Meds & Supplements, Mental Health

Wellbutrin Side Effects

Dizziness is one of Wellbutrin’s most well-known side effects, one with which I’ve become intimately familiar. Since I know I need an antidepressant right now and refuse to take any with sexual side effects, I’ve become experienced in managing Wellbutrin side effects. In addition to dizziness, I’ve had some trouble with insomnia. This information stems from dealing with those problems, but it may be helpful for other side effects, as well.

The main points:

  • Try different release types
  • Take the meds with food
  • Try different ways of taking different dosages (example: for 300 mg, take 200 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon or vice versa)
  • Try generics from different manufacturers
  • Try the name brand drug, if possible

Wellbutrin (generic: bupropion) comes in regular release, sustained release (SR) and extended release (XL). I started on 200 mg of the generic sustained release. My diet is heavily restricted, so I don’t eat many calories at once and eat few carbohydrates, both of which seem to make me more susceptible to dizziness. I could manage as long as I consumed 800 calories before my first dose and took the second dose six hours later.

Then I increased my dose to 300 mg a day, which added insomnia to the dizziness. If I took 200 mg in the morning, I got dizzy and stayed that way all day. Taking 200 mg in the afternoon caused less dizziness, but made it difficult for me to fall asleep and stay asleep.

So I switched to 300 mg of the generic extended release, taken in two 150 mg tablets with breakfast. I still had a little bit of dizziness, but it was pretty mild, and no trouble with sleep. Then I started taking the 300 mg in a single tablet and wound up with intense dizziness that even kicked up when I rolled over in bed.

The question is whether I did better with two 150 mg tablets because there were two pills or because they are manufactured by a different company than the 300 mg tabs. I’m guessing the latter since generic drugs have the same active ingredient as name brand drugs, but the other ingredients may differ and, thus, may have different side effects.

Which leads to what will be my next experiment — taking two 150 mg tablets of Wellbutrin XL, the brand name extended release version. If my insurance company approves it, I’ll let you know how the experiment goes.

(And now you know why my posts have been sporadic and I’ve been slow to respond to email and comments the last few months. Computer time is the first thing to go when I’m dizzy. Today it feels manageable; we’ll see if that lasts.)

Update: I got the dizziness under control a few ways:

  1. I always take it with food, usually about 30 minutes after eating.
  2. I split the dose, one with breakfast and two around 3p. (It can cause insomnia, so you might need to take it earlier.)
  3. When those two things stopped being sufficient, I switched to name brand Wellbutrin XL (I was on generic XL before that).

If name brand Wellbutrin isn’t an option (insurance companies often don’t cover it), you could try generic bupropion from a different manufacturer. Ingredients vary enough from one manufacturer to the next that switching to another generic can do the trick. The downside is that you may have to try generics from multiple companies to find one that doesn’t have side effects for you. To switch, find out which company makes the bupropion that’s causing your dizziness (it should be on the bottle or your pharmacist can tell you). Then ask your pharmacist if they stock another brand or are able to order a different brand for you. This usually is no problem, but there’s a chance you’ll need to try a different pharmacy.

91 thoughts on “Wellbutrin Side Effects”

  1. I’m on week 3 of generic Wellbutrin & still having a lot of dizziness & some nausea. I do take 150mg of the generic XL. Will this ever go away? I’m tired of feeling like crap….

    1. Hi Randi, I found that taking it with food made a big difference. If that’s not helping, talk to your doctor. I’m unsure if the side effects will go away with time. Also, the name brand might be better if that’s an option; it’s way better for me if I’m on a high dose. Best wishes sorting this out.

      Take care,

    2. I’ve been taking bupropion er/ sr 150mg I would take 1 pill each day for a week and now I’m taking 2 each day and i have been getting dry mount, dizziness and a headache or migraine idk what it is but it hurts and it isn’t going away… pls help what should I do?

  2. I’m on week three of the generic Wellbutrin & still have extreme dizziness & slight nausea. Will this ever end?? I don’t know how much longer I can take it…

    1. Hi Randi, I found that taking it with food made a big difference. If that’s not helping, talk to your doctor. I’m unsure if the side effects will go away with time. Also, the name brand might be better if that’s an option; it’s way better for me if I’m on a high dose. Best wishes sorting this out.

      Take care,

  3. I just found this because I experienced serious verigo begining last week while trying to go from 300mg I’d been on for many years, to 375 on my way to a possible 450. When I screwed up and tried to switch from 300mg at bed to 300 mg in the morning and 75 at bed and stupidly took 300 in the evening then the following morning took 300 more so I could take 75 that evening and got sever vertigo for four days and two more since stopping all doses for 5 days on doctors advice.
    My experience has been great for many years using the Costco generic for Wellbutrin XL 300. Though I cannot not obviously say all Costco’s coast to coast buy the same generics, that would fit their business model.
    And my vertigo is lessening this evening, btw..

  4. I have been on the generic Wellbutrin for about 5 months. The last two months I have had terrible gas pains and bloating and feeling just plain blah. I did bloodwork and everyone was happy with my results. My gastro doc told me to try skipping the Wellbutrin for a few days and see if I notice a difference. I am terrified to stop taking it! Has anyone heard of delayed side effects? Has anyone had gastric side effects. I take Celexa too but have taken that for YEARS.
    I look forward to hearing from you!

  5. I have been taking 100mg SL 2x day for about 2 weeks. About a week ago I started to notice my hands were shaking. A couple of days ago, I started with body tremors and anxiety. Should I wait this out or stop taking it?
    Thank you

  6. Thank you Hector for your reply.
    I’ve not noticed an increase in energy, nor appetite suppressed. I’m fact, I’m starting to think that what I thought was Lexapro with drawls are actually Wellbutrin side effects. It literally only happens after I’ve taken Wellbutrin. I started taking a 225mg Benadryl tablet with the Wellbutrin to help off-set the motion sickness type symptoms. My PCM has been checking in with me and I’ve updated her on the experience so far. I do have a tendency to run a little high with my blood pressure since gaining 46lbs since January(I quit smoking).

