Published on 21 April 2022

Wellbutrin Vs Zoloft: Differences - Similarities

Sertraline (Zoloft) wellbutrin-vs-zoloft
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Depressive disorder is a typical but serious mood disorder. It will likely cause severe symptoms affecting how you feel, think, and handle routine activities. A new study finds that nearly 10% of Americans suffer from depressive disorder, with the mood disorder most prevalent among teens and young adults.

There are many ways to combat depression. The options are limitless, from exercise, therapy, meditation, and pills. 

One of the most frequently prescribed medications is Zoloft® and Wellbutrin®, both antidepressant drugs but have different mechanisms of action on major depression. 

Most people tried these medications in the past, or their healthcare professional might have prescribed any of these, and now they are trying to understand the difference. Let's address the similarities and differences between these two antidepressant medications in this blog.

What Is Wellbutrin? 

Wellbutrin, also known as bupropion, treats depression by improving mood and well-being. It can also be used to help smokers in quitting. It was licensed for clinical use in the United States (US) for the first time in 1985. It may also treat seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression simultaneously occurring yearly. 

Buy Wellbutrin online from a certified online pharmacy, but you should always consult your healthcare provider before consuming this medicine.

How Does Wellbutrin Work?

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant of the aminoketone class, used to treat various mental health conditions. It works by blocking the nerve cells in the brain from taking up the neurotransmitter dopamine and norepinephrine chemicals when released in the brain. It usually blocks your brain from reabsorbing the norepinephrine and dopamine. These neurotransmitters have an important role in regulating mood and responses.  

What Is Zoloft?

Sertraline or Zoloft is a type of antidepressant that acts on the brain. Major depressive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder are among the conditions for which it has been licensed. It's also licensed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults, children, and teenagers aged 6 to 17.

Buy Zoloft online from a reputable online pharmacy, but you should always check with your doctor before using this medication. 

How Does Zoloft Work?

Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor(SSRI), a mainly prescribed class of antidepressants. It increases the levels of serotonin, a mood-enhancing chemical. It helps many people to get recover from depression. A person may see an improvement within 1 or 2 weeks. But it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel more benefits as Zoloft takes time to build serotonin levels. 

Is There A Difference Between Wellbutrin And Zoloft?

Although Wellbutrin and Zoloft are antidepressants, they are not the same medication. These medications have different classes of drugs. Wellbutrin is an NDRI, whereas Zoloft is an SSRI. 

Wellbutrin works by boosting dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the unbound neural synapses. On the other hand, Zoloft works by raising the amount of free serotonin in the body. These neurotransmitters influence mood and affect in a good way. 

Welbutrin is mainly used to treat major depression problems but can also prevent smoking problems. Some studies have shown that patients take Wellbutrin to stop smoking, although the exact mechanism is not fully understood. 

Zoloft is an approved medicine used in the treatment of social anxiety disorder. Still, sometimes it can also be used off-label to treat Separation Anxiety Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both medication work to treat the symptoms of depression, but sometimes patients do not experience improvement as expected. In this situation, the doctor can consider Zoloft over Wellbutrin or vice versa depending on the patient’s condition
There are chances of a change in weight during antidepressant therapy. If you notice significant weight gain or weight loss, tell your doctor. They can help make the best recommendations for your unique scenario.
Most patients see some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks of taking Wellbutrin (an NDRI); the same goes for Zoloft (an SSRI).

Scientific Study On Wellbutrin And Zoloft

Bupropion, sertraline, and venlafaxine were compared for depression remission and tolerability in a randomized, controlled experiment published in The New England Journal of Medicine. 

The individuals in this trial experienced depression that had not responded to prior therapies. All three treatment methods were successful and did not differ significantly in remission rates, tolerance, or side events in this study. 

These two medicines have similar depression remission rates, according to a separate retrospective review of two other studies.

Form And Strengths: Wellbutrin Vs Zoloft

Both Wellbutrin and Zoloft are used to treat different mental health problems. But just like their workings, strengths also differ from each other. 

For Wellbutrin 

Wellbutrin SR is available in three strengths as a tablet. There are two dosage strengths of Wellbutrin XL.

Sustained-release tablets (SR) - 100 mg, 150 mg, and 200 mg.
Extended-release tablets (XL) - 150 mg, 300 mg

For Zoloft

Zoloft is available in three forms.

  • Tablets (Zoloft, generic) - 25mg, 50mg, 100mg
  • Capsules (generic) - 150mg, 200mg
  • Oral solution (Zoloft, generic) - 20mg/mL

Dosages: Wellbutrin Vs Zoloft

The dosages of Wellbutrin or Zoloft may depend on the patient's condition. So always prefer the doctor before taking these medications. 

