How Long Does Withdrawal From Wellbutrin Last?

Facts about Wellbutrin XL (Bupropion HCL XL)

How Long Does Withdrawal From Wellbutrin Last?

Wellbutrin, also known by the trade name bupropion, is an antidepressant medication. The XL version is an extended-release formula and is usually taken once daily.

This prescription is often used to treat seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression occurring during the fall and winter months. It is also a standard treatment for major depression in adults.

Zyban, a low-dose form of bupropion, has demonstrated effectiveness for smoking cessation and it has been licensed in the United States and the United Kingdom for this purpose.


Doctors typically start people on low doses of the medication and increase it until the ideal dosage is achieved. The full effects of the medication may not be felt for up to four weeks. When stopping the medication, doctors may tell people to taper doses downward for two weeks before complete termination.

Important Considerations Before Use

Before use, talk with your doctor about your medical history. Your doctor will need to know if you have ever had a heart attack, had high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or substance abuse problems. Alcohol can increase the side effects of Wellbutrin, particularly drowsiness.

Tell your doctor about all of your medication allergies. Additionally, tell your doctor and pharmacist which prescription and nonprescription drugs you currently take. Even herbal products St. John's Wort can lead to unwanted drug interactions.

Wellbutrin, many antidepressants, can have a dangerous interaction with a class of drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). If you currently take a MAOI or have stopped taking one within the last two weeks, your doctor will ly not prescribe Wellbutrin.

Examples of these drugs include Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), and Emsam (selegiline).

Wellbutrin is not approved for use in people younger than 18.

Important Information During Use

  • Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant.
  • Be mindful of worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. There is a small risk of suicide or self-harm with any antidepressant.
  • Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not double up in the event of a skipped dose, and do not take more than your prescribed dosage. Do not chew or crush the tablets because this causes the drug to be released too quickly.
  • Taking Wellbutrin with food will prevent stomach upset.
  • You may see something that looks a tablet in your stool. This is actually the empty casing for the medicine and does not mean that you did not get your dosage.

Side Effects

Rare, adverse psychiatric side effects of this medication may include anger, paranoia, hallucinations, and hostility. Other serious effects may include:

  • Seizures
  • Irrational fears
  • Fever
  • Rash, blisters, or hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarse voice
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

Less serious side effects of this drug can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Excitement
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Excessive sweating


Withdrawal from Wellbutrin is usually not considered dangerous. Gradual tapering of the dose minimizes any withdrawal effects while allowing faster reinstatement of the medication should symptoms of depression return. Possible symptoms of withdrawal may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Intense and frequent dreams
  • Headache
  • Vertigo
  • Changes to senses and perception
  • Numbness of extremities


  1. Medication Guide Wellbutrin XL. (June 2011). Retrieved from
  2. Use of Psychiatric Medications for Mental Health Concerns. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. Wellbutrin XL — bupropion hydrochloride tablet, extended release. (December 2009). Retrieved from

Page content reviewed by James Pendleton, ND


Bupropion Withdrawal: Dwindling Wellbutrin, Withdrawal

How Long Does Withdrawal From Wellbutrin Last?

Patients usually consume bupropion for prolonged durations, because Wellbutrin is a slow-acting drug, and it takes weeks for it to improve patients health. Because bupropion promotes the release of norepinephrine and dopamine in patients brain, some individuals tend to become dependent on this drug.

If one is stopping Wellbutrin cold turkey, it can be a real shock to the system. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, more commonly known as antidepressant withdrawal, tends to produce mild to severe withdrawal symptoms in the body of the person withdrawing.

Find out how to wean off Wellbutrin with minimal risks for the patient’s health.

Stopping Wellbutrin

There are a lot of reasons one may look for quitting Wellbutrin, such as addiction potential of this medicine, adverse reactions hair loss due to Wellbutrin, tolerance, or one may not feel any need in taking bupropion any more.

Although, the longer a person is on a course of antidepressants and the more excessive is the dosage they are prescribed, the more ly it will be not easy to stop taking bupropion.

Without proper lowering bupropion dose, a patient may experience withdrawal symptoms when they decide to quit Wellbutrin.

Stopping Wellbutrin Cold Turkey

If someone who has been taking bupropion for their depression for a while now is thinking about discontinuing their treatment, it is essential to note that the worst way to go about it would be going off Wellbutrin cold turkey. Going off Wellbutrin abruptly can result in several Wellbutrin xl side effects. Therefore it is NOT recommended by almost all medical experts.

Tapering Off Wellbutrin

The most secure approach to get off Wellbutrin is a very gradual tapering of the Wellbutrin doses. This method is considered the most safely because it minimizes any withdrawal symptoms while stopping bupropion cold turkey may allow symptoms of depression to return at any time.

When prescribing the medication, patients usually start on low Wellbutrin doses and increase it until the ideal dosage is achieved, and the symptoms of the illness are either controlled or minimized.

It is believed that the full effect of the medication may not be felt for up to four weeks.

The same steps should be followed, when someone wishes to get off Wellbutrin, doctors may tell them to taper doses downward for two weeks before complete termination.

