how long until Wellbutrin starts to work, likelihood Wellbutrin will work for your condition, and Wellbutrin vs. other Antidepressants
I <3 Wellbutrin
Medicated for your Protection
Two of the most important things to know when deciding on which med is the best for a particular condition1: how likely is it to work and how long will it take.
The odds of a med working for a particular condition and how long it generally takes to work should be fairly easy to nail down, and not need to be summed up by the Internet shorthand YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Aside from it being hard enough to get an accurate diagnosis when brain cooties are involved, why is it so difficult to figure out if Wellbutrin (bupropion) is right for you and how long it will take for you to know that?
- Because no one is quite sure exactly what causes various conditions.
- Which is further complicated when everything is a spectrum disorder (e.g. bipolar 1, bipolar 2, all the others they still ignored in DSM-5).
- And they’re never really sure about how Wellbutrin works in the first place.
- Plus, if you have more than one condition for which you’re taking one or more medications to treat, things get really complicated.
- None of which is helped by studies that produce contradictory results and other quirks in The Literature.
Always remember: if your symptoms suddenly get a lot worse, call your doctor immediately. Any drug that makes your symptoms worse is a drug you probably need to stop taking as soon as possible.
We reference a shitload of studies here, so you might want to see our pages on how to deal if a study is legitimate and the tests and methodologies researchers use to measure the efficacy of medications, including during clinical trials to get FDA approval.
How Long Until Wellbutrin (bupropion) Starts Working
Usually two-three weeks. Like all antidepressants, especially reuptake inhibitors, you should give Wellbutrin up to a month, maybe six weeks, before giving up, barring any really nasty side effects or you can tell nothing positive is happening at all. Meds that work on dopamine tend to act quickly, so Wellbutrin (bupropion) could start having positive results in a few days.
If your depression symptoms lean toward anhedonia (nothing gives you any pleasure), then expect Wellbutrin (bupropion) to act on the fast side. If your primary symptoms include things like not being able to make decisions, getting overwhelmed and generally stuck, expect Wellbutrin (bupropion) to take closer to four to six weeks.
How Effective Wellbutrin (bupropion) is for its Approved Uses
Pretty freaking good. The side effects or something else may make Wellbutrin (bupropion) suck too much to keep taking it, or there’s too much potential for trouble in the first place, but Wellbutrin (bupropion) is one of those meds that usually work. Sometimes a little too well, which is why Wellbutrin (bupropion) is sometimes used recreationally. Ironic for a med that is also used to help people stop smoking, and using cocaine and meth.
So why doesn’t everyone take Wellbutrin (bupropion) first? Because Wellbutrin (bupropion) might just be masking the symptoms of depression instead of actually treating it. When it comes to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), does that really matter? Either you’re going to be taking Wellbutrin (bupropion) or Aplenzin (bupropion HBr) for 3–5 months out of the year while you sit in front of a light box, or you can move to Hawaii2. There is currently no long-term treatment for SAD that makes the symptoms lessen over the years. There are even that many longitudinal (long-term) studies involving bupropion, and none I could find that was not related to inhaling something.
Actually, it’s a problem to find much of anything about bupropion and depression in the freely-available literature. All the money, both commercial and grant, is in smoking. And some tobacco settlement money goes to incredibly stupid studies that prove:
The findings indicate that rebelliousness accounted for the relation between adolescent smoking and the emergence of depressive symptoms. —The Role of Smoking and Rebelliousness in the Development of Depressive Symptoms among a Cohort of Massachusetts Adolescents
Stop the presses! Depressed teens smoke and disobey parents! How the fuck do people get grant money for this kind of thing? I guess if you can prove that smoking one cigarette will lead to kids sassing back, locking themselves in their rooms and writing bad poetry, you can write yourself a Cadillac of a grant application.
So while the odds on how well all meds will work for you are primarily based on books, other source material, and anecdotal evidence, with Wellbutrin (bupropion) I don’t have a lot else to go on. Even if a lot of studies are a bit dodgy, I still like to have something on-hand to show everyone to back up, and occasionally refute, what I write. I have more peer-reviewed data available online for Wellbutrin (bupropion) as a treatment for bipolar depression than for MDD and SAD combined!
It comes down to Wellbutrin (bupropion) being in Celexa (citalopram) and Zoloft (sertraline) territory of efficacy: a 60-70% likelihood of working for people with depression or depression with social, but no other forms of anxiety. Wellbutrin (bupropion) is especially effective for anhedonia.
Likelihood Wellbutrin (bupropion) will Work for Off-Label Applications
With the exception of bipolar depression, most of Wellbutrin’s off-label applications are the sort of things treated with other drugs that have greater positive effects on dopamine and/or norepinephrine, so most of the time Wellbutrin (bupropion) does OK. Parkinson’s seems to be the only thing where Wellbutrin (bupropion) consistently doesn’t do anything other than help with the depression that often comes along with it. Either Wellbutrin (bupropion) isn’t getting to where Parkinson’s lives, or more dopamine isn’t the answer so much as better use of what you have is.
Pile of Pills
Vaccines Cause Immunity
Medicated For Your Protection
Wellbutrin (bupropion) versus Other Antidepressants for its Approved Indications
- Zoloft vs. Wellbutrin SR vs. Effexor XR for depression after Celexa didn’t work. Which AD is the best second choice after Celexa? According to this decent-sized (727 people, 239 took Wellbutrin SR, 238 took Zoloft, and 250 took Effexor XR) study the winner is: Effexor by a nose, with Wellbutrin a close second. They both worked better and sucked less than Zoloft, but Zoloft wasn’t that far behind. Although when you’re looking at remission rates of 20–25% they’re not all that fantastic in any event.
How Wellbutrin (bupropion) Compares with Other Drugs for Off-Label Treatments
Don’t worry about actually buying one. Windows shop and share the designs you’d like to buy or find worthy of ridicule. What else are you doing now? Working? Sure you are.
||Keep Crazymeds on the air.
Donate some spare electronic currency
you have floating around The Cloud
1 Assuming you were correctly diagnosed in the first place.
2 Or Jamaica, Malaysia, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Kenya, the Philippines, Bangalore, or my personal favorite: Singapore, where it's 12 hours of daylight year-round. Although I do better at higher latitudes, I enjoyed the time I worked in Singapore when I was only mildly crazy.
If you have any questions not answered here, please see the Crazymeds Wellbutrin discussion board. We welcome criticisms of the articles, notifications of bad links, site problems, consumer experiences with medications, etc. I’m not always able to write back. Hence I never answer questions about meds via e-mail that are answered by this or other articles. Especially if they have been repeatedly asked on the forum. That’s why we write these damn things. Questions about which meds are best for your condition should also be asked on the forum; because this is a free site, so the price of admission is making things easier for somebody else searching for the same answer. We don’t deal with children on the forum or in private because after doing this for ten years I don’t have the emotional stamina to deal with kids who have brain cooties. How to contact Crazymeds. — Jerod Poore, CME, Publisher Crazymeds (crazymeds.net)
|Last modified on Sunday, 22 September, 2013 at 21:47:07 by JerodPoore||Page Author Jerod Poore||Date created|
|“Wellbutrin (bupropion): a Review for the Educated Consumer.” by Jerod Poore is copyright © Jerod Poore||Published online 2011/03/27|
|Citation options to copy & paste into your article:|
|Plain text:||Poore, Jerod. “Wellbutrin (bupropion): a Review for the Educated Consumer.” Crazymeds (crazymeds.net). ().|
Wellbutrin, and all other drug names on this page and used throughout the site, are a trademark of someone else. Wellbutrin’s PI Sheet will probably have the name of the manufacturer and trademark owner (they’re not always the same company) at or near the very bottom. Or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing. It may of changed hands by the time you finished reading this article.
Page design and explanatory material by Jerod Poore, copyright © 2003 - 2015. All rights reserved.
Keep up with Crazymeds and and/or my
slow descent into irreparable madness boring life. Pick your preferred social media target(s):
Follow me for site updates
and research & pharm news.
|Wear my Straitjacket||Batshit Crazy Blog|
Crazymeds | Promote Your Page Too||
Follow for site updates and
high weirdness to distract you.
|Crazymeds’ Tumblr||Crazymeds: The Blog|
Almost all of the material on this site is by Jerod Poore and is copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Jerod Poore. Except, of course, the PI sheets - those are the property of the drug companies who developed the drugs the sheets are about - and any documents that are written by other people which may be posted to this site will remain the property of the original authors. You cannot reproduce this page or any other material on this site outside of the boundaries of fair use copying without the express permission of the copyright holder. That’s usually me, so just ask first. That means if want to print out a few pages to take to your doctor, therapist, counselor, support group, non-understanding family members or something like that - then that’s OK to just do. Go for it! Please. As long as you include this copyright notice and something along the lines of following disclaimer, I’m usually cool with it.
All rights reserved. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. If you still have questions about a medication or condition that were not answered on any of the pages you read, please ask them on Crazy Talk: the Crazymeds Forum.
The information on Crazymeds pertains to and is intended for adults. While some information about children and adolescents is occasionally presented (e.g. US FDA approvals), pediatric-specific data such as dosages, side effects, off-label applications, etc. are rarely included in the articles on drugs or discussed on the forum. If you are looking for information regarding meds for children you’ll have to go somewhere else. Plus we are big pottymouths and talk about S-E-X a lot.
Know your sources!
Nobody on this site is a doctor, a therapist, or a pharmacist. We don’t portray them either here or on TV. Only doctors can diagnose and treat an illness. While it’s not as bad as it used to be, some doctors still get pissed off by patients who know too much about medications, so tread lightly when and where appropriate. Diagnosing yourself from a website is like defending yourself in court, you suddenly have a fool for a doctor. Don’t be a cyberchondriac, thinking you have every disease you see a website about, or that you’ll get every side effect from every medication1. Self-prescribing is as dangerous as buying meds from fraudulent online pharmacies that promise you medications without prescriptions.
All information on this site has been obtained from the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets and/or medication guides - which is all you get from sites like WebMD, RxList,
NAMBLA NAMI, etc., the sources that are referenced throughout the site, our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, and what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or medication guide/patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away. OK, you can throw away duplicate copies, but keep at least one, as that’s your proof of purchase of having taken a med in case a doctor doubts your medical history. Plus they take up less space than a bottle, although keeping one inside of a pill bottle is even better.
Crazymeds is not responsible for the content of sites we provide links to. We like them, or they’re paid advertisements, or they’re something else we think you should read to help you make an informed decision about a particular med. Sometimes they’re more than one of those things. But what’s on those sites is their business, not ours.
Crazymeds is optimized for ridiculously large screens and browsers that don’t block ads. I use Firefox and Chrome, running under Windows 72. On a computer that sits on top of my desk. With a 23 inch monitor. Hey, at least you can make the text larger or smaller by clicking on the + or - buttons in the upper right hand corner. If you have Java enabled. Like 99% of the websites on the planet, Crazymeds is hosted on domain running an open source operating system with a variety of open source applications, including the software used to display what you’ve been reading. As such Crazymeds is not responsible for whatever weird shit your browser does or does not do when you read this site3.
No neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists or pharmacists were harmed in the production of this website. Use only as directed. Void where prohibited. Contains nuts. Certain restrictions may apply. All data are subject to availability. Not available on all mobile devices, in the 12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society, or in all dimensions of reality. Hail Xenu!
‘Everything is true, nothing is permitted.’ - Jerod Poore
1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.
3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?* I don’t even need my big-ass rant any more. Heartbleed has made my case for me. And that’s just the one that got all the media attention. The very nature of an open source operating system makes security as much of an illusion as anonymity on teh Intergoogles. Before you flip out too much: the domain Crazymeds is hosted on uses a version of SSL that is not affected by the Heartbleed bug. That’s one of the many reasons why I pay a lot of money and keep this site on Lunarpages.
* Yes, I know I’m using open source browsers. I also test the site using the now-defunct IE and Safari browsers. Their popularity - and superiority - killed IE and Safari, so that’s why I rely on the open source browsers. It’s like brand vs. generic meds. Sometimes the generic is better than the brand.