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Avatar universal

Wellbutrin Side Effects Questions

Hi all,

Today is day 2 on Wellbutrin XL 150mg generic. First, I will list all the side effects I am noticing. None of which my dr mentioned, other than to take it in the morning: On my first day on Wellbutrin, I noticed an increase in energy and excessive yawning. Woke up today (day 2) with a piercing headache and the muscles in my legs are sore like I ran a marathon, my abdominal muscles ache like I did a ton of sit ups, and a couple hours ago I noticed lower back soreness. I'm also only able to stay asleep about 2 hours at a time (but I know this will adjust/get better the longer I stay on the medication). Probably why I felt incredibly fatigued in the afternoon and ended up napping for 2 hours. Finally, noticed since last night that I am having weird spotting/bleeding. I'm not due for my period for a couple weeks. One good thing I noticed is that my sex drive is back (zoloft had killed my libido).

So my question is for those that have experienced any of these side effects, did they go away for you over time? I know the headache can be caused by the dehydration from the medication so I will make an effort to increase my water intake. I read that muscle aches/pain are a severe side effect. However, I really want to give this medication a try to help my depression/ADD, so I'm hoping the pains will go away soon. Please let me know if I am wrong! Also, the spotting is a tad worrisome. I am on birth control, not sure if that makes a difference. Let me know if you have any questions! I look forward to hearing from you :)

Joanne
6 Responses
Avatar universal
I believe with any medication there are possible side effects that usually subside over time.If they don't or get worse then obviously you have to see your doctor.It's common with ssris like zoloft to kill ones libido.Wellbutrin XL is a good medication for depression so give it some time but if symptoms get worse then consult your doctor--all the best.
480448 tn?1426952138
Medications can sometimes affect your cycle, as can a million other things.  I wouldm't be overly worried about that.

While side effects are pretty common initially with Wellbutrin and other similar meds, keep an eye on them and certainly keep in contact with your doctor.  If you notice anything extremely severe, or unbearable, call your doctor right away.

Wellbutrin can be quite activating, which explains the sleep disturbances too.  It should take a few weeks before you will start to feel the positive effects of the med, whereas the side effects should start to resolve in about 1-2 weeks.

Keep us updated...hope you get to feeling better soon!
Avatar universal
It was interesting to read your side effects comments. I am close to 3 weeks on Wellbutrin xl and am getting pretty darn frustrated that side effects are NOT subsiding: flushing constantly, like hot flashes, nausea, and muscle aches. I have stopped Rebif and was hoping to feel better, but this WB is no allowing that to happen. I want to start Tecfidera next month, but if these side effects are not gone by then (so I can gauge the possible side effects of Tecfidera) then I am going to give up th eWellbutrin. Dr keeps telling me to give it a month. really? 3 weeks is almost a month. I'm so tired of this... It was good to hear others having the same lasting problems (not that I'm glad you had them, just that I'm not alone).
Avatar universal
Well, I am not surprised at the menstrual spotting . I haven't had any of the other side effects expect constant sexual arousal. My breast are swollen and so sensitive, it is hard to wear a bra. When I say constant I mean constant. I have had a total hysterectomy, ovaries too, so no spotting, but definitely has affected my sexual organs that I have left.  I don't mean I have more desire, like libido, I am aroused!   I am not married or in a relationship!  I may have to stop taking this, it is so distracting!
9 Comments
So, I'm wondering about having your hormone levels checked in general.  Clearly they are fluctuating.  Odd since you have had a hysterectomy which causes immediate estrogen changes.  But I'd ask for this.  It may or may not be related to Wellbutrin but your thyroid can be impacted by it and that also can relate to hormonal changes that may be resulting in your issues.  I'd talk to your doctor and see what they can come up with. I know the feeling when the breasts feel like their own entity on your body, uncomfortable!  
I am hypothyroid and have been on medication for 30 years and all my levels were recently checked on that, and all is well. I am 70 years old!