  7. Hello dear friend.
    I know what you are going through being a psychiatric patient for 28 years.
    By my own experience, I shall say you will overcome the Lexapro withdrawal soon.
    Wellbutrin may make you feel kind of “weird” like feeling hyperactive with tons of energy that could last a whole day with one single dose in the morning.
    You will get used to it.
    Just observe if you suffer from high blood pressure.
    I loved it when I was on it.
    Other benefits include appetite control, no cravings on anything and increased libido in men and women as well, the total opposite to other antidepressants.

  8. Hi,
    My NP primary care provider recently changed and she switched me from 20mg of Lexapro for Anxiety disorder to 150mg Wellbutrin SR XL once daily for anxiety.

    She had me taper off the Lexapro for only one week by cutting it down to 10mg per day for a week and then start the Wellbutrin.

    After day 4 of switching to Wellbutrin I’m experiencing dizzy/vertigo-like symptoms.

    Anytime I’ve forgotten to take my Lexapro 20mg for 4 days or more(yes I know I’m terrible with remembering my meds)vertigo and heart flutters happen.

    Well that’s what’s going on now. I’ve been off Lexapro and on Wellbutrin for 9 days now and each day the vertigo and flutters occur more regularly.

    I’m also on emergency leave on the other side of the country right now with my in-laws. So I can’t just go see my PCM right now.

    I just want to know informs the Wellbutrin or the Lexapro withdrawals and if it is the withdraw from Lexapro, is it going to get worse?

    Has anyone else experienced this when switched from an SSRI to something like Wellbutrin?

  9. I have been taking Wellbutrin 450mg XL in the morning for 4 years. unfortunately for 6 months fatigue and dizziness from about 14 o’clock. my doctor said I should be on 300mg in the morning, no improvement. since 2 weeks 2x daily 150mg wellbutrin xl. but my life is not as great as 450mg apart from the side effects, 450mg was better. would it make sense to take 150mg in the morning and 300mg at the 15h? How is it from the effect of taking the XL 2x a day? the wellbutrin gives a mirror that is always the same … does it matter how you take it? 1x or 2x

  10. Hello Kerrie-I have been on Bupropion XR 200mg for about 15 years. After going through, and still somewhat in the midst of, menopause, I found myself feeling as I did the few times I tried to go off it. I was irritable, hyper-reactive, angry for no reason, crying easily-you know, all that “fun” stuff. I started on 300mg yesterday. I was fine all day. I took it this morning on an empty stomach and about 90 minutes later I got so dizzy that I had to slide down the wall to sit on the floor. I feel lethargic and now, worried. Do you think that splitting the dose will lessen the dizziness? Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Michele,

      I’d recommend taking it with food–that is the key for me to not get dizzy on it. You could also try taking two 150 mg doses spaced out during the day. That has also been really helpful for me. If those things don’t work, you can see if your insurance will allow an override for name-brand Wellbutrin. I have no dizziness on the name-brand, no matter the dose.

      I’m sorry for the late reply. I hope you find relief.

      Take care,

  11. I was on 100 mg of generic Wellbutrin and seemed ok. However when I was increased to 200mg got really nauseous. Went back to 100mg then about three weeks ago the doctor invitees the Ned to 150mg and the next night started getting terrible shocks on the top of my head on the left side. It became worse. Went to neurologist and he sad to keep him posted. Another day it became constant and went to the ER. Had a cat Scan and s sed rate test. Both night normal. Was given a Fioracette and tappered off the a Wellbutrin. Still get pinging in my head and it’s making me nervous. The psychiatrist New right that it was a reaction to the med. I always had migraines and am late tsking Botox for it. Am I over reacting or are these shocks in my head nothing to worry about. I take 150mg of Zoloft but never experienced anything like this. Sorry for bring long winded but I feel very anxious and stressed out. Thank you.

  12. I only been taking it for a couple days but I have head pressure and more anxiety. II have tried so many and I always feel weird. I’ve always stop immediately. I’m wondering if I should give it longer. Has anyone else experienced this.

  13. Hi,
    I’ve been taking Wellbutrin, namebrand 300mg(one 150mg bid) for a few years now. Generic made me very sleepy & didnt help with depression. Im on medical. My Dr wrote a waiver or some such to get medical approval. I dont pay for the Wellbutrin because i couldnt)
    I also take 60mg of Vyvance in the morning & have a script for 10mg of amphetamine 3 x day or as needed. I like the as needed because some days i take 10mg amphetamine- sometimes 30mg- But the amphetamines are very up & down. Not smooth like Vyvance.
    Funny story- the 1st week i took Wellbutrin had also signed up for learning how to ride a motorcycle. Also was a week of pouring rain. I was so dizzy, couldnt remember things, had a headache- its a wonder i didnt crash. I actually flunked the class by a few points, but passed a few weeks later. DoNot try to learn to ride a motorcycle while 1st taking this! Lol
    In any case Wellbutrin name brand also puts me to sleep for about an hour immediately after taking. I actually take one before bedtime to help me sleep.
    But the dizzyness seems to be happening more often & more severe lately. Im thinking of lessening the Wellbutrin, but that has helped so much with my suicidal depression Im a little afraid to.
    Also i dont have alot of support about this. Most people still think depression is just feeling sorry for yourself. I really dont tell anyone about my symptoms unless they get really bad- including my Doc. I just try to figure it out myself & handle it.
    Looking online i saw a horrible English study about Wellbutrin & Vyvance with symptoms getting worse & more severe yearly.
    I guess Im wondering if anyone elses dizzyness came back worse after a few years And- has anyone else seen that study?
    Thanks, Kay

    1. Hi Kay, I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time with your medication. Two things from my experience may help. The first is that taking Wellbutrin with food usually takes care of the dizziness for me. And, when my dose is too high, I start getting side effects, like dizziness, from Wellbutrin. It goes away when I reduce the dose. Of course, you shouldn’t reduce your dose until you talk with your doctor about doing so.

      Take care,

  14. Wellbutrin does not cause your dry is either the Celexa. or the combination of both. I have been on Wellbutrin for both ADHD and depression for 6 years. Taking a single dose will cause a headache and nausea even if you eat first. Depending on your weight a large man could manage to take one 300 mga day.. however if you weigh less than 200 lb try 2 divided doses of 150 mg, ake one in the morning and one at least 4 to 5 hours later. I managed to do this by putting a reminder on my phone.. Another way that works to remember is..keep them in the kitchen on the counter by your coffee..or breakfast.. then once you eat and take one..move the bottle to the other counter.. so you know that you already took one…once you take the 2cd you move it back to the original spot.

