How to Use Wellbutrin For Weight Loss & Who Should Use it

No doubt most of you have at least heard about Wellbutrin. 

Most of you are probably familiar with its use as an anti-depressant, but did you know that it can also help with weight loss?

Or that it is actually compounded with another medication (naltrexone) and is part of one of the most popular weight loss medications currently available? 

The answer to that is probably not, which is why we are going to discuss using Wellbutrin for weight loss here. 

Let's dig into how Wellbutrin helps with weight loss and determine if it's right for you (because it certainly doesn't work for everyone)... 

More...

Does Wellbutrin Help with Weight Loss?

Just because a medication may help with weight loss doesn't mean it actually does a good job. 

When we talk about weight loss medications we always need to be asking the following questions:

1. How effective is the medication at causing weight loss? 

And:

2. Will the medication work for me or does it only work for certain people?

mechanism of action of wellbutrin for weight loss

These questions are VERY important. 

We could have a medication that works 100% of the time, but only causes 1-2 pounds of weight loss. 

Or we could have a medication that helps people lose 20-40 pounds but only works in 20% of the population. 

But why do we have such high variability between medications?

This has to do with HOW weight gain occurs, and it's different for each person. 

Hopefully, you understand that weight gain has more to do with your metabolic and hormone function than it does with how many calories you are consuming. 

Yes, calories do matter - but they take a backseat to the influence that powerful weight altering hormones such as leptin and insulin

Before we jump into how Wellbutrin helps with weight loss we need to discuss the basics:

First off, Wellbutrin is a medication most commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, and certain eating disorders. 

It's also known by Bupropion (which is the generic version of Wellbutrin). 

Wellbutrin exerts its influence on mood and weight by altering specific neurotransmitters and by acting as a norepinephrine and dopamine uptake inhibitor (1).

Wellbutrin basically acts to increase the amount of adrenaline (norepinephrine) at the neurotransmitter synapse and it is likely through this influence that it helps modulate appetite and increase metabolism leading to weight loss. 

With that in mind let's answer the basic questions we mentioned previously:

How effective is Wellbutrin at helping with weight loss?

Most studies have shown that Wellbutrin is superior to placebo in helping with weight loss. 

I've included a graph which outlines the relative effectiveness of various studies as they compare to placebo below: 

buproprion vs placebo and weight loss

You can see that in the studies listed, 4 of the 5 led to weight loss which was superior to placebo indicating that most of the time it is effective. 

Individual studies (2) also tend to agree with this assessment...

This study showed that various doses of Wellbutrin were very well tolerated and were associated with a 24-week weight loss of 7.2% and 10.1% based on dose. 

What's also important is that this weight loss was sustained up to 48 weeks! 

Another study (3) shows similar results:

This study showed that Bupropion (Wellbutrin) was more effective than placebo in achieving weight loss at 8 weeks in obese and overweight adult women. 

What's interesting in this study is that certain patients were referred to as "initial responders" and these patients had more success long term than those who did not respond as quickly. 

This concept brings us to our next question:

Will Wellbutrin help ME lose weight?

Not everyone will achieve weight loss by using Wellbutrin, in fact, there is a chance it simply won't help you at all. 

Remember:

You should do your best to identify WHY you have gained weight, to begin with. 

Is your thyroid functioning properly?

Do you have leptin resistance or insulin resistance?

Is your metabolism functioning optimally?

Are you peri-menopausal or post-menopausal?

If you've answered YES to any of the questions listed above then Wellbutrin is probably NOT the best weight loss medication for you. 

It doesn't mean it won't work at all, it just means that Wellbutrin is not targeting the root cause of your weight gain and isn't likely to lead to significant weight loss over time. 

With that in mind let's talk about who SHOULD use weight loss and who will benefit the most from using this medication. 

Who should use Wellbutrin for Weight Loss?

If you have any of the following conditions then Wellbutrin may help you: 

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    Current eating disorder or a history of an eating disorder (Anorexia/bulimia/food addiction/etc.)
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    Patients with severe food cravings or the inability to resist food
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    Patients with Body set point malfunction (meaning you have difficulty losing weight and keeping it off) 
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    Patients with obesity who also suffer from depression or anxiety
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    Patients who struggle with emotional eating  

You'll notice that many of the conditions listed above have a psychological component.