It is generally advised to decrease the dosage to avoid any severe withdrawal symptoms gradually. For patients taking the standard 300 mg, the first reduction should be to 200 mg, followed by 50 mg reductions subsequently.

Note down the changes, dates, and symptoms and keep the doctor informed of the changes.
Slowly taking less and less Wellbutrin XL or other formulations gives the person’s body the time it needs to respond to smaller amounts of the treatment.

Tapering over a more extended period will also be immensely helpful in reducing the potential for withdrawal symptoms, to appear.

Wellbutrin Withdrawal Symptoms

When one is weaning off Wellbutrin, they may experience at least some of the following common Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vertigo
  • Headache
  • Vivid dreams and hallucinations
  • Changes to perception or vision
  • Numbness
  • Crying spells

It is widely reported that it gets difficult for patients to quit Wellbutrin when they are experiencing severe discontinuation symptoms from antidepressants.

Wellbutrin Withdrawal Timeline

Before one starts withdrawing from bupropion, it is crucial to know the timeline of the process. This includes knowing how long does Wellbutrin withdrawal last and how long does Wellbutrin stay in one’s system?

As it was established earlier that the safest way to stop taking Wellbutrin doses is through a tapering procedure.

It is essential to know that the timeline for Wellbutrin withdrawal is shorter as compared to withdrawals from other antidepressants. In most cases, it will last about one to two weeks.

Although it affects a person’s physical and mental health is three to 4 weeks, but that only happens in rare cases.

24 To 72 Hours

Form one to three days after the last dosage taken, an individual may have an increased risk of seizures. A patient may have flu or cold- symptoms and will have uncontrollable mood swings, as the depression becomes worse.

Week 1

In the first week of withdrawing from Wellbutrin, a patient may feel extremely exhausted and sleepier than usual.

A patient starts losing mental clarity, as the depression may become worse for those who were taking Wellbutrin for depression, it is also possible that during their withdrawal timeline, they might experience some symptoms of the illness again.

Similarly, for those who were taking bupropion for smoking cessation, it is quite possible that during the withdrawal timeline of Wellbutrin, their cravings for nicotine might make a reappearance strongly.

Week 2

In the second week of withdrawing from Wellbutrin, the physical symptoms will start easing up, and the patient will start feeling a bit better. The mood swings, however, remain constant.

A patient may start experiencing nightmares in addition to the depression. It is vital to notice that starting to take other medications within this period may be dangerous.

Taking Lexapro and Wellbutrin for depression,  while one is still in a patients system may lead to unwanted consequences and may worsen a patient’s condition.

Weeks 3 and 4

An individual may experience Wellbutrin weight gain in the third and fourth weeks of weaning off Wellbutrin, and they may experience rebound depression, for which they may need professional treatment.Another thing to remember about the withdrawal timeline is that the particular schedule varies from person to person, in most cases.

Some patients may withdraw from bupropion within 1 to 2 weeks, whereas others may take several weeks. It happens is because a patient’s body adjusts to antidepressants as the dose gets higher, and the longer one takes them, the more the body gets used to the medicine taken.

Similarly, a user’s body also needs the right amount of time to let go of the effects of bupropion.

When the underlying decreasing dosage procedure is finished, long-haul treatment is prescribed to address the primary psychological condition that prompted utilizing bupropion in the first place.


Wellbutrin Withdrawal: Signs, Timeline & Detox

How Long Does Withdrawal From Wellbutrin Last?

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant that has helps combat depression. It can also help people quit smoking. all antidepressants, Wellbutrin has a lot of potential benefits, but it does not work for everyone.

If you use Wellbutrin for a period of time and decide you want to stop, you may experience Wellbutrin withdrawal. There are some factors you may want to consider before doing so.

What are Antidepressants?

In the United States, antidepressants are among the most widely prescribed drugs. Some people use them for a couple of weeks or months, and others use them for years.

Approximately one every four adults has been prescribed an antidepressant in their lifetime, and some use them for over 10 years or more. Many people take antidepressants permanently when they discover one that works for them.

This is especially true if the antidepressant has few to no side effects.

Antidepressants are a unique drug class in that not every drug works for everybody. It may require many attempts for certain people to find a drug that works. You may even decide to avoid taking Wellbutrin because you’re feeling stable and happy to go without it. Other reasons for quitting include success in quitting smoking.

Wellbutrin Effect on Serotonin

The majority of modern antidepressants work by affecting a neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which helps to keep a person’s mood in check. While the causes of depression are unclear, low serotonin levels are thought to play a role.

SSRIs, such as Prozac and Lexapro, boost serotonin levels. It can be a total shock to the system if you miss taking these medications suddenly. It is normal to feel withdrawal symptoms as the body responds to lower serotonin levels.

Since serotonin is used in so many different body processes, withdrawal symptoms can become very disparate. If you are discontinuing an SSRI, you may experience the following:

  • Sweating: Feeling flushed, sweating excessively
  • Digestive issues: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a lack of appetite due to serotonin’s role in the digestive system
  • Sleeping problems: Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep; strange visions or nightmares
  • Neurological side effects: Tremors, restless muscles, numbness, difficulty walking
  • Psychological signs: Mood swings, agitation, fear, mania or depression
  • Brain zaps: Unusual occurrence that sounds a jolt to the head, also known as a shiver or brain shake

Since it affects the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline, Wellbutrin differs from most antidepressants. You are unly to develop any of the serotonin-related symptoms mentioned above unless you are already withdrawing from an SSRI.

