6 Signs Wellbutrin is Working for Your Depression Symptoms


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If you’ve been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), your healthcare provider may prescribe the medication Wellbutrin® to help you gain control over your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Wellbutrin is effective at reducing the severity of depression symptoms for most people, but like other antidepressants, it doesn’t always start working right away.

Thankfully, there are early signs that you can look for after starting Wellbutrin to check that your medication is working.

Below, we’ve covered what Wellbutrin is, as well as how long it usually takes to treat depression symptoms. We’ve also listed six easy-to-notice signs Wellbutrin is working that you can look for if you recently started using it as a depression treatment.

Finally, we’ve shared some signs that Wellbutrin might not be working for you, as well as simple steps that you can take if Wellbutrin isn’t the right antidepressant for your needs.

What Is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that contains the active ingredient bupropion. It’s part of a class of drugs called atypical antidepressants. Wellbutrin works by increasing levels of certain natural chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in your brain and body.

More specifically, Wellbutrin increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in your body, both of which are important neurotransmitters for your moods, thoughts and mental health.

The FDA first approved Wellbutrin as a treatment for depression in 1985. The active ingredient in Wellbutrin, bupropion, is also used as a smoking cessation treatment and as an off-label form of treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Wellbutrin is sold as a sustained-release or extended-release tablet. Your mental health provider may recommend taking it one to four times each day, based on your needs and the dosage form of Wellbutrin you’re prescribed.

Our guide to depression medications provides more information about how Wellbutrin and other antidepressants work. 

How Long Does Wellbutrin Take to Work?

It’s common for antidepressants to require several weeks to start working, and Wellbutrin is no exception. 

Most of the time, the therapeutic effects of Wellbutrin start to occur in the second week of using the medication. However, it’s far from uncommon for Wellbutrin to take longer than this to show real benefits. 

If you’re prescribed Wellbutrin, make sure to continue taking it as prescribed by your healthcare provider, even if you don’t immediately feel better during the first weeks of treatment. Over time, you may start to notice improvements as Wellbutrin becomes more effective. 

6 Signs Wellbutrin is Working

Because of its effects on neurotransmitter levels, Wellbutrin can help to lift your mood and make the symptoms of depression less severe. 

After starting treatment with Wellbutrin, you should begin to gradually notice changes in the way you think, feel and behave. Many of these changes are similar to those that can occur with other antidepressant medications. 

Look for the following six signs that Wellbutrin is improving your mental health and reducing the severity of your depression symptoms. 

You Find it Easier to Fall Asleep

Depression can affect your sleep patterns, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night and maintain normal sleeping habits. It can also cause you to feel fatigued, which may end up making your sleep habits even worse.

It’s normal for symptoms like insomnia and early awakening to improve before other symptoms of depression after starting treatment with an antidepressant. If you feel like you can fall asleep easier than before, it may be a good sign that Wellbutrin is starting to work for you.

(Related:  How To Get Antidepressants)

Your Moods and Feelings Start to Improve

Another common sign that Wellbutrin is working is that your moods, feelings and thoughts may start to become less negative. 

Depression can affect your moods, causing you to feel sad, anxious or empty. It can also affect the way you think, resulting in feelings of helplessness and a perception that your situation may never get better. 

If you’ve recently been prescribed Wellbutrin and notice that your moods, thoughts and feelings begin to improve after a few weeks, it’s likely a sign that the medication is working. 

You Feel More Interested in Your Hobbies and Activities

One of the most common symptoms of depression is a reduced level of interest in your normal hobbies, passions and activities.

When you’re depressed, things that normally bring you joy and satisfaction may no longer feel pleasurable. This can create a vicious cycle, in which you feel less interested in taking part in certain aspects of life, leading to isolation and more severe depression.

As Wellbutrin starts to work, you may notice that you feel more interested in your usual hobbies and activities again. This may change your behavior and cause you to spend more of your time with friends and family or participate in social activities.

You’re More Able to Focus and Remember Things

Depression can affect your mental function, making it more difficult for you to focus on specific activities and remember information. This can potentially have an impact on your educational progress, work abilities and even your ability to function on a day-to-day basis.