    1. Thank u!! I am on 300xl and experiencing migraines & nausea. I weigh less than 200 so I am going to ask my psychiatrist for 150 mg to split twice a day. I hope this helps me!

  15. I’ve been on Wellbutrin for about a year now. My most annoying side effects have been literally the most disgusting taste in my mouth, dizzy spells, hand tremors (I’m a hairdresser, not a good combo), increased thirst, ringing in my ears, and agitation. I’m starting to think the theory of different manufacturers may be correct. I can go a month with little to no side effects, and then a month like now where the side effects are seeming to outweigh the benefits. I have been taking it at the same time every day, which is with my breakfast. I am also on celexa.
    Any advice on how to deal with this disgusting dry mouth? The ringing in my ears is annoying, but the taste in my mouth is literally making me want to vomit, and nothing’s helping. And I have been drinking so much water that it actually hurts my stomach.

  16. I have been taking zyban a form off Wellbutrin I guess to stop smoking. Worked like a charm haven’t had a cig in 47 days! However I have been on it for almost 3 months now. Set to start my third refill for it. I have been having headaches everyday for the past week! I had a horrible migraine that put me to bed the whole night and now it’s anywhere from dull to holy hell it feels like my brain is going to break my skull. Anyone else have this problem? I want to stop taking it now but so nervous of withdrawal symptoms. I have 2 kids under 3 so I’m extra cautious.

  17. Hello all!
    I have tried almost all antidepressants in the market for 21 years.
    The last one was Cymbalta and my Pdoc. switched me to Bupropion 300mg. XL. The first days were like honeymoon, a lot of energy and a more positive outlook towards life.
    After a week it has been like a nightmare: confusion, bad temper, extremely irritable, no motivation at all.
    I feel like I am going crazy.
    Do these effects go away?
    I’m desperate!!!
    Thanks in advance.

  18. My doctor started me on 150xl for 1 week then 300for the balance of my 30pill 150mg prescription, I had no side effects but really did not feel great, although my depression got better, after my first round he bumped me to 450xl per day. now I have headaches and feel like an airhead, off and on during the day. I take them all at once in the morning, I am going to try 2 in the morning and 1 at night, because it has not affected my sleep. Does anyone get neck stiffness and pain, I do.

  19. Hi, I am trying to stop smoking and I tried everything, ( Nicotine patches, Chantix, Viper, besides Nicotrol spray, because There is a side effect of using that your taste is going to change and there is no guaranty to come back as normal it is). Anyway, the reason, that I could not stop smoking with Nicotine patches or Chantix because after day two, I was getting a severe headache, and I had to stop them. I had a migraine headache, 20 years ago, and I’ve got relieved after 10 years, but since then, if I take even painkiller after surgery, the headache is coming back, a headache that comes back, is really bad and killing me, and the ridiculous thing is, the stupid headache, is not going to go away with any headache’s medication, and the worse thing is not only the headache is not going to go away but it will get worse than ever. Right now, my reason, that I came to this site, I really need help, please do so.
    First, I am on Fluoxetine 40 mg, I realize this is not helping me, recently, I am having a very bad panic attack, I can not breathe because of that, and I feel my heart pumping out, I feel is coming out from my mouth. I can not describe for you how I am bad, at night when I want to sleep, I’ll think about the day after, and I promise to my self,
    when I wake up tomorrow, I do this and I do that, but is not going to happen. and the worse thing is, I just want to smoke, cigarette after cigarette, and when I think I have to stop smoking, I will get worse, I mean breathing, agitation, mood changes, every thing.
    I thought, might be Wellbutrin helps me, for both reasons that I need.( antidepressant, and helps me to stop smoking). but, if I get a headache, again, what I can do to get rid of that with out to stop Wellbutrin????????????. Can somebody help me, please?

  20. Kerrie,
    I too, have been in the dizzying fog from the generic 300xl daily dosage. I felt like a million dollars when I started on the 150xl in march but, after about a month and a half, my agitated and depressed edge came back and my Doc upped my dosage to 300xl and I was back to feeling amazing. By some weird mix up, my pharmacy refilled my rX in the 150xl dose. ????? tried to have them refill the 300xl and they said they couldn’t, called the dr office and I have to have an appointment which is fine, but in the mean time I have been taking 2 of the 150xl in the morning and feel like I’m lost in outter space. My fiancé comments on my spacey attitude towards everything & he would freak out if he knew my situation with my meds is kinda messed up right now. He just worries so hopefully I can have this straightened out soon….
    I will try your method:
    ONE 150xl shortly after breakfast
    and then ONE 150xl mid afternoon… also after food?
    since starting the bupropion I have lost almost 15lbs which is great for summer but like others have said, eating is a major chore and is usually overlooked. but I will do my best.
    thanks for the tip!

  21. I am taking 450 mg extended release Buproprion once a day plus naltrexone as an appetite suppressant as well as treatment for depression. I haven’t seen much discussion of this high dosage and combination–however it is a great relief to learn I am not completely alone in my experience of problems. This was the dose my doctor and I are trying since I seemed to have developed a tolerance for bupropion (have been taking it since 1999 starting at 200, then at 300 mg a day continuously, except for a three year sidetrip when I tried lap band surgery–which was disappointing and made me chronically nauseous; I had it removed). My weight makes me heartsick and the bupropion just puts me under the “obese” category as opposed to well over it. That’s been my major motivation for taking it for years. After a month on this new combination I am having very distressing dizzy spells. Does anyone have experience with any part of these dosages or combinations? It’s ironic that the treatment itself has become so depressing to me.

  22. Hi Kerrie. Thank you. I spoke with my doctor this morning. Since my 100 mg Buprprion SR pills last 12 hours, she is now recommending that I switch to 300 mg Wellbutrin XL (or is it 300mg Buprprion – I’ll know more tomorrow) and take the pill once a day. I’m going to stick with it. I don’t like the SSRI’s I’ve tried in the past. I’m happy that it’s working for most and wish you well. I’ll update again after I’ve tried the XL.