There are few reports of true Wellbutrin withdrawal, but the most common complaint is irritability. Withdrawal may involve uncharacteristically offensive, disrespectful or threatening actions, as well as a state of intense agitation.

If you use Wellbutrin to quit smoking, it’s ly that after you stop taking it, your nicotine cravings will return. Fortunately, these cravings are mild compared to what you’ve previously encountered.

Coping and Relief

If you have a psychiatric condition such as dissociative symptoms, it’s crucial to contact your psychiatrist or nurse whenever your prescriptions change. Seeing a doctor will help you deal with issues mood swings, agitation and hopelessness.

If you’re using Wellbutrin to help you stop smoking, make sure to have a nicotine patch or gum on hand. This will help alleviate any nicotine cravings you might have and any agitation that comes with them.

Wellbutrin Withdrawal Warnings

While Wellbutrin isn’t usually associated with withdrawal symptoms, it does come with a severe FDA alert about its link to suicidal ideation in kids, teenagers and young adults, as do all antidepressants. When changing your dosage, you should take extra care.

Suicidal thoughts and emotions are most frequent in children and young adults under the age of 24, but they can hit anyone. If you are having any of the following Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Suicidal or self-destructive thoughts
  • Thoughts about how you can commit suicide
  • Unusual excitement or severe restlessness
  • Actions without considering the consequences
  • Extreme agitation or concern
  • Anxiety disorders

Suicidal thoughts and actions are uncommon, although they do occur in some individuals. Before you quit taking Wellbutrin, talk to the doctor about the risks and benefits. If you wish to avoid taking your medication, a quick taper might be a better option than quitting cold turkey.

Granite Recovery Centers

Certified doctors deliver evidence-based clinical psychotherapies at Granite Recovery Centers, which are tightly woven into a comprehensive 12-step curriculum led by qualified facilitators.

Our trained clinicians use evidence-based interventions to assist in battling addiction issues and help our patients process complex and stressful issues relating to their drug use. When taken in combination with our formal 12-step method, psychological therapies can help patients recover.

Intensive Outpatient Drug Rehab Program (IOP)

Outpatient rehabilitation is often the final stage of treatment, and these programs include full societal reintegration.

Clients who live in one of our sober living homes and attend IOP can also receive intensive rehabilitation treatment as part of our comprehensive care services.

Outpatient clinics have varying levels of treatment and programming. IOP clients also attend medical, holistic, and 12-step classes for at least 10 hours a week.

Detox and Withdrawal

Some drug and alcohol treatment facilities have onsite detox services where you can be carefully monitored when suffering from withdrawal.

Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.

Talk with the rehab staff before beginning inpatient drug rehab to see if medical detox is the right place for you.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic treatments help unify the mind, body and soul.

Body-centric approaches such as yoga, meditation and fitness are examples of mind-calming, body improvement and mental pivoting techniques.

Our progressive approaches complement our 12-step drug and alcohol care model, aiding patients in overcoming physical and mental imbalances and recovering through mindfulness and self-acceptance.

Sober Living

Our four sober living homes are tranquil environments that offer a safe, loving, structured, and clean environment to clients in early recovery.

In the rehab spectrum, sober living customarily supplements extended therapy, although certain people may choose to skip primary inpatient treatment and go directly to sober living.

Sober living serves as a temporary buffer for clients who are starting school or a new job and navigating the “real world.” In sober homes that seek to provide independence, clients can better fulfill their obligations, learn life skills and sober values.

Long-Term Treatment

Slowly tapering off antidepressant dosage is the best way to stop taking them. Tapering schedules for Wellbutrin usually are very short. It is best to make a plan with your doctor to reduce the dosage throughout one to two weeks gradually.

Following your Wellbutrin taper, any long-term therapy will focus on the disease that caused you to start taking Wellbutrin in the first place. If you have depression, your doctor might recommend switching to an SSRI you have not tried before or other alternatives. It may take a few tries to find the proper treatment or medication blend.

Keep in mind that there isn’t a single pill that can “cure” you. Depression is a complex illness that needs a multifaceted recovery strategy. On its own, medicine can only do so much. Psychotherapy may be an integral part of depression treatment. Science attests that a mixture of psychotherapy and medicine is more effective for depression and anxiety than drug treatment alone.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a long-term method to learn more about yourself. You’ll look at why you do things the way you do and feel the way you do. You will learn how to move toward the life you deserve with a therapist’s help by reforming the dysfunctional habits that hold you down.

A Word from Granite Recovery Centers

Depression is a complex illness to overcome. It can feel as if you’re trapped in a long, dark tunnel with no way out, but don’t let the feeling get the best of you. Keep going, and don’t give in when you run into walls or fall. Experienced mental health professionals and addiction specialists at Granite Recovery Centers can help you find way to a happier and healthier life.


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