Contrave and binge eating

This is primarily because Wellbutrin acts to influence neurotransmitter levels which are how nerves communicate with one another. 

Does this mean that it won't work for you unless you fit all of the criteria above?

Not necessarily, it just means that those who fall into those categories are more likely to respond to it. 

It's important to realize that this list is for those who use Wellbutrin by itself (which I recommend against). 

You can expand the list of people who would potentially benefit from using Wellbutrin by combining Wellbutrin with other specific medications. 

How much weight will you use using Wellbutrin by itself?

If Wellbutrin is going to work for you, studies indicate that you will probably lose about 2-10% of your initial body weight (4).

That means if you are 200 pounds the best case scenario is that Wellbutrin helps you lose 20 pounds. 

If you are only 150 pounds, it's possible that Wellbutrin may only help you lose a couple of pounds. 

These numbers may not sound great at first but you have to realize that this data stems from the use of Wellbutrin as monotherapy (meaning using Wellbutrin by itself). 

As with any other weight loss medication (or weight loss therapy) I highly recommend against this strategy. 

It's far better to use MULTIPLE therapies at once or to combine medications to get a synergistic effect. 

For instance:

By adding a medication known as Naltrexone (more information below) you can increase weight loss (5) and expand the number of people that will benefit from taking these medications. 

Combining Wellbutrin with Naltrexone (LDN)

Scientists have found that many medications lead to weight loss by themselves, but they have also found that combining medications often lead to even better results. 

This holds true for the combination of Wellbutrin plus Naltrexone. 

This combination is known as Contrave

We already know how Wellbutrin works, so how does Naltrexone work?

Naltrexone increases the effectiveness of Wellbutrin by targeting fat storing hormones such as insulin. 

Naltrexone also helps reduce chronic pain, reduce inflammation (6) and improve thyroid function (7).

 When you start adding these benefits to Wellbutrin you can see now that MANY more people may benefit from using it. 

If you have any of the following conditions then you may benefit more from the combination of Wellbutrin plus Naltrexone over just Wellbutrin alone:

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    ALL of the conditions listed above for Wellbutrin PLUS:
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    Patients who suffer from thyroid problems (Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Thyroid resistance, etc.)
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    Patients with chronic inflammation or chronic pain syndromes (these often lead to weight gain through the use of narcotics)
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    Patients with blood sugar issues, type II diabetes or insulin resistance
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    Patients suffering from autoimmune diseases
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    Patients who fall on the PCOS spectrum or who have a known diagnosis of PCOS

By adding a low dose of naltrexone the list of conditions and people that benefit from Wellbutrin increases dramatically. 

I discuss how to add Naltrexone to Wellbutrin in a separate post. 

*Please note that I have no affiliation or interest in the makers of Contrave or Wellbutrin. I only discuss the methods that I have used that have worked for patients and share this knowledge with you. 

Other Anti-Depressants vs Wellbutrin

Will other anti-depressants work just like Wellbutrin?

Actually, not really. 

Wellbutrin is considered unique among anti-depressants in that it is at LEAST weight neutral and at best usually helps with weight loss somewhat. 

Other anti-depressants, especially the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's for short) are actually well known to cause weight gain (8) to the tune of 5-10 pounds (or more depending on the person). 

It's worth pointing this out because so many people take anti-depressants (usually of the SSRI class) which may be making weight loss very difficult. 

For this reason, I generally recommend against the regular use of SSRI's in obese patients and instead would recommend a trial of Wellbutrin instead. 

Wellbutrin & Weight Gain

It's also worth pointing out that Wellbutrin may actually cause weight gain in some individuals. 

While most people do experience weight loss by taking Wellbutrin, some unlucky people will experience weight gain. 

The exact mechanism behind why this occurs is not well understood (nor is it likely the subject of future studies) however it probably relates to several factors. 