  23. Did you try taking two 150 mg tablets of Wellbutrin XL brand name instead of 300 XL.did you find any difference?

    1. Manu, splitting the dose did help. I used the name brand for a while, but was able to go back to generic when I changed my diet. The key for me is to eat a full meal before taking each dose.

      Take care,

  24. Hi, my name is Ze, and I’m 44 years old. Im very grateful to have come across this thread and appreciate everyone’s feedback from their personal experiences. I just started Buprprion SR almost two weeks ago. 100mg the first week, 100 mg twice a day this week moving forward. I have major depression and anxiety (not as bad as it used to be). This medication made me feel more depressed the first few days then I felt better and more focused on the third day. A few things I’ve noticed: My dreams are very vivid and scary sometimes. I’m slightly more anxious. I’m not getting the burst of energy I was hoping to gett all. I was lethargic tired the first few days. The ringing in my ears are more profound, as I already have tinnitus from the Air Force. My taste has changed so I’m not feeling as hungry. I’m noticing I drink more water. Also constipation and gas. Around the time in the afternoon for my second dose of 100mg SR, I get sleepy and get headache pangs, last about half an hour then it’s gone. Then I get a feeling of being winded or as if my heart slows or skips. This happens a few times in the afternoon after the second dose..Not a good feeling. I’m hoping all of these side effects go away. I was wondering if anyone ever took 200mg SR in the morning, and 100 mg SR in the afternoon? I’m afraid to take the Wellbutrin XL because of the side effects (vertigo, headaches). I’m also not great remembering to take a second pill at 2:00pm in the afternoon. How many hours apart do any of you take your Buprprion SR ? I wish everyone well.

    1. Hi Ze, I recommend talking to your doctor about the side effects. As far as timing, I took my first dose with breakfast and my second around 3 p.m. When I was having trouble with side effects, I’d be sure to take it with food, so you might find taking it after lunch and after breakfast works well.

      Take care,

  25. My doctor just started me on generic Wellbutrin SR 100mg after I couldn’t get up from my sofa to do anything on Zoloft. (Yay anxiety gone, boo anhedonia) The Wellbutrin triggered a migraine every single day I took it (the past 3 days). Has this happened to anyone else? Did you taper up to 100mg? I was surprised that my doc started me right at 100 when we took forever tapering up on re Zoloft. The Wellbutrin also made my head feel really full, like there was increased pressure in my skull and my head might explode, which I imagine is what led to the migraines.

    1. Lindsay, have you found a solution to your problem? This is identical to how I am feeling and I am desperate for a solution. I don’t want to stop this medicine, but the migraines and head feeling like it’s full of cement are horrible.

  26. I was prescribed 200 MG of Wellbutrin. I take 100 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon. I also suffer from anxiety which had been under control with my anxiety medication. Now, I’ve been on the Wellbutrin almost 3 weeks and my anxiety is awful again. Will this go away? How long does it usually take? Should I stop taking the Wellbutrin? Please help!

  27. Have been trying to find somebody that is taking the same combo of Bupropion that I am because I have not read of anybody doing what I am doing anywhere and I have read a lot of discussion threads. Just to give you some background, I have been on Bupropion in various combinations for the last 5 months to try to find what the best dose is for me in treating my dysthymia. After trying various SR pills and then switching over to XL pills, I discovered that 150XL is not enough for me and 300XL is too much. On the 300XL, I am SO productive and it completely eliminated my depression and I lost a lot of weight. I love it!…But I also get easily agitated with other people and start stuttering a bit (so mild only I notice but it is annoying) and have some very mild short term memory loss (occasionally forget a word that I normally always remember). I talked to my doctor about lowering it to 200XL or 250XL because that would be perfect, but unfortunately they do not make such pills so my doctor came up with a combo that supposedly has the effect of something close to a 200XL or 250XL pill. For the last 3 weeks, I have been on 150XL + 150SR (my doctor said this was like taking 225XL). I take them both in the morning at the same time. I was worried that it would be too much bupropion for me, but it turns out that it is actually not enough. The side effects did go away on this combo which was good, but I also started eating again big time and some depression came back and I stopped being as productive. So, today, my doctor upped it to 150XL + 200SR both taken in the morning. I am starting tomorrow. If that doesnt work, I am going to go back to the 300XL and just live with the mild side effects and work with my therapist to cope with the agitation. Has anybody heard of or experienced this method of combining various pills as a strategy to compensate for the lack of existence of various pills on the market? I would love to hear what anybody thinks about this. Thanks.

  28. I have been taking Wellbutrin 300 milligrams XL for 3 months now. I have had mild to moderate headaches for the past month. The headaches are resistant to treatment with ibuprofen or aspirin. I have had Tremors in my hands. Those are getting better. I have noticed that caffeine does not work well with Wellbutrin. It makes me quiver and Shake from the inside out. I have lost 10 pounds, which is a positive side-effect for me. I also take 30 milligrams of Prozac per day. The two together seemed to work well for me. I have had one episode of losing my temper in an abnormal way. I had 2 drinks the night before. Of course, you are not supposed to drink alcohol while taking this medication, so I got what I deserved. I completely lost control and went into an angry rage, not remembering anything I said later that day. That has only occurred the one time. I am listing the side effects for anyone Elks that may have had them. They are not in your mind. I also had a severe sore throat for about 3 weeks. That went away last week and has not returned. I did not have strep or any other reason for the sore throat. Otherwise, this has been a good drug. None of the side effects have been bad enough to cause me to stop the medication. It has given me more motivation. It has helped the Prozac become more effective. I usually have seasonal depression, and this winter is going better than usual. I hope this post helps someone. Peace and love, Tracy

  29. I started on generic wellbutrin 150mg xl in 2009. It tooks me a couple of months to get to 300. It got me amped up. Hard on the anxiety, definitely don’t take it if you have anorexia. It really helped my depression but I had insomnia, agitation, constipation, and vivid nightmares. I was always hot and restless. I stuck with it because SSRI’s make me crazy manic and sick as hell. I did great for 3 years. The side effects faded to tolerable. Then I started getting “positional vertigo”. Then just plain old dizzy spells. I searched desperately for the cause. It was getting worse and ruining my life. By the time I hit six years I was always lightheaded and almost confused, scared to drive. I thought it was low bp or blood sugar because wellbutrin gave me both. At one point they thought I had hyperthyroidism due to elevated resting heart rate and over active reflexes. I kept asking my psychiatrist if it could be the wellbutrin and even went down to 150 for 6 months. No reprieve. I quit wellbutrin cold turkey last year. It took 45 days, but the spells stopped. Now I am fat and depressed, bordering on suicidal…but the spells are gone. I have considered many times trying again, but found a study that says some people keep the spells even after going off of it. I wanted to die when I had those spells and no doctors cared. Otherwise, I loved how I felt on 300mg xl. Loved it. I’m so lost without it. Hope this helps someone.

