Antidepressants save lives, and thanks to modern medicine, there are many to choose from. If you struggle with depression, you may be reading about various SSRIs you can take. Wellbutrin is one of those medications. Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant medication doctors use to treat depression. It can also help manage seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other mental conditions.
This blog post will discuss what you should know about Wellbutrin. Keep reading to learn more about how it works and its potential side effects.
A Brief Overview of Bupropion
As mentioned, Wellbutrin, also known as bupropion, is an antidepressant medication used to treat depression. How it works is that it increases the levels of neurotransmitters (chemicals) in the brain. In turn, these chemicals help to regulate mood and improve overall well-being. Wellbutrin is a safe and effective treatment for depression and other mental conditions.
If you’re considering Wellbutrin, talk to your doctor before starting or stopping it. It’s important to note that sudden cessation can result in withdrawal symptoms.
Even though bupropion can help you find relief, there are some things you should know. So, consider the following before taking this SSRI:
1. Taking Other Medications Can Cause an Interaction
Interactions with other medications can be a significant concern when taking Wellbutrin. It is essential to talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any medicines. This includes taking over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins. Antidepressants, such as MAO inhibitors, SSRIs, SNRIs, and tricyclic antidepressants, may also interact with bupropion. If you take too many at once, it can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.
Stimulants, such as amphetamines, cocaine, and methylphenidate, may interact with it and increase the risk of seizures. Other medications that can cause interactions to include blood thinners, nicotine replacement therapies, sedatives, and antipsychotics. Certain herbs and dietary supplements can also cause problems, including St. John’s wort, kava, and ephedra.
You may also be curious whether you can use cannabis while taking Wellbutrin. Combining cannabis and Wellbutrin may be fine, but it’s best not to do it without supervision.
2. It Can Take a While to Work
Bupropion typically takes 4-6 weeks to reach its full effectiveness. During this period, your mood may improve. But it is essential to keep taking the medication as prescribed to ensure the best results. If you do not see any improvement after the initial 4-6 week period, it is vital to speak to your doctor. During the appointment, you can discuss potential changes in dosage or other treatment options.
3. It’s Common to Experience Side Effects
When considering Wellbutrin, it is essential to talk to your healthcare provider. They can educate you about the potential side effects of taking the medication. Common side effects include dry mouth, headache, nausea, insomnia, and weight loss.
In addition, it is important to tell your physician about any other medical conditions you may have. For example, seizures, heart problems, and diabetes may affect the effectiveness of the medication. You also should not take it if you suffer from anorexia or bulimia. So, they must know everything about your health history.
Once they know your history, they tell you whether you may be at risk for any serious side effects. Examples are whether you may experience seizures or thoughts of suicide.
You may take Wellbutrin and experience side effects from the medication itself. If so, talk to your doctor if you experience any other symptoms. They may be able to adjust your dose or suggest alternative treatments. In addition, there may be dietary or lifestyle changes you can make. Implementing the right changes can help reduce the side effects of taking bupropion.
By understanding the potential risks, you can make the best decision for your health.
4. There are Dietary Instructions to Keep in Mind
When taking Wellbutrin, you must take certain precautions. For example, it is best to avoid taking Wellbutrin with food. If you eat too closely to take your medicine, it can reduce its effectiveness. Additionally, if you take the extended-release form of Wellbutrin, do not crush, break, or chew the tablets.
Another thing to avoid is drinking alcohol. Not only will it make you feel unwell, but it may increase the risk of seizures.
Additionally, you should avoid eating grapefruit since it can increase the drug’s side effects. Finally, you must talk to your doctor if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies. Otherwise, certain foods may interact with Wellbutrin.
5. It Can Affect Pregnancy
Bupropion is the active ingredient in Wellbutrin. It is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug. This means the drug has not been studied in pregnant women, and its effects on an unborn child are unknown. Women planning to become pregnant should talk to their doctor before taking Wellbutrin. They should understand that it may increase the risk of birth defects.
If you’re considering taking Wellbutrin, it may be a good fit for you. If you struggle with depression, there’s no shame in needing help. An antidepressant like Wellbutrin can make it so you can live life to the fullest again. To learn more about Wellbutrin and make an informed decision, do your research. Reading up on the latest studies can give you some insight on the drug. And, of course, talk to your doctor to understand the potential risks and benefits.