Is Wellbutrin An SSRI?

Updated April 03, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Avia James

Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention topics that include prescription medication, abuse of medication, and addiction. 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 many different mental health conditions. In this article, we will be looking at the prescription drug, Bupropion, more commonly known by its brand name, Wellbutrin. We will discuss different aspects of the medicine, including its uses and potential side effects. Before we get into what Wellbutrin can treat, we'll begin addressing a common question about this drug: is Wellbutrin an SSRI?



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

What Is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is a drug that's primarily used to treat depression. It works by balancing the chemicals in the brain, which results in elevating an individual's mood. In addition to depression, Wellbutrin is prescribed to help people stop smoking. In developing the medication, researchers found that the drug appears to reduce the cravings for nicotine.

How To Take Wellbutrin

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

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

With all drugs, you need to take this medication regularly to have the best results. Also, take it at the same time every day if you want to have consistency.

If you want to stop taking it, talk to your doctor. Suddenly quitting the drug can cause 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 feel good, it's worth it to continue taking it to reap the benefits from it. If you notice the medicine isn't working after a while, talk to your doctor.

Side Effects

With any drug, there are side effects. With Wellbutrin, seizures can happen, but they are rare. Common side effects are feeling nauseous, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, sweating, feeling sore in your throat and dizziness. Many of these side effects will go away after a while, but if they continue, 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 are outweighing the benefits. Also, check your blood pressure regularly. 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.

Talk to your doctor about your medical history. It's important to discuss your health history before going on Wellbutrin, especially if you have seizures. It can increase your risk of 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 play a part as to whether or not this is right for you.


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

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

Now, let's discuss dizziness. Feeling dizzy can be a common side effect of taking Wellbutrin. 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 make your dizziness worse. 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 as well, particularly the dizziness, which can be a safety hazard. If you're not careful, you could fall. An older person may experience memory loss as well.

It's essential to be careful if you are taking Welbutrin and are pregnant. With pregnancy, talk to your doctor. If you need to take this medication, then it should be prescribed, but it can effect you during pregnancy, or if you 're the mother of a newborn. When you're 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. If you're taking two medicines that conflict with each other, that could happen. Talk to your doctor about the various medications you're taking. Codeine, tamoxifen, and pimozide are some 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 two weeks before taking starting the medication.

Wellbutrin can cause false brain scan result, along with false medical results such as a drug test. If you are having these scans, you need to speak to a doctor about them to make sure 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. Don't leave anything out. Sometimes, the dosage of the drug may affect whether or not the medication is going to cause an interaction. It's always worth it to speak to a doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.

Overdose Information

Of course, you should always take the drug as prescribed, and no more. If you do overdose, you could have a hard time breathing, or you may pass out. Someone who witnesses an overdose should call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. For those living in Canada, there is a provincial center one can call.

Seizures and hallucinations can be a sign of an overdose as well.

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 medicine is going well.

As for missing a dose, skip it if you missed it and took the pill as usual. Trying to "catch up" with your medication by taking more than what was prescribed can end up causing 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, if it has a smell, that's fine. 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 an excellent medication to take for depression, but medicine alone isn't the best treatment for it. In addition to medication, which treats the symptoms, a therapist 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 manage your symptoms.

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