• Wellbutrin for ADHD is an off-label, or non-FDA-approved method of treating ADHD.
  • While non-conventional, Wellbutrin can sometimes offer better results for some people with ADHD compared to stimulant-based medications.
  • Wellbutrin typically takes between 2-4 weeks to offer noticeable results.
  • Wellbutrin may work as effectively, or better than, stimulants like Adderall. But like other medications, Wellbutrin has a risk of some unwanted side effects.
  • Talk with your psychiatric provider about Wellbutrin (generic name Bupropion) if you’re curious about how it might benefit you.

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that, while it doesn’t carry an FDA-approval, often works effectively for some people to treat ADHD symptoms. But as with any other medication, there are positive and negative factors to weigh, and Wellbutrin for ADHD requires a licensed psychiatric professional’s prescription. 

Follow along as we highlight some key considerations when it comes to using Wellbutrin for ADHD and compare it to classic stimulant-based ADHD medications

How Fast Does Wellbutrin Work for ADHD?

Wellbutrin for ADHD can start to provide benefits within 2-4 weeks of beginning a Wellbutrin regimen. But for some people, they might start to notice effects more quickly, perhaps within 3-7 days. 

When taking Wellbutrin for ADHD, this prescription is available as a tablet that you can take with or without food. Even if you’re in a rush to see increased benefits from taking Wellbutrin for ADHD, you should never take more than your prescribed dose, unless at a professional’s direction. 

By taking more than the prescribed amount of Wellbutrin for ADHD, you could put yourself at an increased risk for developing side effects.

Does Wellbutrin Work as Well as Adderall?

As explained above, Wellbutrin is actually classified as an antidepressant, whereas Adderall is classified as a stimulant. What makes Wellbutrin unique is that, unlike most antidepressants, it has a stimulating effect which is why it can be useful to treat ADHD symptoms.

However, this doesn’t mean that Wellbutrin is typically used as an ADHD medication. Compared to stimulant ADHD medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and Vyvanse, Wellbutrin for ADHD isn’t usually a first-line treatment.

But because not everyone responds well to stimulant medications, as well as considering their high potential for misuse, Wellbutrin is sometimes an appealing alternative that may be highly effective for treating ADHD. 

Your psychiatric provider may consider using Wellbutrin to treat your ADHD if:

  • You aren’t responding well to the initial medication they prescribed you
  • They have limitations to prescribing stimulants or controlled substances
  • You have a past history of substance use that puts you at risk of misuse of a stimulant medication
  • You have another condition such as depression, in addition to ADHD 

When comparing Adderall to Wellbutrin for ADHD, it’s important to remember that your results, if you see benefits, will depend on your individual symptoms, as well as how your body responds to either medication. 

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Can Wellbutrin Help with Focus?

Difficulty initiating, sustaining, and transitioning focus and attention are common symptoms of ADHD. Wellbutrin for ADHD can help some individuals focus better at work, school, in relationships, and at home. 

Can I Use Wellbutrin for ADHD Without a Doctor’s Prescription?

The use of Wellbutrin for ADHD requires a diagnosis from a psychiatric provider or medical doctor for ADHD, depression, or another mental health condition. After being diagnosed, and considering your personal treatment preferences and symptoms, a prescription to take Wellbutrin for ADHD could be provided. 

Can Wellbutrin Worsen ADHD Symptoms?

Ideally, prescribing someone Wellbutrin for ADHD is intended to help reduce the symptoms of ADHD. However, everyone does not respond the same and some people may find it not beneficial for their ADHD. 

Despite the fact that Wellbutrin for ADHD may not work well as a treatment for everyone’s symptoms, it’s unlikely to make ADHD effects worse. But it may cause common side effects, which include: 

  • Vertigo (dizziness)
  • Poor appetite 
  • Blurry or reduced vision
  • Irritability
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Muscle tremors 
  • Sweating

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to talk with your psychiatric provider about whether Wellbutrin for ADHD is working effectively. There may be another medication that you respond to more positively and with fewer side effects.