  30. Great thread, and thank you for all the comments.

    I have been taking Wellbutrin for 25 years (!), and it has been an effective drug for managing my depression, anxiety, and mild bouts of obsessiveness. Over the years, I’ve been taken off the brand drug by my insurance company; the generic never has the same efficacy for me, and it’s back to the brand drug (at full price!).

    I have always taken the original formulation for Wellbutrin (not XL or SR). According to my pharmacy, the manufacturer is no longer making the original formulation, and my insurance does not cover the branded XL or SR. So I’ve just started taking generic Wellbutrin SR — I’ve immediately noticed that I’m feeling a little addle-brained and fuzzy-headed. Can anyone say if this is a side effect that will clear up once my body acclimates to the new formulation?


    1. Dovy, many people find that side effects of a drug diminish over time. That’s not the case for everyone, but seems to be for most. If you continue having trouble, you may want to look into a generic manufactured by a different company. (Your medication bottle should name the manufacturer; if not, your pharmacist can tell you). Generics aren’t completely identical, so you may have trouble with one from a certain manufacturer and do fine with another.

      Take care,

  31. I have been on bupropion now for 27 days, I started off on 50mg ir in the morning and then 50 mg ir in the afternoon. I was on that dose for 2 weeks then I switched to 100mg ir in the morning for 4 days, I felt my moods and bouts of anxiousness happen periodicly throughout the day. So at my follow up appointment my dr put me on 150 xl, I have been on it 5 days, the first two days were ok, but now I’m getting dizzy spells, headaches and a little anxious throughout the day. I will say my depression is much much better but the dizzyness and feeling like I’m in medicine I want to go away.
    Also I have lost alot of weight 28lbs since I started the anxiety and depression 5 months ago. I’m eating 3-5 times a day and still not gaining any weight..
    I’m wondering how much longer I should give this medicine to see if it will level out. I want my weight and life back..I have 2 children, single parent and they need their mom back 100%…
    I’m so glad to find this sight, Ito nice to know I’m not alone..
    I wish all of you the best..postive thoughts and positive talk is a must must do durning this time

    1. Hopeful, I found taking the medication after I eat eliminates the dizziness. If you eat a small breakfast, you may have more luck taking it right after lunch. I need a full meal’s worth of calories to control the dizziness. I recommend talking to your doctor about the weight loss. Perhaps they’ll have some suggestions to manage it.

      Take care,

  32. I have been taking Bupropion XL 150 mg for 4 days now. First 2 days felt amazing! But now I’m having some not horrible but annoying headaches. I’ve been taking it at night. My husband suggested me to take it during the day. Will this make a difference?

    1. Tracy, bupropion can interfere with sleep if taken late in the day or at night. It could be that it’s disrupting your sleep without you even knowing it and that’s causing the headaches. The headaches could also be coincidence. I cannot give you specific medical advice, but your doctor should be able to help.
      Take care,

  33. I started on bupropion SR 100mg twice per day almost 8 weeks ago. The first week I felt a little off as my body got used to it then after that I felt great. I had more energy. I wasn’t tired all the time. I also noticed I was more focused and productive. After week 5 I started having dizziness -vertigo like symptoms, nausea and lightheaded. I am under a lot of stress so at first I thought it was vertigo onset caused by stress not the bupropion. This comes and goes and has stayed with me since week 6 on. Im concerned that it could be the bupropion now and I’m wondering how I could feel so good the first month and then now feel like this. I want to feel as great as I did the first month.

  34. I don’t know if I will help any folks who have since responded to this thread but I did want to update that I switched from xl to Sr. My sleep went back to the way it was and also my headaches disappeared. I will say my mood is just so so. Since I am taking this more for pain, my dose may not be high enough. I do think waiting 30 days on mild side effects like gas, constipation, and dry mouth are good. Also my libido has been the same on and off this med. Because of my condition I had to significantly cut back on physical activity. Despite this no significant weight gainot. I think the WB has helped in managing that.

    1. Me too. I started the Aimovig migraine preventative this month. I hope this helps otherwise I’ll have to stop the wellbutrin and I don’t want to.

  35. Hi,

    I was on cipralex(lexapro) for about 9 months. It helped me tremendously; however, I gained a TON of weight on it which just made me feel terrible about myself which decreased my confidence. Also, zero sex drive. A month ago I saw a psychiatrist and he prescribed me with 300mg of bupropion. I weaned myself off the cipralex over three weeks and now I have been on only the bupropion for a week. So far I haven’t noticed any positive. I haven’t noticed any decrease in appetite or weight loss, and my sex drive hasn’t increased at all. In the first few weeks I had a ridiculous amount of gas, which has slowly decreased. Today, I felt really dizzy and out of sorts. I just feel really down and discouraged. Should I be expecting any of the good side effects to begin anytime soon? With reviews I’ve read it has seems the majority of people have such positive experiences and early on… Which also makes me feel bad bc I don’t understand why I am not experiencing that… 🙁 does anyone have any insight for me? I really really appreciate it. Thank you!

    1. I suggest you keep trying other meds until you find one that works for you. And if you aren’t happy with your doctor, keep looking for one that ensures they get you the help you need to find the one that works for you. My dr told me that there are a lot of options out there. We had to try a coupe and tweak dosage, etc., it took us a couple of years, but it worked. It is so awful to suffer and feel bad and have them make you think that that’s ok and that’s what you have to suffer through. Part of it is finding the right support system in your providers also. Good luck!

