 100 mg twice daily.

The initial dose of the sustained-release tablets is 150 mg daily; the target dose is 150 mg twice a day, and the maximum dosage should not exceed 200mg per dosage.

The initial dose of extended-release tablets is 150 mg daily, with a target dose of 300 mg and a maximum dosage of 450mg. Extended-release pills can only be taken once daily.

The dose for a seasonal affective disorder is 150 milligrams once daily. Wellbutrin SR is given in two daily doses, while Wellbutrin XL can be taken twice or thrice depending on the patient's needs using extended-release tablets.

Conditions Treated By Wellbutrin And Lexapro:

In treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Wellbutrin and Lexapro help alleviate prolonged feelings of low moods and lack of energy and affect everyday behaviors. Unlike other antidepressants, which can take up to two weeks or more, MDAs start working within a week after administration & thus, patients will feel better in no time!

Lexapro is also indicated in the treatment of generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD). Individuals with GAD are known to fret about a range of issues for extended periods.

Bupropion, the active ingredient in Wellbutrin, is understood to have a unique indication for smoking cessation. Patients taking bupropion are more likely to be able to achieve smoking cessation.

Wellbutrin and Lexapro are used off-label in various psychological disorders resembling depression or Anxiety. Your healthcare professional can help you diagnose your disorder and determine which treatment option is best for you.

Which Drug Is More Effective: Wellbutrin Or Lexapro?

In a study, researchers compared Wellbutrin and Lexapro as singular therapies for major depressive disorder (MDD). The trial also evaluated the prevalence of adverse sexual side effects in these two medications. The results found that both drugs are great for combating depressive symptoms. However, the study concluded Wellbutrin leads to less sexual dysfunction than Lexapro.

Wellbutrin and Lexapro affect different neurotransmitters, so they are often used together. Clinical trials found that using both Wellbutrin and Lexapro leads to significantly higher response rates than standard monotherapy with SSRIs.

Wellbutrin is a dopamine/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), while Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and both drugs affect mood and mental health.
Both drugs can cause modest weight gain with long-term use.
Wellbutrin is prescribed for depression for a few months to years. As an aid to stop smoking, it is typically used for 7 to 12 weeks.

Significant Differences Between Wellbutrin And Lexapro:

Lexapro and Wellbutrin are antidepressants prescribed to treat major depression. Lexapro is used for Anxiety in adults, while Wellbutrin belongs to the aminoketone drug class.

Wellbutrin is available in 3 tablet forms. The immediate-release tablets are 75 mg and 100 mg, and the sustained-release tablets come in 100mg, 150mg, and 200mg; the extended-release pill, which can be taken once every 24 hours, comes as 150 or 300 milligrams (MG).

Lexapro is available as an oral tablet in strengths of 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20mg. It's also an oral solution with a concentration of 5 mg/5 ml.

Wellbutrin was previously marketed under the brand name Zyban. The active ingredient, bupropion, is approved for smoking cessation as it leaves higher levels of dopamine and norepinephrine freely available. It contributes to better moods, calms Anxiety & helps motivate a person not to smoke again.

Lexapro is an antidepressant that belongs to the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Lexapro works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin at the neuronal membrane transport pump, which effectively leaves more free serotonin in the neuron synapse. 

Side Effects Of Wellbutrin And Lexapro

Wellbutrin Side-Effects

According to the study of November, Michael Castleman. "Wellbutrin: The Antidepressant Least Likely to Cause Sex Problems." About 50 to 80 percent of SSRI users report at least one sexual side effect. Hence, it has fewer libido-related side effects and may be a better choice for some patients. Prevent Wellbutrin if you are having seizures or take other medications that increase your risk of seizures.

Common Side Effect Of Wellbutrin Includes

  • Weight loss
  • Skin rash
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Sore throat
  • Frequent urination
  • Agitation
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Lexapro Side Effects 

Anyone considering using Lexapro or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent outweighs clinical need before prescribing them. Patients who start on antidepressants should be closely monitored. They may suffer from clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.

Common side effects of Lexapro include

  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficult sleeping,
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Frequent urination
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Increased sweating
  • Sexual difficulties

Wellbutrin And Lexapro During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Wellbutrin

It is known that Wellbutrin is present in breast milk, which poses the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); researchers recommend that doctors give careful consideration before prescribing it to breastfeeding women. Because there is not enough research on treating pregnant women with this drug, they should only prescribe it if its benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Lexapro

This medication has not been established to be safe for pregnant women. Let your healthcare physician know if you're expecting, and they'll help determine whether it's right for you, as the safety of its effects on infants is unknown. Lexapro is excreted in human milk, which shouldn't be given to nursing mothers without a physician's approval as it could potentially harm the baby.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Wellbutrin and Lexapro are antidepressants commonly used to treat depression, Anxiety disorders, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults/children. However, they have the same effects on mood stabilizing but vary regarding some side effects, dosages, drug interactions, etc.

The dosages of medications also differ according to a patient's medical history, so patients should consult their doctors before using proper dosage guidelines. Although Wellbutrin and Lexapro have similar differences, it is best to consult your doctor before consuming either.

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