I have done some research and it seems Wellbutrin has actually been used for hypo sexuality in women. This was the conclusion of one study:    Researchers reported that almost one-third of the female subjects responded to the treatment, with increases in the number of episodes of sexual arousal, sexual fantasy, and interest in engaging in sexual activity.

So I guess this is more typical than not?
Perhaps.  It's not been studied enough to make it to the list of potential side effects (either common or rare) at this point.  But I don't doubt what you've posted.  
I think you might be confusing the data, though I can't be certain.  Wellbutrin is often used in both men and women who have suffered sexual problems while on other antidepressants.  This is sometimes done by switching and sometimes done by adding Wellbutrin to, say, an ssri, as the latter class often presents sexual side effects.  It might be this that you're looking at -- probably because it is probably the most stimulating antidepressant, it counteracts the suppression of loss of sexual desire or inability to ejaculate in some people and is often used for that purpose.  That's not the same as taking someone who isn't suffering from this problem and giving them Wellbutrin and finding it creates a hyper-sexualized person.  It would be hard to know, because you'd have to give it to a sufficient number of people who don't suffer from depression at all and aren't on other antidepressants to determine if the drug does this to the general population, and you wouldn't do that because they wouldn't need to be on an antidepressant.  Now, you might be right, maybe those with depression who haven't suffered a problem on other antidepressants have this problem a lot.  Are you suffering from depression?  Have you been taking a different antidepressant that might have suppressed your natural urges and they have now been released by taking his drug and it feels so different you're hyper-vigilant about it?  I'm not saying I have a clue here, just offering what I know about Wellbutrin.  At any rate, you're doing the right thing -- if you can't tolerate the side effects of a med, another one is called for, but do be wary about quitting abruptly -- do taper off as slowly as you need to.  It does sound like a hormonal imbalance and I don't know of antidepressants causing this problem, but they are very weird drugs and you know better than we can when you noticed a difference.  As for they thyroid, it's very hard to get that adjusted accurately.  Doctors and endocrinologists are not that great at it.  Sometimes they tell you it's fine but it's not as they are not taking the time and attention to really get into what your T3 and T4 are doing over time.  Again, you might have the best docs in the world but this is a common problem with those who have a problem with the thyroid, getting docs to do the right tests over the proper amount of time.  I hope everything works out over time.
I am taking Wellbutrin to stop smoking, not as an anti depressant.  My thyroid is fine.
The reason for taking it doesn't matter as far as side effects are concerned, but I would personally caution against using such powerful brain altering drugs to stop smoking.  Antidepressants are really hard to stop taking and have a lot of side effects.  They alter the way the brain works naturally.  I know stopping smoking is very hard to do, but trying to stop an addictive drug by taking a drug that has all the problems of an addictive drug is an approach to think about.  If you stay on these drugs for a long time you very well might end up with emotional problems you didn't have before.  They are for those of us who just can't function without them because of the problems they present.  I hope you are right and your thyroid is fine, but you are manifesting symptoms of a thyroid problem so that's why we mentioned it.  I truly hope all goes well.  Peace.
As I said before my thyroid has just been checked, I have been on the same medication and same dose for many, many years. So, it is not my thyroid gland.

As for taking the Wellbutrin to stop smoking, how is lung cancer for a reason?  Wellbutrin has been very effective for me to stop smoking and continue to stop smoking. I have had one lobe of my lung removed.   I think it is well worth the risks and even the side effects.

I am hoping that this subsides.  I am reading and finding that a lot of the side effects come and go.  This didn't start until I was on the medication for over 6 months.  So, I am going to hang in here and see if it goes away.

You have to remember that I am 70 years old!