First:

Wellbutrin has an impact on appetite and eating behavior (9).

Generally, this benefit extends to help reduce binge eating and promote normal caloric intake but it can go haywire in some individuals and increase food cravings and food intake dramatically. 

If you notice an INCREASE in food cravings while taking Wellbutrin then it may not be worth continuing (if your sole purpose for using it is weight loss). 

Second:

We know Wellbutrin generally promotes hormone balance but it is possible that it may promote the excessive production of a stress hormone known as cortisol. 

This effect may be mediating through excessive adrenaline (norepinephrine) levels, but it's not clear. 

If you find that taking Wellbutrin is making you feel more jittery or anxious then this may be happening to you. 

Third:

Wellbutrin may influence sleeping behavior and promote insomnia (10).

Lack of sleep (11) is a known cause of weight gain and you should not take this medication if it interferes with your ability to sleep. 

Wellbutrin Dosage for Weight Loss

Is there a specific dose necessary for weight loss if you are using Wellbutrin?

I have found that IF Wellbutrin is going to help you lose weight you usually need to be taking around 100 to 300mg per day. 

If you want to combine this with Naltrexone then that dosage ranges from 4.5 to 13.5mg per day (used in conjunction with Wellbutrin). 

What about the difference between Wellbutrin IR, Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL?

All of these are names for the same medication, but differ in how they administer the medication to your body throughout the day. 

wellbutrin ir vs sr vs xl for weight loss

I find the most benefit for patients when using Wellbutrin or Bupropion SR or IR. 

By taking the medication several times throughout the day you will allow for a more stable dose and higher concentration in your serum.

The only reason to reduce the dose or to switch to XL is if you are having issues with sleep. 

In which case you would benefit from using the XL first thing in the morning or using the IR twice per day (but skip the final dose). 

Determining the dose you need is based on how you respond to Wellbutrin and if you experience any negative reactions while taking it. 

For example:

Extremely sensitive patients may only need 100mg per day. 

Should you use it?

Does this mean that you should run out and ask your Doctor to prescribe you Wellbutrin?

Not necessarily. 

While Wellbutrin MAY lead to weight loss it doesn't mean that everyone should use it. 

Whenever you take a medication (or undergo any therapy or treatment) you always need to think about the benefits and compare them to the potential consequences or side effects. 

While Wellbutrin does provide potentially significant benefit - up to 10% weight loss over several months, it doesn't come without any side effects. 

Also, Wellbutrin tends to work the best in a select subset of patients known as "responders". 

These "responders" tend to fit the criteria listed above (those with eating disorders, body set point malfunction and/or depression). 

If you aren't an "initial responder" then you may have better luck with other medications. 

My recommendation is to always target your therapies and treatments to your body and that means trying to find the root cause of your weight gain.

Side Effects to Watch out for

If you do decide to use Wellbutrin you should be aware of the potential side effects associated with this medication. 

I've listed the most common side effects below (12):

  • Weight Gain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Jittery sensation or feeling restless
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking sensation

If your goal is to use Wellbutrin for weight loss then you should stop the medication immediately if you experience weight gain or insomnia as both of these side effects may blunt your progress. 

Lastly, you can generally prevent many of these side effects by starting off with a low dose and titrating only when necessary. 

Having said that, some people will simply not tolerate the medication and should not use it. 

Back to you

Wellbutrin is an atypical anti-depressant in that it tends to help with not only depression but weight loss as well. 

It is unique among anti-depressants in that almost all other anti-depressant medications tend to cause weight GAIN. 

Wellbutrin works to help with weight loss by modulating appetite and by altering specific neurotransmitter levels. 

Wellbutrin generally helps people lose anywhere from 2-10% of their body weight over several months. 

This benefit can be increased by intelligently combining Wellbutrin with other medications such as Naltrexone. 

Now it's your turn: 

Are you using Wellbutrin?

Is it working for you? 

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below! 

References (Click to Expand)

Wellbutrin for weight loss plus dosing guide

This post was most recently updated on August 23rd, 2019

Dr. Westin Childs

Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders.He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances.You can read more about his own personal journey here.