  36. Also, I have experienced headaches while taking this medication, but I think if I eat with it, it should be better. Normally I don’t eat breakfast or eat little. I have ate a little with my first dose, but if I eat more and before I take the medication AFTER eating instead of with it might help.

  37. I recently saw a new dr, and decided to mention my depression, but told her I didn’t want to be on meds that made me gain weight. She prescribed me 300 mg of wellbutrin a day, taken in 150mg doses 2x a day. I thought that was a high doses to start off on, so I took one 150 mg for 3 days, then started to take both. It’s been about a month. I have noticed that I get winded quicker than usual, and when I went to my follow up appt two days ago, with the Dr, my pulse rate was high. I told her that I am getting winded pretty easy, but she just said that she hasn’t heard of wellbutrin doing that. I looked it up, and it does indeed cause it in about 10% of patients. I am not feeling optimistic about this new dr. 🙁 anyway, I DO NOT want to experience loss of libido, how many of you have experienced this? Also, I am thinking about just stopping the medication altogether. I don’t want to decide to stop taking 6 months from now, and experience severe withdrawal symptoms.. of course I will talk to my dr before changing dosage, I just wanted to get some feedback on this medicine before being on it too long. Ty

    1. I too have noticed getting a bit winded when doing my twice weekly bootcamp class, much more so than usual. I am taking 100 mg generic.

      1. I forgot to mention that the benefits of the medicine outweigh this one side effect for me… I noticed a big difference in my mood after just a couple days.

  38. Maybe I can get some help. I was prescribed buproprion SR 150 mgx2 a day. I always had a hard time remembering the second pill each evening soa after missing it for a week straight I felt fine and figured I didn’t need the second one anymore. Two weekends ago I did something dumb and that was drink alcohol, liquor. I was fine while drinking but the next morning i woke up in an extreme panic attack. Dealt with it for a week and thus past Sunday it hit me that I needed to take the medicine the way the Dr prescribed and quit screwing around. I took the second dose and have been ever since sunday. I have been dealing but today the nausea hit me like a ton of bricks and I just knew I was gonna throw up everywhere. Now I feel cold, like chills. Hurt all over. I also was taking buspar the same way and I did the same thing as the buproprion. I have started taking that again also. I guess my question is are these normal side effects or is my body really rejecting the second doses? I also take celexa 40 mg x 1 a day.

  39. Hi, i am on a generic of wellbutrin, 150 xl. It’s been about 2.5 months. This is my second time taking it. I took it the first time to quit smoking and dont recall any side effects. When i developed a chronic pain condition from an accident, my doc and i agreed i would give it a whirl.
    The first month i had dry mouth, constipation, and had pretty significant depressive symptoms ( i was already feeling depressed due to living in pain for years.) Anyway, the chronic pain has gotten better as did those side effects bit heres where i am now.

    I have no problem falling or staying asleep but dont wake up rested. Anyone else? I had some mild chronic fatigue before but now i am super tired.

    I had a bout of vertigo before meds but now i have them whenever the weather is changing so i think its legit vertigo and not dizziness. It only happens in the morn when i try to get up. I am going to see an ENT tomorrow.

    But i also have what feels like a mild headache spanning my forehead. It doesn’t respond to regular aspirin/ibuprofen/etc. Advil sinus stuff does seem to help.

    I appreciate everyone’s comments here . Would love any thoughts.


    1. Hi Kim I know this is an old post but did you ever figure out if the forehead headaches were from the wellbutrin?

  40. Hi…update
    My psychiatrist dropped me down to 100mg welbutrin and I take it at night and now I don’t get dizzy(vertigo) spells, seizures, or vomiting. I do get insomnia, but not too bad. I’m at 150mg now and my mood is getting better and I have more energy. I do forget to eat sometimes but that’s not anything to complain about. I see psychiatrist Tuesday and I’m hoping to start pristiq as well. I have good days and bad but finally the good days are catching up to the bad. Good luck and if you notice vertigo stop it immediately because it took 7 months to figure out my episodes were causes by a dose waaay to high as I am 5 ft 6 and 108 lbs. Now I’m hopeful and grateful.

  41. Hi everyone, I just wanted to say thank you to Kerrie for the informative post and to all of you for being open about these side effects. Depression stinks. It’s only been two days but I am noticing light sensitivity and headache, which does not seem to match anyone else here. Hopefully this is just a passing symptom. The dose I am taking is very low (100 mg SR, generic). Hoping you all get the relief that you need and deserve. Peace.

  42. I have been on Wellbutrin for about two years. I consider myself mildly depressed. I have never struggles with major depression. My experience: after reading many sites I decided I would not take generic. Luckily my insurance covers the name brand, but at a significantly higher copay. I’m not sure how long that will last. I started at 150 SR and went up to 300 SR (2 150 pills per day). I could not remember to consistently take the second dose at the same time, and I think that resulted in mood irregularity. So I switched to 300 XL. I liked it, experienced a more stable mood lift. But after about two months I started getting headaches and ringing I my ears, and a loss of libido. I wanted to try 200 XL, but they don’t make it. So now I’m back to 200 SR. Whatever I take, it has to be one pill a day, otherwise I’m all over the place with timing and it effects my mood. I don’t think Wellbutrin makes 300 SR in one pill. Interestingly, when traveling I forgot my meds and my doc called in a week of bupropion. I felt like crap!! So so nauseous. And I also occasionally take the generic ambien, and have noticed that with my mom’s generic I’m fine, with mine I feel sick. It’s so interesting, the difference with different generics. Any doctor that tells you the generic “is the same” is a joke. Anyway. I chose Wellbutrin to avoid weight gain. Initially it did lower my appetite, but that went away. I think that’s a bit dangerous, as some people up their dose to regain the diet pill effect. I think I fell into that trap.

  43. I stopped taking bupropion for a while as that I was on adderral and bupropion seemed to have a roller coaster effect. My Dr RX’d me escitalopram so I took that instead. Well it turn out my Dr wanted me to take all three. So I recently started taking all three again to improve my quality of life and OmG I realized that back then I always had a whopping headaches and now it’s back. I had to think on it for a long time because I was also dealing with some other physical issues but I really believe that Wellbutrin is the cause of my headaches. For the last few months since I’ve been off it I have had none. In going to talk to my dr bout my findings and see what she says.