I have always been wary of taking antidepressants and during a terrible period in my life, my doctor tried to me on one that primarily affected serotonin, I was so ill from one pill that I was in bed for 3 days. I stopped immediately!  But Wellbutrin doesn't affect serotonin and until this sexual arousal thing, I have had no adverse side effects, just stopping smoking. So, there are a lot of life threatening reasons for me to continue and try to deal with this.
I get it.  It's very rare for an antidepressant side effect to pop up after that much time.  Might be from something else, though I have no idea what.  I've lost three members of my family to smoking, one directly and two as contributing factors.  I get it.  My Dad was able to quit when he got emphysema, but it was too late.  I wish I was more help.  I've never had to try quitting smoking because I never started, but I've been on a lot of antidepressants unfortunately and they are no picnic.  But I'm guessing you tried everything else and this was the one that did the trick.  It's either your thyroid and your docs aren't finding it despite you never having had this problem before -- you've also never been on Wellbutrin before with a thyroid problem.  This drug blocks the reuptake of both dopamine and norepinephrine, also called noradrenaline.  The thyroid is intimately connected to the adrenals, so you see where I've been going with this.  Could be some other hormonal problem.  Could be the Wellbutrin, in which case given your situation I guess you're just stuck.  Again, all the best -- if it is the Wellbutrin, maybe it will pass.    
A 58-year-old female with a long history of depression disorder for 5 years. History of lots of side effects with different treatments, sexual dysfunction with serotonin-antidepressants. Treated with bupropion SR 150 mg/day and alprazolam, she suffered a relapse. The bupropion was increased to 300 mg/day. Three days later she appeared in the consultation room, presented a sense of pre-orgasmic of 72 hours of evolution, high increased libido, tiredness, muscle tension and insomnia. This sense did not improve after the sexual act. It had never happened previously. The side effect improved when the bupropion was reduced to 150 mg/day and disappeared with its withdrawal.

This is an article I found and there many others, indicative of increased sexual arousal from using Wellbutrin.  This has nothing to do with depression and or thyroid.

I have stated and you seem to keep missing it. My thyroid levels have just been checked and all is normal and that was while I was on Wellbutrin.  This is not my thyroid.............it is the Wellbutrin and my research has shown evidence of others experiencing the same thing.  You seem to have a problem accepting that.
Tbd
External User
I have been on the generic of Wellbutrin for almost a year. Although my Doctor initially started me on 75mg and now I worked up to 200 gradually to help my body adjust. I can understand the side effects but I believe that it is better than the alternative :) So as to the headaches, I have found that when I don't drink enough water I will wake up in the morning with almost migraine like headaches and the for the muscle soreness I have added a lot of fresh vegetables like spinach and it has helped immensely. I know that it's not the best scenario but it is what works for me. Keep us posted!
1616953 tn?1443839111
give any antidepressant at least 4 to 6 weeks before it starts working and only then start noting side effects.  These types of drugs take a while to kick in.  And also for side effects to subside.  
5 Comments
Very true!!  welcome to the forum and thanks for chiming in!  Have you taken Wellbutrin?
Not true.  While effects you want take that long, side effects start right away.  It's why it's so hard for people to stay on meds long enough to see if they might work or not, the side effects can be terrible long before the drug's benefits are felt.
I guess that is true that some have side effects right away, missed that you said that and focused in on that it takes 6 to 8 weeks to work.  Some people have what are start up side effects or transient side effects that begin as someone is getting used to the medication. Titrating up slowly in dose helps that (and same reason to titrate back down when discontinuing a medication).  These side effects peter out as someone gets used to meds, in that 6 to 8 weeks it takes for the med to work. But other side effects that are longer lasting begin around then or after if you are going to have them. But we DO appreciate your contribution to the forum and hope you come back!
Again, long-lasting side effects also generally start right away.  Dry mouth, stomach problems, dizziness, sedation, a host of them.  I've been on several antidepressants and they've all been like that -- side effects start right away including the ones that last.  But you're right, some go away.  What I've found is that you notice them a lot less when the drug works well.  But I've never read about or had a side effect that starts that long after you start taking a med.  Probably does happen, though.  
They didn't for me.  So we all have our experience and knowledge to lend here.
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