68 thoughts on “How to Use Wellbutrin For Weight Loss & Who Should Use it”

  1. Hi, my doctor has had me on Wellbutrin 300 for 9 months. She just prescribed Naltrexone 25 mg (1/2 dose of the 50 mg pill). Is this too high for weight loss? I’m also trying to overcome Binge Eating Disorder at the same time. Thanks

  2. It’s been informative for me I’m struggling with these things. I take a strong pain Medicine & Muscle Relaxer. I do have a question could Wellbutrin XL & Lamictal cause low blood?

  3. Great article. I have switched to bupropion 100mg, twice a day starting yesterday (I have been on Zoloft for the last month and gaining weight), along with naltrexone 50mg to stop alcohol cravings. Are these dosages going to be comparable to Contrave and help me lose weight?

    • Hi Kelly,

      Unfortunately those dosages are not really comparable to Contrave, but they may be necessary for your individual situation.

  4. I didn’t see any mention that Wellbutrin is known to cause seizures and is not recommended for people with epilepsy. Seems like an important detail you may want to include in the list of possible side effects.

    • Hi Emily,

      This isn’t a comprehensive list of Wellbutrin related information as it focuses more on using Wellbutrin for weight loss purposes but you are certainly correct that it can potentially cause seizures in some susceptible individuals.

  5. It’s been a few years since I was on Wellbutrin and I was on it for a couple years. It worked so well for my depression and I enjoyed the side effect of losing a few pounds. It really helped me control cravings for unhealthy foods and alcohol. I also have a chronic illness – so the contrave, or the combination of Wellbutrin and the naltrexone sounds like it would be great for getting on top of the discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis. If I had insurance I would go ask my doctor to put me on a new prescription. Thanks for sharing your insight into these medications.

  6. Is it true that when you discontinue Welbutrin you will gain the weight back? I take it for binge eating disorder & depression. I have lost 20 pounds in 5 months. I’m afraid when I get off of it, the weight will all come back. I’m on 450mg of Bupropion XL.

    • Hi Lynne,

      Not usually unless it was dramatically suppressing your appetite or if you go back to binge eating once it stops.

      • Dr Childs,
        I have noticed hair loss over the past fee months that i have been on Bupropion XL 450mg. I addressed with my Dr & she said it was not a side effect. However i have found several forums online of others that have experienced hair loss as well. What are your thoughts & do you think if I lower my dose to 300mg that will help. I have already discussed my with Dr about lowering my dose. Thanks.

        • Wellbutrin (brand name) did cause hair loss for me. It made my hair come out in hand fulls. I stopped taking it and within a couple weeks the hair loss stopped. Was prescribed Wellbutrin about 3 yrs later but ended up getting generic and had no hair loss.

  7. Hello I’ve been on Wellbutrin XL 300 mg for anxiety for 10 years. I am going to get the Naltrexone seen separately. Considering I’ve been on the Wellbutrin for so long would it be OK to jump to the top Dose?

  8. I’m on day three of 150mg daily and my appetite has decreased. I have no other side effects. It too soon for it to work and my decreased appetite is just a coincidence?

    • I started the same dose on January 2nd and immediately noticed a loss of appetite and cravings. I haven’t weighed since I started, so I don’t know if I have lost weight.

  9. Westin, Thanks for the article it was very informative. I’ve been on Wellbutrin SR 150 mg 2 x a day for 3 months. The first 2 months I had great energy and lost a few pounds. I mentioned to my Dr that I wish I could just take it one a day, so he change me to Wellbutrin XL 300 mg once a day. I’m not having the energy (in fact I feel extra sleepy) or the appetite control I did the first 2 months of the SR.
    My question is does the appetite control and energy only last a couple of months? Will my results be the same on the XL vs the SR? My main reason for taking is for PPMD, I’m not having the results I wished so I’ve been enjoying the energy and few pounds gone. I’m thinking maybe I should switch to a SSRI, but I fear weight gain. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

  10. Morning dr.

    I’m on Willbutrin 150mg xl ones a day.
    Can I take 150mg x2 in the morning around 05:60? (300mg then)
    I use it for depression and weight loss. (about 20 pounds)
    It doesn’t seems to help very much for me (for depression and weight loss) 🙁
    I’m almost 2 months on it.
    My dr would not describe me Naltrexone….. 🙁

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!