    1. You mention the lexpapro in your medications. I, too, got horrific headaches and almost narcolepsy type symptoms taking it. My pharmacist is who I talked with. She fixed my issues by suggesting I take it at bedtime and suggesting I limit my vitamin A intake. She said that sometimes people on lexapro will get headaches when take in combo with vitamin A. I took the pill at bedtime and then limited my vitamin A and the headaches and drowsiness issues subsided.

  44. Hi everyone,i have been taking Bupropion for bipolar II, in my case im disabled from this,i have very severe depression that i cannot fight on my own. Welbutrin is not actualy used for bipolar II depression so its intresting… I have been taking it for 3 weeks and i see no big help with depression although i have not had any sidefects,it helps with my energy but not my mood and depression or positive “thinking” it seems to give me more brief and visual efects but does not help depression, i think bupropion is not a good qoise for very severe depression its a mild drug that helps with depression that is not caused by mental illness. I really think Bupropion is not such a big deal,chronic depression will beat this drug.Ive also been having mild dizzynes and weight loss , i think the risc of a seizure is a big SIDEFECT,i know how devastating and dangerus epilelsy can be. Its really a weird drug actually and i think its not for those people with a bad diet ,personaly i have had to change my entire diet and eating food that i never thught i would eat , it changes your eating habits A LOT!! and to me that causes a lot of problems…

  45. So, my psychiatrist finally agreed to lower my welbutrin to 100mg HCl and my seizures ceased, my balance is better, my vertigo gone, headaches are less, and other then some double vision in the morning which I found that eating a nutrigrain bar while taking the welbutrin tends to stop the double vision. The best part is the fact my mood is getting better, I can do simple things for myself that I used to take for granted. It makes me mad that it took 7 months of hell with doctors, tests, pain, suffering, to figure out that it was à simple solution of lowering my dose to 100mg HCL instead of 300mg XL. Or cold Turkey removal of medication which caused me to get 100x worse basically becoming bed bound. I feel like 7 months of my life has been stolen from me because my psychiatrist was irresponsible and negligent. I am however grateful to God that mostly I can say I have my life back. I can’t go off of it or it’s back to being an invalid basically. I am dealing with other mental/ physical issues but that’s a whole nother story.

  46. I’ve been taking Wellbutrin 150mg XR for about 6 months now, and I missed a few doses a couple weeks ago, and that seemed to cause headaches and nausea. But then it never settled down, even after I returned to taking the medication every day. Although it didn’t seem that when I got a new refill my headaches became persistent. Could it be a different type of generic? Or did missing a few doses really mess up the build up of medicine in my system?

    1. Hi Rachael!

      I’m in the same boat as you were back when you wrote this (was fine until I missed a few doses; then I began to feel light-headed and nauseous all of a sudden, and it hasn’t gone away even though I’ve been taking it regularly again for several weeks now) and wondered whether you had by any chance identified the source of the problem / found a solution and would be willing to share your experience with me. I’m also taking 150 mg, by the way, but SR rather than XL. Thanks so much, and I hope you’re feeling better! 🙂 Carolyn

  47. I have an important question about wellbutrin withdrawals…is it true you gain a ton of weight rapidly no matter what? If so is it temporary, and or can you prevent or stop this dreadful side effect? If not how long does it last, I have been on 300 mg.XL for 7 months now, and Dr is trying to stop me cold turkey… I’m scared please if u have any answers please I’m desperate,!!!! Or can help me find some I would be more then appreciative thanks Kerrie. Looking forward to response 🙂 :'(

    1. Heather, I have stopped Wellbutrin several times in the past and weight gain has never been an issue for me, so my previous reply is all the information I have. If your doctor can’t give you advice, your pharmacist should be able to help. Best wishes.


  48. Also Kerrie I wasn’t on prozac, so how can it be withdrawal from that causing my vertigo spells possibly from wellbutrin XL. They tried me on protriptyline for short time after less then a week I stopped it. How else can I control the dizziness any advice would be greatly appreciated. Wellbutrin is the only antidepressant that has really worked for me and if possible I need to find a way to be able to stay on it, and get rid of these spells!!! So wasn’t on prozac!!!

  49. Update, on day 4 of taking the adjusted lowered dose of wellbutrin, I had a severe panic attack and minor spell. Monday I am going to have my nurse reach my psychiatrist and see what I should do. Also is there a difference between regular plain wellbutrin and the XL kind, because when I was first put on the medication I started out on that at a low dose age for first month I had no problems but then I got switched to XL and then the nightmare began but it took 7 months to realize that could be the reason for my episodes. Should I suggest that my doctor that he try me back on the regular plain kind where I had no problem on monday? Because it seems being off of it altogether is making my episodes worse then ever… also I read people can gain weight from withdrawal of wellbutrin, why and can you prevent it? I await your response and thank you for your reply Kerrie. Merry Christmas 🙂

    1. Heather, Wellbutrin XL is sometimes more effective for people than regular Wellbutrin. If you have no trouble with regular Wellbutrin and it manages your depression, it should be a fine option for you. Your doctor can help you decide which is best for you.

      Wellbutrin is an appetite suppressant. I believe people gain weight when they go off of it because they are suddenly hungrier than they had been. If you’re aware of that and maintain your regular calorie intake, you’ll probably be OK. There may be other factors that cause weight gain that I’m unfamiliar with, though. It’s another thing to talk to your doctor about.

      Take care,

  50. My name is heather for the past 7 months I have had debilitating vertigo spells to the point of vomiting from being so dizzy. I went through test after test with no answers, I also suffered with my legs giving out and right side going numb. My doctor decided to take me off of my generic xl 300 mg of wellbutrin cold turkey and put me on this horrible medication. Called protriptyline. I continued to have worse spells, suicidal thoughts swelling, rapid weight gain, paranoia, worse depression, falling and vomiting more then ever.
    I had some of my wellbutrin xl left and decided to try taking 150mg instead so far no episodes and the horrible side effects from protriptyline are going away. It’s been 3 days already my mood is improving drastically as besides the spells before was the only anti depressant that has really helped me so I’m praying the decreased trial doseage will be the solution.

