Is Wellbutrin An SSRI?

Updated November 15, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Avia James

Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention topics that include prescription medication, abuse of medication, addiction, and suicidal thoughts. The information found in the article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have.

Wellbutrin is a medication that can treat various mental health conditions. This article will look at the prescription drug, Bupropion, more commonly known by its brand name, Wellbutrin. We will discuss different aspects of the medication, including its uses and potential side effects. However, before we get into what Wellbutrin can treat, we'll begin by addressing a common question about this drug: is Wellbutrin an SSRI?


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) refers to a class of medications used to treat anxiety, depression, or other mental disorders. How an SSRI works are subject to debate among scientists. Some researchers believe that the drug affects serotonin, the neurotransmitter, and increases its level. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical that may be connected to mental health issues. SSRIs are primarily controversial due to their potential side effects. Wellbutrin itself, however, is not an SSRI. It's a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI).

What Is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin's primary use is for the treatment of depression. It aims to balance the chemicals in the brain, resulting in mood elevation. In addition to depression, Wellbutrin is prescribed to help people stop smoking. In developing the medication, researchers found that the drug appears to reduce nicotine cravings.

How To Take Wellbutrin

Consult your pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns related to Wellbutrin. Refer to the leaflet that your pharmacist provides for additional information about your medication. Always follow your doctor's directions on how to take the medication to prevent any severe side effects.

For example, take the medication as prescribed. Depending on what your condition is, the dose you're taking will vary. Dosing can range from 150mg to 450mg every day. The dosage may be increased depending on your reaction. Some people experience insomnia when taking Wellbutrin. The sleeplessness should mean that you shouldn't take this medication shortly before bedtime.

Like most therapeutic drugs, you need to take this medication regularly to attain the best results. Also, it's recommended to take it at the same time every day for more consistent results.

If you want to stop taking Wellbutrin, talk to your doctor first. Suddenly quitting the drug can cause unpleasant withdrawal effects. Gradually tapering off the medication is the safest way to go about it.

Wellbutrin doesn't work overnight. It could take a month or so before you start seeing results. Even after you start feeling better, it may be worthwhile to continue taking it to reap its benefits. If you notice the medicine isn't working after a while, it's best to talk to your doctor.

Side Effects


Like many drugs, Wellbutrin may cause some side effects. With Wellbutrin, seizures may occur, but they are rare. Common side effects are nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, sweating, sore throat, and dizziness. Many of these side effects will subside after a while, but if they persist, you should talk to your doctor immediately. Most people who use Wellbutrin will not have serious side effects. It's essential to speak with your doctor if the side effects outweigh the benefits. Also, check your blood pressure regularly as high blood pressure may be a side effect of taking Wellbutrin.

It's crucial to always talk to your doctor if you have any allergies. Sometimes, there may be inactive ingredients in the medicine that can give you an allergic reaction. You may not realize you're allergic to medications until you have an allergic reaction. Talk to your doctor and see if there are any concerns.

Make sure your doctor is well informed about your medical history. It's important to discuss your health history before going on Wellbutrin, especially if you have had seizures. Additionally, it's crucial to talk to your doctor if you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney and liver problems, or a history of mental illness. All these factors can help determine if this is the right medication for you.

If you're in the process of stopping sedatives or alcohol intake, it's best to avoid taking Wellbutrin, as this can increase the risk of seizures.

Remember that Wellbutrin is an antidepressant. You shouldn't feel more depressed or have suicidal thoughts while taking this medication. If your depression worsens, or if you experience panic attacks, anxiety, or insomnia, talk to your doctor. Remember that there should be careful monitoring with this particular medicine to ensure that the drug is working as best as it possibly can.

One common side effect of Wellbutrin is feeling dizzy. If you're dizzy when you first take the medication, it could be a common side effect. If you smoke marijuana or drink alcohol while taking Wellbutrin, it can worsen your dizziness. When you're dizzy, try to avoid driving or using heavy machinery. It's best to avoid drinking alcohol when taking the medication. One of the reasons is it can increase your risk of having a seizure. The side effects can increase with age, particularly dizziness, which can become a safety hazard.

It's essential to speak to your doctor beforehand if you plan on taking Wellbutrin while pregnant. If you need to take this medication, it can be prescribed, but it can affect you during pregnancy or if you're the mother of a newborn. When taking Wellbutrin, it will be present in your breastmilk. Talk to your doctor if you're planning on nursing your baby and taking Wellbutrin.

Drug Interactions

Sometimes, you may be taking other drugs along with Wellbutrin. If that's the case, you need to be aware of how these drugs can interact. Some medications can increase your risk of side effects. Ensure that your doctor knows about the various medications you're taking. Codeine, tamoxifen, and pimozide are among the common drugs that could interact with your medicine. MAOI inhibitors may cause a fatal reaction if you are taking them along with Wellbutrin. If you are taking MAOI inhibitors, talk to your doctor about stopping them at least two weeks before starting the medication.

Wellbutrin can also cause false brain scan results, along with false medical results, e.g., on a drug test. If you are having these scans, you should speak to your doctor about them to ensure the results are as accurate as possible.

Always keep your doctor in the loop. If there are any other medications besides Wellbutrin you are taking, please inform your doctor and don't leave anything out. Sometimes the dosage of the drug may affect whether or not the medication will cause an interaction. It's always worth it to speak to a doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.

Overdose Information

Always take the drug as prescribed, and no more. If you overdose, you may have a hard time breathing, and you may pass out. Seizures and hallucinations can be a sign of an overdose as well. Someone who witnesses an overdose should call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

More Information

With any prescription drug, it's for you and you alone. Never share with another person. Also, always have a checkup to make sure the treatment is working as planned.

If you miss a dose, don't attempt to "catch up" with your medication by taking more than what was prescribed, as that can result in adverse side effects.

Storage And Disposal

Finally, let's discuss the storing and disposing of your medication. Always store Wellbutrin at room temperature and avoid light or any moisture. When you take a pill, it's fine if it has an odor. Keep all medication in a place where children or pets can't access them.

If you're no longer taking Wellbutrin and you want to get rid of the medicine, do not flush them in a toilet or down a drain. Doing so can affect the water around you. You can return the medication to the pharmacy where they can safely dispose of it.

Seek Help


Wellbutrin is a suitable medication for treating depression, but medicine alone isn't the best treatment. In addition to medication, which treats the symptoms, a therapist from BetterHelp can help you treat the cause of your depression. Talk to a therapist or counselor and see what they can do for your mental health. Sometimes, therapy is what you will need to treat depression in addition to medication. Sometimes, there is no cure for your depression, but therapy and medication can help you live a better life and better manage your symptoms. Read below for some therapist reviews from people recovering from a variety of mental illnesses or life challenges.

Therapist Reviews

"I put off finding a therapist for a long time. I dreaded my first conversation with Neil and all the awkward, clunky explanations I'd have to give about my depression and anxiety. All of the things that felt like dirty little secrets that caused me so much pain. But I was so pleasantly surprised by how Neil accurately picked up on what I was saying and gave me more insight into how my brain was working. It made my issue feel less of a personal problem and more of a universal problem we could examine together. He always gives me a thoughtful response within a day or two any time I send a message. I think we've made more progress in between sessions just by communicating things that are coming up in real-time. Neil is intelligent and kind. I appreciate his communication style and highly recommend him."

"Regina helped me pinpoint where my anger issue stemmed from in the very first session and has been helping me become more self-aware of my warning triggers. Very insightful and helpful!"

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