For Wellbutrin 

  • Initial dose:  200 mg daily (divided into two doses of 100 mg each)
  • Maximum dose: 300 mg daily ( given as 100 mg three times a day) 

For Zoloft

  • Initial dose: 25 mg or 50 mg per day
  • Continuation dose: 25 mg to 50 mg.
  • Maximum dose: 200 mg daily (for adults and pediatric patients, depending on tolerability)

Possible Side Effects

The following are the most prevalent Zoloft and Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, and Wellbutrin XL side effects. But you may still experience some that aren't listed here

Wellbutrin Side effects  Zoloft Side Effects 
Abdominal pain Dizziness
Drowsiness Nausea
Dry Mouth Skin rash
Anxiety Headache
Appetite loss Constipation
Changes in the way food tastes Changes in appetite
Constipation Abnormal ejaculation

The above table doesn’t contain a full list of side effects. If you want to know more about it, kindly contact your doctor. If you experience any side effects while taking these medications, visit your doctor’s clinic instantly. 

Can You Take Wellbutrin And Zoloft Together? 

Yes, you can take them both together. Zoloft and Wellbutrin are considered complementary drugs because they work together to affect the trifecta of monoamine neurotransmitters, notably serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which have long been involved in depressive symptomatology. Zoloft covers serotonin, whereas the other two are covered by Wellbutrin. 

Another reason Wellbutrin might be added to an existing Zoloft prescription is to help a particularly unpleasant side effect that all SSRIs have in common: sexual dysfunction. While it's a bit of a crapshoot whether it helps, primarily due to the diverse, complex nature of sexual difficulties, it can fully reverse even serious issues in the bedroom for many individuals. 

Which Is Better: Wellbutrin or Zoloft?

Both Wellbutrin and Zoloft are regarded as effective medicines, and probable adverse effects may choose the optimal option because Wellbutrin is less likely to produce sexual dysfunction and somnolence than Zoloft. That’s why some patients and healthcare providers may prefer it. On the other side, Wellbutrin may cause dry mouth and constipation. So, Let your doctor decide which medication is best for you. 

Withdrawal Symptoms: Wellbutrin Vs Zoloft

Stopping Wellbutrin or Zoloft abruptly may cause some side effects. These symptoms can start from a few days to a week after the last dose of medications. The following table has both Wellbutrin and Zoloft withdrawal symptoms.

Wellbutrin Withdrawal Symptoms 

Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms 

Digestive problems 


Sleep changes 

Mood changes 

Loss of appetite 


Neurological effects like tremors 




Withdrwal symptoms may vary from person to person; that’s why it is advisable to contact your doctor before stopping Wellbutrin or Zoloft.  

Wellbutrin Vs. Zoloft Drug Interactions

Wellbutrin inhibits CYP2D6, and the levels of CYP2D6 substrates may need to be reduced in people taking the drug. Codeine, haloperidol, risperidone, and metoprolol are all CYP2D6 substrates. Zoloft is a mild CYP2D6 inhibitor that may produce similar interactions, albeit to a lesser extent.

When Zoloft is taken with other serotonergic medicines, the risk of serotonin syndrome increases. Zoloft should not be taken with buspirone, fentanyl, linezolid, lithium, etc. Agitation, dizziness, and an elevated heart rate can all be symptoms of serotonin syndrome caused by excessively high amounts of free serotonin.

When Zoloft is combined with certain other medications, it might trigger a type of heart arrhythmia known as a prolonged QTc interval. Your doctor and pharmacist must have a thorough list of your medications so they can adequately screen for potential interactions. 

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Zoloft and Wellbutrin can be a refuge for depression sufferers who were unfortunate with other medications. Both drugs are approved for use in adolescents and adults. The choice between the two may narrow down to potential interactions and adverse effects. 

Zoloft tends to cause more sexual side effects and nausea than Wellbutrin. But the latter may be more likely to cause constipation and dry mouth.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s best to discuss your options with the healthcare provider. Your healthcare professional will recommend and prescribe the right treatment option. 

  • 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, vol. 90, no. 2-3, Feb. 2006, pp. 217–221,
  • Kimmick, Gretchen G., et al. “Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study of Sertraline (Zoloft) for the Treatment of Hot Flashes in Women with Early Stage Breast Cancer Taking Tamoxifen.” The Breast Journal, vol. 12, no. 2, Mar. 2006, pp. 114–122, Accessed 12 Oct. 2020.
  • Rush, A John, et al. “Bupropion-SR, Sertraline, or Venlafaxine-XR after Failure of SSRIs for Depression.” The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 354, no. 12, 2006, pp. 1231–42,,
  • Smucny, John, and Michael S. Park. “Which Antidepressant Is Best to Avoid Sexual Dysfunction?”, 2004, Accessed 2 May 2023.