    Annelie

  11. I started Wellbutrin xl about 7 months ago for depression/anxiety. Having been overweight due to mostly emotional eating and depression I was extremely happy to see an almost instant reduction in my food intake ! I have completely lost my desire to overeat . My Dr. didn’t even mention the weight loss part of this drug till my follow up visit when I had lost weight.
    I have now been on it almost 7 months and have lost 47 pounds….Going from 190 to 147! Yes once I saw that I was losing I did restrict my diet by calorie counting and the results have been truly amazing.
    Two months ago at 150lbs I stopped dieting and my only goal was to maintain . I have not gained one pound back but in fact I have lost three more! This drug changed my life for the better!
    ( but then again I was the perfect candidate for it as fit the above description to a T.)
    .

  12. I have been on Bupropion Xl 150 for 1 month. I also started using the MyPlate app to track my calorie intake.

    The first day I started counting my calories I was very surprised to find out I was consuming over 6000 calories a day.

    By the first week I found it easier and easier to get my calories under 2800 which is what the app suggests. Now one month later I consistently beat my calorie goal. I have lost 16lbs in 30 days.

    I have not experienced any of the negative side effects (jittery etc..).

    My question is should I consider upping my dose or adding Contrave.

    I may qualify for Contrave because my A1C is 5.9 and my doctor described me as “prediabetic” on my last Dr visit.

    • I started Zyban one week ago but I’m taking it to treat my depression. I haven’t noticed yet any improvements. Still craving for a certain food and having withdrawals.

  13. On 75mg Effexor, 300mg Wellbutrin XL, 25mg Naltrexone, Testosterone gel. Cut the Wellbutrin from 450mg. Not noticing much yet. Beer tastes better and the buzz is better but I quit after 3 beers. Just seem to lose interest. I started on Naltrexone at 4.5 slowly up to 18mg. Had the first bottle compounded and for the new 50mg 30 count bottle I cut the pills in half and use 25mg. My doctor wants me on 50mg per day but I’m going to try 25mg for awhile. No side affects at lower doses but can feel some at 25mg. It seems to help my tinnitus.

  14. Ive been taking wellbutrin for 10 months.(150mg SR twice a day) I’ve lost 40 lbs with diet and exercise (20mins daily exercise bike) (low Carb diet) I am a type 2 diabetic. With this medication I was able to stop the insulin, and only take a med of Prandin with meals for diabetes. Lower blood sugar, and lower weight helped me feel better about myself. My blood sugar A1c was 11.9 now is 7.9 . It only took six months to get to that A1c. I am happy with this med, but worry alittle about taking it long term. I’ve tried tapering dose and watched that scale rise up 5 lbs in one week! I do not want to stop this med. I am 64 yrs old. Can i continue this med? I also have CKD stage 4 and CHF Stage 3/C.

  15. I take armour is it safe to take Contrave? My endo prescribed it but at the time I was taking Synthroid. He had me wait to take the Contrave until I went to my heart doctor to make sure I had no heart-related issues. My other question is does the Contrave make your thyroid issues worse in the long run?

  16. I just started naltrexone 1/4 of 50mg and bupropion 1, 100mg I am hoping to get results with weight loss and appetite control. I a week we are increasing doses.
    Any thoughts.
    And thank you for the information most helpful.
    Connie

  17. I’m on 300 mg of Bupropion, I gained weight like mad, binge eating is terrible and out of control. I don’t know what to do anymore. Think 450mg instead might help? My psychiatrist wasn’t interested in my binge eating problem, told me to diet. 🙁 Gained 40 lbs after my father died 🙁