After taking Wellbutrin for several weeks, you may notice that you find it easier to pay attention, remember information or simply take care of your daily tasks. 

Making Decisions No Longer Feels Impossible

Not only can depression affect your ability to focus, think effectively and remember information — it can also prevent you from being able to make decisions.

When you’re depressed, making even small decisions can be a real challenge. For this reason, many experts recommend delaying important life decisions, such as changing jobs or ending a relationship, until you’re no longer depressed.

If you’ve been taking Wellbutrin for several weeks, you may find that it’s easier for you to make decisions than before. 

You Have Fewer Physical Depression Symptoms

Depression isn’t solely a mental illness — it can also have a real impact on your physical health and wellbeing. 

Many people experience physical symptoms while they’re depressed, including slower physical movements and speech, aches, joint pain, muscle pain and even digestive issues. These may improve after you start taking medication for depression, such as Wellbutrin.

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Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Like other medications for depression, Wellbutrin can potentially cause side effects. Most of the adverse effects of Wellbutrin are mild and transient, although a small percentage of people who use this medication experience more severe or longer-lasting side effects.

Common side effects of Wellbutrin include:

  • Agitation

  • Dry mouth

  • Insomnia

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Constipation

  • Tremor

  • Dizziness

  • Excessive sweating

  • Blurred vision

  • Auditory disturbances

  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)

  • Cardiac arrhythmia

  • Confusion

  • Rash

  • Hostility

Wellbutrin can also interact with some medications, including other antidepressants, clopidogrel and medications that reduce the seizure threshold. 

To reduce your risk of drug interactions, make sure to inform your healthcare provider about any medications you currently use or have recently used before taking Wellbutrin.

When stopped abruptly, Wellbutrin can cause withdrawal symptoms. If you develop side effects, it’s important not to make changes to your dosage or stop using Wellbutrin without first talking to your healthcare provider. 

Signs Wellbutrin Is Not Working

Wellbutrin is generally an effective medication with mild side effects, but it’s not always the right antidepressant for everyone. It’s normal to try several antidepressants before finding the optimal one for you, and in some cases, Wellbutrin may not be that one.

Look for the following signs that Wellbutrin isn’t working:

  • You don’t notice any changes in your mood, even after several months. Wellbutrin can take several weeks to start working, but it should eventually produce improvements in your moods, feelings and general mental wellbeing.
    If you don’t notice any improvements after taking Wellbutrin for several months, you may need to adjust your dosage or switch to a different antidepressant, based only on the guidance from your healthcare provider.

  • You have severe or persistent side effects. Wellbutrin can cause side effects, but they generally shouldn’t be severe or persistent. If you have side effects that don’t go away or become more severe over time, it may be a sign that Wellbutrin isn’t right for you.

  • Your depressive symptoms become more serious. Some people start to notice more severe depression symptoms, even after beginning treatment with Wellbutrin or a similar antidepressant.
    If you feel more depressed after starting Wellbutrin, make sure to inform your healthcare provider as soon as you can.

  • You develop suicidal ideation and/or behavior. Wellbutrin and other antidepressants may cause an increase in risk of suicide in young adults. If you start to feel suicidal after using Wellbutrin, it’s important to seek professional medical care as soon as possible.
    You can get help for suicidal thoughts by contacting emergency services on 911, calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or 988, or using the services in our list of crisis and mental health hotlines.

What to Do If Wellbutrin Doesn’t Work For You

If you don’t notice any improvements from Wellbutrin after taking it for several weeks, or if you’re prone to side effects that are severe or persistent, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider. 

If Wellbutrin isn’t working, your healthcare provider may recommend making changes to the way you take your medication. This could mean adjusting your dosage or taking Wellbutrin earlier or later in the day.

In some cases, your healthcare provider may suggest switching to a different type of medication for depression, such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Make sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and inform them if you still don’t feel better after changing the way you use Wellbutrin or switching to a new antidepressant. 

