• Wellbutrin often leads to weight loss, mainly due to its impact on neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.
  • Appetite suppression from Wellbutrin varies among individuals because of differences in body chemistry and dosage.
  • Its primary purpose is treating mental health conditions, not weight loss.
  • Potential side effects of Wellbutrin include dizziness, dry mouth, and more.
  • Weight loss while taking Wellbutrin varies, with an average of 5-10 pounds, but it’s not a guaranteed weight loss solution and should be used for its intended purpose.

Contrary to the weight gain that is sometimes a side effect of certain SSRIs and SNRIs, Wellbutrin often has the opposite effect. 

As we discuss Wellbutrin’s potential side effects and the timeline for weight loss, it’s essential to remember that Wellbutrin is primarily prescribed for treating mental health conditions, not as a sole solution for weight loss. Thriveworks is here to provide guidance on your psychiatric needs and ongoing care, helping you navigate these complex considerations.

How Much Weight Do You Gain on Wellbutrin?

Most people do not gain weight while taking Wellbutrin, which is typically prescribed for ADHD and depression, among other conditions. Unlike many SSRIs and SNRIs that are notorious for weight gain, Wellbutrin has the opposite effect and is actually FDA-approved in combination with naltrexone to treat binge eating disorder and to support weight management. 

There has been very minimal evidence-based research that links weight gain to Wellbutrin. 

Does Wellbutrin Make It Hard to Lose Weight?

No, Wellbutrin does not make it hard to lose weight. Unlike most antidepressants that can cause weight gain, Wellbutrin can cause patients to actually lose weight by stimulating the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.

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Does Wellbutrin (Bupropion) Suppress Appetite?

Yes, Wellbutrin (known generically as Bupropion) can suppress the appetite by regulating the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, but the effect is highly individualized. The extent to which Wellbutrin affects one’s appetite can depend on individual factors, including their unique body chemistry and the dosage they are prescribed.

In some cases, Wellbutrin’s appetite suppression is used clinically for weight loss in combination with naltrexone, though this is done under medical supervision. However, it’s crucial to recognize that not everyone will experience a noticeable reduction in appetite, and for some, their appetite may even increase.

Wellbutrin Side Effects

Wellbutrin’s side effects can include: 

  • Dizziness
  • Appetite suppression 
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Headache 
  • Insomnia 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Tachycardia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Constipation 
  • Blurred vision
  • Agitation 
  • Tremors

It’s normal for some individuals to experience side effects when they start taking Wellbutrin (bupropion). Side effects can occur with the initiation of many medications, and Wellbutrin is no exception. In some cases, side effects may resolve on their own as your body adjusts to the medication. 

A dose adjustment or a change to a different medication may be considered by your psychiatric nurse practitioner. 

How Long After Starting Wellbutrin Do You Lose Weight?

Weight loss when taking Wellbutrin can depend on several factors, such as dose, lifestyle, and underlying medical concerns. Though many people see some weight loss within the first month or so, this side effect usually resolves or is managed by eating on a schedule to avoid significant weight loss.

How Fast Is Weight Loss on Wellbutrin?

As mentioned above, some clients may see weight loss within as little as 1-2 weeks, while for others it may take up to 8 weeks to see a noticeable reduction in weight. While taking Wellbutrin, individuals may observe variations in their weight, and weight loss is not guaranteed for everyone. 

Here are some key considerations:

  • Lifestyle considerations: Wellbutrin is not a magical weight loss solution. Lifestyle factors, including diet and physical activity, continue to play a substantial role in managing weight. If you aim to shed pounds, maintaining a well-balanced diet and incorporating regular exercise are important.
  • Appetite regulation: Wellbutrin is believed to impact weight by suppressing appetite in certain people. It affects the brain’s neurotransmitters, leading to reduced hunger and decreased cravings for specific foods.
  • Gradual transformations: Even if Wellbutrin does lead to weight loss, it typically occurs gradually rather than providing a quick fix. It may take several weeks to observe noticeable changes in weight.
  • Personal differences: Wellbutrin’s influence on weight can differ significantly among individuals. Some may undergo weight loss, while others may not experience significant changes in their weight. Factors like genetics, metabolism, and lifestyle contribute to the medication’s impact on an individual’s weight.

It’s imperative to bear in mind that Wellbutrin should be employed for its designated purpose – treating depression or other mental health conditions – rather than relying on it solely as a weight loss solution.

What Is the Average Weight Loss on Wellbutrin?

The average weight loss on Wellbutrin is around 5-10 pounds. However some patients can lose up to 20 pounds, depending on the dosage and intended use. It is important to know that Wellbutrin is not a weight-loss drug and may not produce consistent results when taken for this purpose, and without consulting your provider, it’s best not to take Wellbutrin simply because it may induce weight loss. 

Still, Wellbutrin is occasionally prescribed in tandem with other medications, such as: 

  • Naltrexone: A chemical combination of Bupropion and naltrexone is available under the brand name Contrave. The FDA has approved it for addressing weight concerns in individuals dealing with obesity or excessive weight.
  • Phentermine: Healthcare professionals might suggest a combination of phentermine and bupropion to aid in weight loss. Phentermine serves as an appetite suppressant, similar in function to Phentermine.

Weight management strategies often incorporate significant lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, and increased physical exercise. And while we don’t use Wellbutrin for weight loss specifically, if you’re interested in how Wellbutrin can aid you in managing the symptoms of a mental health condition, don’t hesitate to reach out to Thriveworks for assistance with your psychiatric needs and ongoing care.