  18. I was put on contract for weight loss. I used the pharmacy card for 90 days free and I really loved it and lost 15 pounds during that time however my insurance would not cover the meds so my doctor prescribed the combination of bupropion xl 300mg & naltrexone 25mg Once a day. I went on to lose 40lbs in the year. I have now noticed that for the past 4 months I have not gained or lost weight. I’m wondering if I can up the dose of both or one medication? Has this been shown to work? Are there studies on upping the dosage? Your guidance is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  19. I’ve been taking Wellbutrin since November 30th, 2016 — it was the best health decision I have made for myself in a long time. I have struggled with major depression since high school, and it became much worse after I was in a bad car accident in June 2014. I also have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type III, but did not know this at the time (and was not diagnosed until last July, in fact), so after the car accident, I experienced more musculoskeletal pain that is normal. I had bad whiplash that also cussed TMJ and many other issues (which is not surprising for someone with EDS3). I became even more depressed, especially because I couldn’t enjoy outdoor activities like I use to (and that lasted for almost two years). I decided to try an antidepressant, but of course, I started out on SSRIs. First I was on Prozac, but experienced weird heart palpitations (probably related to one of the POTS symptoms via EDS that I’m aware of now), so I stopped taking that despite it helping because I got scared. Then I started Lexapro… Within 4 months, I had gained 45 lbs. Within 7 months, I gained 70 lbs. I was overrating constantly. Mentally,you I was a zombie. When I stopped taking Lexapro, it was like waking up from a coma. I looked in the mirror after I stopped Lexapro and saw that I was fat as hell. Obviously, I became more depressed. So my next attempt at taking an anti-depression was not until November 2016, when I went to my doctor and specifically asked for Wellbutrin. He put me on 100 mg of the SR, and within a few days, I could tell that I was going to respond well to it. The next month, he increased the dosage, then he increased it again a month later to 300 mg XL pills, which is what I’m still taking. I decided that I was going to try to eat healthier and cut my calories significantly. Under his supervision, I cut my calories to 800 to 1000 per day, cut out sugar, caffeine, alcohol, etc, only ate soups, salads, and meal shake replacements from Advantage Edge. I was able to sustain that routine for 6 months and lost a total of 70 lbs. Being on Wellbutrin significantly corrected the eating habits I developed while taking Lexapro. My appetite was so much lower and I got full easier. Over the past 6 months, I’ve noticed that my appetite I’m has become more normal. This is because I changed the way I take Wellbutrin. Before, my morning meal was only the replacement shake, which I took Wellbutrin with. Now I take it with normal meals. A few days ago, I changed it back to taking it without a meal, and yet again, my appetite has decreased, which is great because I have a few pounds of winter weight to lose, and I feel confident that I can manage that. I’m around 147 at the moment. I started off at 210, and the lowest I went was 137.

  20. It is very alarming that you recommend Wellbutrin for anorexia and bulimia. It is widely known in medical circles that Wellbutrin raises the seizure threshold, as do these eating disorders. Research has shown a high risk of seizure in bulimic anorexic patients due to electrolyte imbalance, and this risk is further increased by Wellbutrin. It is commonly known that Wellbutrin should NOT be prescribed to those with eating disorders. These seizures can be life threatening – please correct the information you have in this article.

  21. Started the generic 4 days ago. 150 xl once per day for seven days, then, will go to 300 xl once per day.

    I’ve lost 2 pounds so far. I’m 143 today and am used to being about 130-135 and I’m 5’3″. I look thin at 130-135. Hoping this helps me.

  22. Hello,

    I unfortunately gained 40 pounds on Prozac and Lexapro following a traumatic life event. I CANNOT seem to lose weight no matter what I do and I was recently put on Wellbutrin XL 150mg once daily and I am also on Vyvanse 50mg for ADD. I was wondering if I could possibly be lucky enough to lose this weight based on my combination of medications and would like your professional input on the likely outcome of this medication combination. Thank you.

  23. I have been taking Wellbutrin SR 200 mg once per day in the morning for the past 3 1/2 months. I have lost 10% of my bodyweight. But I need to lose more like 30%, and the weight loss has slowed down over the past few weeks.
    Another person commented above that he experienced difference between taking the medicine with food versus without food. I’m curious if anyone else has had a similar or different experience? Do you feel that the medicine works better if it’s taken with food? Or if you take it alone and then wait a certain amount of time to eat? Or does this not matter at all?

    • Hi Steff,

      Wellbutrin probably won’t help you completely normalize your weight, so it may be time to look into other therapies or other causes of weight loss resistance.

  24. Good article! I have had success losing weight with Wellbutrin and a small dose of phentermine. I’ve lost ten pounds so far. Looking to lose ten more. The Wellbutrin has licked my cravings and put a stop to binges.

  25. Wellbutrin has been a life-changing medication. First of all, I will admit that I am a former sugar addict. I loved (past-tense) sweets, candy and anything that anyone trying to lose weight enjoys. Sugar WAS my weakness.
    In mid-October of 2017, I started taking 150mg of Wellbutrin for weight loss. My doctor had suggested it and what a difference it made!! Total life changer! By Christmas, I had lost 21 pounds. The doctor was surprised given the holidays that the weight loss was so significant. He increased the dose to 300mg once a day. I can proudly say that as of August 2018 I am down 55 pounds! I went from 205 to 150 (I am 5’9).
    Wellbutrin decreased the craving for sugary high carbohydrate foods for me. My addiction for Sugar is no more.

  26. Thanks for the article and willingness to respond!
    I’ve been taking Wellbutrin xl 450 with Topomax 100mg for about 2 years. Ive struggled with weight since I was 10 years old “yo-yo-ing” 30 pounds every couple years and then 60 with each of my 3 kids over the past 6 years. My psychiatrist prescribed Wellbutrin for life long depression then added topomax after 3rd baby cause of my binge eating. It has worked amazingly for weight loss (about 60 lbs). But in the last few months my appetite has been becoming less controllable and I realized I’ve recently gained about 10 pounds. Do I need to up my Topomax? Unfortunately I already feel pretty ‘dumb’ ie: confused, forget words etc. (I also feel I’ve become more anxious/easily angered…Wellbutrin?)
    Why wouldn’t the combo be working the same anymore?
    Thank you for your help!

    • Hi AC,

      No problem! Medications only take you so far when it comes to weight loss. Most patients usually hit a “cap” or “wall” and they need to look at other causes of weight gain and address lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress, hormone imbalances, etc. You may be at this point.

  27. I had taken Wellbutrin back when I was younger and it really helped with my depression and anxiety and I literally lost half my body weight, It helped me not eat or have cravings and it was a total lifesaver. Now I’m going to try and start it again for all the reasons as before not just weight loss, but it is a big plus! I was on it for a couple years and throughout that time the weight just came off.

  28. Hello I’m talking bupropion sr 200 twice a day. I was taking the bupropion xl 300 once a day. Which is better for weight loss the sr or xl?

  29. I’ve been on Burpropion SR(generic wellbutrin) for two yrs. I lost 28 lbs that first yr! Plus my blood sugar dropped from an A1c of 11.9 to 7.9 in six months! Awesome. I had mild depression due to not being able to lose that weight. Totally in 3 yrs i lost 42 lbs. Bad side effect : higher blood pressure. Ive been tapering this year. From the 150mg twice a day to 100 mg twice a day and now only 100mg once a day. Sadness…the weight is steadily rising. My BS is going up as well, and last A1c was up to 9.6….I think i should just go back to the 100mg twice a day. I tried Naltrexone, made from a compound pharmacy ,(Ins wouldnt cover Contrave) all that did was made me crave sugary foods and gave me terrible bad breath. (Does it matter? I am 65 yrs old)

  30. II’ve been on Wellbutrin 150 XL for 2yrs. I suffered from a really bad case of anorexia/bulimia(eating disorders)when I was a teen. Im now in my 50’s and going thru menopause.
    I find that the medicine helps with how much I eat. I believe Ive lost a few pounds after gaining about ten due to menopause. The medicine helps a lot with depression and helps a little with my ADHD.
    Im suffering from hair loss and don’t want to have to stop taking it. I don’t know what to do about it.

  31. Bupropion 100mg HCL tabs once per day. Can I take this for a short period of time to lose weight (let’s say 6 months just for the sake of this conversation) then stop abruptly? Or will I have problems such as seizures, etc. I do take other meds…Topamax 75mg twice a day, 05.mg Xanax once per day. Thank you.

  32. I was taking Wellbutrin 300xl for about 3 years. Lost weight about 30lbs to start and kept it off. Then in the last 6 months seemed like it wasn’t working for depression and I gained my weight back. I stopped taking it about a month ago and I have gained even more weight. I was hoping that if I wait and restart it I will lose weight and feel better again. What are your thoughts?

  33. The part that said “norepinephrine (adrenaline)” scared me for a second. It should say “noradrenaline”, shouldn’t it? I’m taking Wellbutrin for anxiety; the last thing I want is more adrenaline.

    • Hi Kara,

      Sorry for the confusion, while adrenaline and noradrenaline have different names they still have very similar functions as they are both catecholamines. So it should read “noradrenaline” but it does basically the same thing that adrenaline does in your body. Hope that clarifies things!

  34. Hi Dr. Westin:

    Your article was VERY informative and well written (easy to understand and enjoyable to read). I am 5’5″ and weigh 145. I was 130 until menopause hit 3 years ago and while my appetite went way down, my weight went up??!! Saw my doc today for my annual and told him I am depressed about weight gain/inability to lose weight. He agreed to let me try Wellbutrin (BUPROPION SR 100 MG TABS – 1 tab twice a day) to see if it would help. Can I please get your opinion on whether you think Wellbutrin will help me lose the 15 pounds I can’t seem to lose on my own? Look forward to hearing from you.

  35. Hi Dr. Westin:

    I forgot to add one other thing. Is there any chance you will be doing an article on “Patients with chronic inflammation or chronic pain syndromes (these often lead to weight gain through the use of narcotics)”? I have chronic pain syndrome and take opioids daily. I think there are a LOT of people out there with this problem/issue – myself included. Please, please consider writing an article on this issue. Thank you.

  36. Dr. Westin:

    I don’t know if my reply went through or not – so sending it again. Thank you VERY much for taking the time to respond to my e-mail. You wrote the above article 2 years ago and people are still reading it today! I don’t think there are many doctors out there who would take the time to reply to comments, or to write articles to help people. All of the articles I read are from national websites and from companies that want your business (so their opinions seem skewed). Kudos to you for helping others – we appreciate it.

    Take care.

    LeeLee

  37. Hi Dr. Westin!

    I would love your help/advice! I started taking Wellbutrin in April 2018 and from April 2018 to January 2019 I had lost a little over 30 pounds! I was so excited because I was struggling with my weight, depression and binge eating and this finally gave me some relief.

    I haven’t changed much about what I’m eating, but in February or May of this year, I started gaining back all of the weight. 6 months later, I have gained back all 30+ pounds and am more depressed than ever…. I am still taking Wellbutrin (300mg), but I started taking it at night rather than the morning so I could sleep through the bad side effects I felt throughout the day when I did take it in the morning (migraines, shakiness and nausea). Do you think taking it at night could play a part in why I’ve gained all of the weight back? Should I switch to another SSRI or could that just potentially make me gain even more weight? Any advice is much appreciated!

    Danielle

  38. I was taking XL 150mg but continued to suffer from depression. My doctor changed the dose to 300mg and it helped immensely for 3 months. When I mentioned to my therapist that I was falling into depression again, she related that many of her clients on Wellbutrin XL were feeling likewise. She said that the manufacturer had recently changed and she suspected that was the cause. I had doubts. But when I ran out of 300mg, I began taking 150mg 2x a day. A week later, I feel great. Can a change in manufacturer really make such a dramatic difference? How do I find out how to address this?

    • Hi Judy,

      Yes, of course. Small changes to inactive ingredients can seriously impact how well a medication is absorbed or assimilated. This happens with thyroid medications fairly frequently. It doesn’t intuitively make sense which is probably why most pharmacists/doctors don’t believe it, but everytime it happens there are always people who experience the same issues you did.

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