Learn More About Treating Depression

Wellbutrin generally starts to work in two weeks, meaning you should start to see signs that it’s working soon after you start treatment. These may include improvements in your moods, sleep patterns, ability to focus, physical health and general quality of life. 

If Wellbutrin doesn’t work for you, it’s best to let your healthcare provider know. They may make changes to your dosage or suggest using a different type of medication to treat your depression symptoms. 

Worried you may have depression? We offer bupropion (the active ingredient in Wellbutrin) and other medications for depression and anxiety, following an online consultation with a psychiatry provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate. 

We also offer a full range of mental health services, including online therapy and support groups that you can take part in from the comfort and privacy of your home. 

This article originally appeared on Forhers.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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8 Smart Ways to Reduce the Price of Your Prescription Drugs

8 Smart Ways to Reduce the Price of Your Prescription Drugs

If you’re charging prescriptions to a credit card or digging for change in your car and couch every month to scrounge up enough money to pay for prescriptions, you’re not alone.

Around seven percent of U.S. adults can’t pay for prescription drugs they need, according to a 2021 Gallup poll. That’s an estimated 18 million people who say they had to go without at least one prescribed medication in the last three months, according to the poll.

If you struggle to pay for your meds or even worse, go without necessary medications, here’s some good news. With a bit of research and a strategy for finding discounts, you can save on prescription drugs.


Drug discount cards have been saving consumers money on prescriptions for decades. If your insurance doesn’t cover a prescribed drug or you’re saddled with a high copay, check the price on these drug discount sites to see how much you can save.

  • GoodRX
  • Blink Health
  • SingleCare
  • WellRX

Not up to the research? Ask your pharmacist if they have information on how much you can save with certain prescription discount cards.


Just because you’ve filled your prescriptions at CVS for the last 10 years doesn’t mean that pharmacy is the only game in town. Check prices at other local pharmacies, including your grocery store. If you can save enough to make the switch worthwhile, dole out your prescriptions among more than one pharmacy.

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Ask your doctor if the prescribed medication has a generic version to save big bucks. “Generic drugs have exactly the same active ingredients and effects as brand-name drugs, but they can cost 30 percent to 80 percent less,” according to the Food & Drug Administration.

BCFC / istockphoto

Ordering a 90-day vs. a 30-day supply may save money on certain drugs. Check prices for both quantities before you fill a prescription. You’ll pay more upfront but the savings over three months may be worth it.


Check with local pharmacies for any discount programs they offer. For example, when you pay $20 (or $35 for a family plan) to join Walgreens’ Prescription Savings Club, you can get discounts on more than 8,000 medications. Plus, you can fill 90-day prescriptions on select generic drugs for the price you’d pay for two 30-day prescriptions.

Bonus: Walgreens’ program also provides discounts on prescriptions for your pets.


Save money by comparing prices at online pharmacies that deliver prescription drugs right to your doorstep. You may save a lot by ordering online.

 Plus, you’ll save on gas and time by not having to drive to the pharmacy and wait in line.


Many drug manufacturers offer patient assistance programs if you meet income eligibility requirements. Contact the manufacturer for that pricey drug to find out if you’re eligible for deep discounts on a medication. To get an idea of how patient assistance programs work, visit RxAssist, which lists a comprehensive directory of patient assistance programs.

Weedezign/ istockphoto

It is important to choose your health insurance wisely.  Brokers are trained professionals that can assist you in finding the best plans for your unique needs.  If possible, find a broker that is familiar with plans in your area and that is certified to sell ACA plans.

“The least expensive plan is not always the best or the most cost-effective option.  Sometimes, a silver or gold plan may cost you less due to lower copays on brand name prescriptions. For those on Medicare, always have a broker review your part D (drug) coverage annually.  Even if your monthly premium is not set to increase, there is no way to know that your prescriptions are still covered the same way for the next year unless you do an analysis of this plan,” says Analisa Cleland, an insurance and financial advisor at Coto Insurance.

If you are on a Medicare Advantage plan, have a certified broker review your coverage annually to ensure that your plan is still a good fit for your individual needs.

This article originally appeared on Debt.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


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Featured Image Credit: AntonioGuillem/istockphoto.