    1. Heather, I’m sorry you’ve had to go through such an ordeal. I just added a note to the bottom of the post that explains how I’ve gotten the dizziness under control. I hope it helps and that you find relief soon.

      Take care,

  51. Hello I have been taking bupropion for about 2 months now and it seems like every other day I get these really bad dizzy spells that last the whole day. It makes it hard to drive even. Every time I turn my head I go through it. I’m on 150 mg twice a day. The Dr took me off of Prozac and put me on this. I was taking 60 mg of Prozac once a day. Can anyone give me some advice?

    1. Amber, I’m sorry you have to deal with this. The dizziness could be withdrawal from Prozac (though I don’t know how long you’ve been off it). If it’s a bupropion side effect, there are several ways you can try to get it under control. I just added a note to the bottom of the post that explains how I stopped the dizziness I was getting. Best of luck.

      Take care,

  52. I have been on and off wellbutrin for a few years now.
    I always seem to think that I am better and don’t need it which always ends up being because its working. I recently went back on it i was told to start at 150mg for a week and go back to 300mg (which was what I used to be on)
    Im now on the generic brand since thats what my benefits covers
    first week at 150 mg seemed fine but when I used it to the 300 I got flushed and had terrible headaches. I continued for 3 days on the 3rd day I also started birthcontrol for the first time and I was in much pain so i stopped taking everything

    I stopped taking it for 2 days My headaches stopped but I still felt hot.
    I continued on the 150 I thought maybe my body was in shock or something.
    Still continued to have headaches.

    I dont know if anyone else has had this problem?

    1. Sarah, you’d have to check with your doctor for sure, but the birth control is probably the culprit for the headaches. It’s a notorious side effect of hormonal birth control. Stopping it should take care of it, but it can take a while for your hormones to even out. I’m not sure about feeling hot, but that could also be connected to the birth control. If you haven’t had trouble on Wellbutrin or bupropion at the same dose in the past, it’s unlikely to suddenly start causing side effects you haven’t had before. I hope you find relief soon.

      Take care,

  53. My experience with Wellbutrin has been of the best and the worst. It changed my life and made me love it. (After a bout of not wanting to leave the couch.) I started on 150XL and after nine months increased to 300XL. Everything was brilliant with no side effects until I had an experience with super lightheadedness/dizzyness on repeated occasions with a generic refill of generic 300XL. I exchanged it at the pharmacy and felt fine again. Now I have reduced my dose to 150XL after six months on 300 XL (because I would like to go off of it), and I initially felt no withdrawals. After 3-4 weeks I started getting dizzy spells, headaches, lethargy, in and out nausea and it has lasted now a month. Anyone have delayed withdrawals? How long do withdrawals last? I am set to taper down again and am dreading anything worse.

    1. Joy, I haven’t heard about anyone having delayed withdrawals. If you are having withdrawals, some people manage them by alternating dosages on different days (going off of it, they would alternate days between taking the lowest dose and not taking it). Please check with your doctor before making any changes.

      Take care,

  54. I started taking Wellbutrin (generic Sr.) one 100mg per day for a couple weeks. I started out feeling really good and then I started loosing energy, so went to 2 per day and it was fine but I found it hard to remember to take that early afternoon pill so I switched to generic XR and all has been great for a few months. Last week I got a refill on the XR and I don’t know if it was coincidental but last night I turned over in my sleep and felt so dizzy, it was really scary. This happened a couple more times during the night. Today all day if I lay down it comes again. My doctor said its positional vertigo and will go away. After reading this I am wondering if it is from the new batch of generic Wellbutrin. It’s so uncomfortable.

    1. Charlie, I’m sorry you have dizziness on Wellbutrin. I have managed mine in a few ways: I always take it with food, usually about 30 minutes after eating. I split the dose, one with breakfast and two around 3p. It can cause insomnia, so you might need to take it earlier. When those two things stopped being sufficient, I switched to name brand Wellbutrin XL (I was on generic XL before that). Another option would be to see who made your Wellbutrin (it should be somewhere on the bottle or your pharmacist can tell you) and try different brands. Ingredients vary enough from one manufacturer to the next that the switch to another generic is just as (or more) effective than the name brand for you. Best of luck getting this sorted.

      Take care,

    2. I have positional vertigo too and dizziness happens only when laying on my right side or on my back. It happens about twice a year and more under stress or when not getting enough sleep.just sleep on the nondizzy side and wait it out. Probably a week for me or do the suggested excerises for the positional vertigo.

    3. This sounds exactly like what happens to me anytime I’m on a manufacturer of generic that doesn’t agree with me. The name brand is the best if you can get approved for it.

      Always ask if the manufacturer has changed. You can call your pharmacy now & they will order you the same manufacturer that used to work well for you. Unfortunately, pharmacies tend to go with whoever is cheaper at the time, so they will switch your meds often without mentioning anything to you.

  55. Kerrie –
    I also hate the sexual side effects of anti-depressants, however after a number of tries with Wellbutrin in various forms, I realized it increased my quick-to-anger-button and had to stop taking it. It was back to a sexless life.
    Then someone recommended Viibryd. It’s a newer anti-depressant, so no generic, which equals higher copay, but it doesn’t have sexual side effects. At least, it’s not supposed to, and I don’t have any. Additionally, I feel much better than I felt on Wellbutrin but everyone is different.
    Worth a mention.

    1. Shannan, thanks for the recommendation. I’m doing OK with Wellbutrin right now, but have reached the max dose and have been wondering about what I’d try next. I’ll look into Viibryd.

      Take care,

  56. Your post is interesting. I wonder what abortives work with you (to check if I can relate to your situation). I am taking Wellbutrin primarily to address my gut issues (ulcerative colitis), and if I can kill 2 birds in one stone, nothing better like it.

    May I know how Wellbutrin ‘helped’ with your migraines? Did they go away completely or reduced frequency or reduced intensity?

    1. Hi Noel,

      I use Wellbutrin for depression, not migraine. It works great for depression, but hasn’t done anything for my migraine frequency or severity. Amerge is my best abortive, but I also use Midrin and have some luck with naproxen, usually in combination with the Amerge.

      Take care,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *