Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant. Its primary effects are thought to be on the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.
Wellbutrin is used to treat manic depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, smoking cessation, seasonal affective disorder and adult ADHD. This medication should not be taken with other similar medications, MAOIs, alcohol or narcotics. It is often prescribed in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers for dual diagnosis treatment. It is regularly used for the treatment of side effects of stimulant addiction to drugs such as cocaine, amphetamine and meth. It is also regularly used to help smoking cessation as it doubles chances of quitting by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
When patients are taking other antidepressants that cause sexual dysfunction, Wellbutrin can counter those effects. It is also used to reduce the risk of seizures and suicidal ideation that can also be side effects of taking other antidepressants. Wellbutrin is also one of the few antidepressants that can be used in combination with other SSRIs. Caution is suggested when Wellbutrin is prescribed for benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Wellbutrin may cause side effects. These include:
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts
- Worsening of depression
- Abnormal sensations
Notify your doctor if these side effects do not go away or are severe.
Some less common but more serious side effects are:
- Seizures, especially during alcohol withdrawal
- Severe blistering, peeling and rash
- Swollen glands
- Irrational fears
- Unusual thoughts or behavior
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
As with other antidepressants, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping Wellbutrin use. Consult your doctor before stopping Wellbutrin, as symptoms are decreased by slowly tapering off this medication. While these withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, they may be quite uncomfortable. Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Poor concentration
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Unusual fatigue
- Decreased appetite
- Irritability or agitation
- Difficulty walking
- Pain in the upper gastrointestinal tract
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