Is Wellbutrin Used For Anxiety
Antidepressant medications are not just for depressionthey are also a common treatment for patients with anxiety.
Currently, Wellbutrinalso known as Zybanis approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating depression, seasonal affective disorder, smoking cessation, and sexual side effects related to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications.
Depending on the circumstance, doctors may also prescribe Wellbutrin for certain types of anxiety.
Some research also suggests Wellbutrin can help mitigate anxiety symptoms related to depression. If youre using Wellbutrin to quit smoking or help with sexual dysfunction from an SSRI, it may also help reduce situational sources of stress and anxiety.
For some people, however, wellbutrin can make anxiety worse, especially for the first few weeks after starting the medication, or just after a dose change.
Whether your provider recommends Wellbutrin for anxiety depends on a number of factors, including your specific diagnosis, symptoms, and potential drug interactions.
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- 1Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, United States
- 2Silver Hill Hospital, New Canaan, CT, United States
- 3Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States
- 4Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, United States
- 5Department of Psychiatry and Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
- 6Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States
- 7Clinical Research Division, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, United States
- 8Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, United States
What Are The Main Differences Between Wellbutrin And Zoloft
Wellbutrin is a prescription medication indicated in the treatment of major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. The active ingredient of Wellbutrin, bupropion, was previously marketed under the brand name Zyban and is approved for use in smoking cessation in its sustained-release formulation. Wellbutrin works as a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor at the neuronal level. This leaves more dopamine and norepinephrine available. Higher dopamine and norepinephrine levels are associated with improved mood and affect. Wellbutrin is available in an immediate-release tablet in 75 mg and 100 mg. The sustained-release tablet indicated for every 12-hour dosing is available in 100 mg, 150 mg, and 200 mg. The extended-release tablet indicated for once every 24-hour dosing is available in 150 mg and 300 mg.
Zoloft is also a prescription medication indicated in the treatment of depression. Zoloft is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin at the neuronal synapse. This leaves more free serotonin available. Higher levels of available serotonin are associated with improved mood and energy levels. Zoloft is available as an oral tablet in strengths of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100mg. It is also available in an oral concentrated solution that is 20 mg/ml.
|Main differences between Wellbutrin and Zoloft|
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Drug Interactions And Overdose
While benzodiazepines are relatively safe when taken only occasionally and in small doses, they can be dangerous and even deadly when combined with other central nervous system depressants. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before combining medications.
Dont drink on benzodiazepines. When mixed with alcohol, benzodiazepines can lead to fatal overdose.
Dont mix with painkillers or sleeping pills. Taking benzodiazepines with prescription pain or sleeping pills can also lead to fatal overdose.
Antihistamines amplify their effects. Antihistaminesfound in many over-the-counter sleep, cold, and allergy medicinesare sedating on their own. Be cautious when mixing with benzodiazepines to avoid over-sedation.
Be cautious when combining with antidepressants. SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft can heighten benzodiazepine toxicity. You may need to adjust your dose accordingly.
Paradoxical effects of benzodiazepines
The benzodiazepines work because they slow down the nervous system. But sometimes, for reasons that arent well understood, they have the opposite effect. Paradoxical reactions are most common in children, the elderly, and people with developmental disabilities. They include:
- Increased anxiety, irritability, agitation, aggression, and rage
- Mania, impulsive behavior, and hallucinations
What Are The Uses For Lexapro Vs Wellbutrin
- Lexapro is approved for the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
- Drugs in the SSRI class also are used for treating obsessive compulsive disorders and panic disorders, although Lexapro is not approved for these purposes.
- Bupropion is used for the management of major depression and seasonal affective disorder . It is also is prescribed for smoking cessation.
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Is Wellbutrin Good For Social Anxiety
Bupropion has been evaluated for the use of generalized social phobia. People who took this medicine reported feeling much improved or very much improved after 12 weeks of treatment. This medication was generally well tolerated. Findings from this study suggest that bupropion-SR can be useful in treating generalized social phobia.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Bupropion comes as a tablet and a sustained-release or extended-release tablet to take by mouth. The regular tablet is usually taken three times a day, with doses at least 6 hours apart, or four times a day, with doses at least 4 hours apart. The sustained-release tablet is usually taken twice a day, with doses at least 8 hours apart. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once daily in the morning doses of the extended-release tablet should be taken at least 24 hours apart. When bupropion is used to treat seasonal affective disorder, it is usually taken once a day in the morning beginning in the early fall, continuing through the winter, and stopping in the early spring. Sometimes a lower dose of bupropion is taken for 2 weeks before the medication is stopped. Take bupropion with food if the medication upsets your stomach. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, do not take bupropion too close to bedtime. Take bupropion at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take bupropion exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the sustained-release and extended-release tablets whole do not split, chew, or crush them.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of bupropion and gradually increase your dose.
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Interactions Of Wellbutrin With Other Drugs
Numerous medications interact with Wellbutrin, either increasing or decreasing its efficacy. The following are some of the most critical interactions:
- Wellbutrin should be used with caution in patients taking medications that lower the seizure threshold. Prochlorperazine, chlorpromazine, and other antipsychotic medications in the phenothiazine class are examples of such medications.
- Carbamazepine can reduce the blood concentration of Wellbutrin resulting in lowering its effects.
- Due to the apparent risk of severe reactions, monoamine oxidase inhibitors should not be combined with Wellbutrin. At least 14 days should elapse between stopping an MAOI and starting Wellbutrin.
- Wellbutrin may interfere with the action of warfarin.
- Wellbutrins breakdown and elimination may be accelerated by ritonavir. In certain trials, ritonavir lowered its levels in the body by 22% to 66%.
Wellbutrin For Anxiety Disorders
Wellbutrin, or bupropion, treats depression and seasonal affective disorder3. However, it has become a favourite among psychiatrists in treating anxiety6. Wellbutrin is an NDRI a norepinephrine and domine reuptake inhibitor that does exactly what its name states3.
Wellbutrin effectively blocks the bodys reuptake of these two neurotransmitters, keeping them available for longer periods. Both norepinephrine and dopamine are happy neurotransmitters, promoting feelings of happiness, excitement, energy, motivation, and mood. The longer they are present, the more likely they will be transmitted from neuron to neuron in your brain and increase your overall mood. Importantly, Wellbutrin is not the only brand name for bupropion Aplenzin and Forfivo are other common brand names for the drug3.
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Can I Use Wellbutrin Or Zoloft While Pregnant
Wellbutrin is categorized as pregnancy category B by the Food and Drug Administration , meaning it is generally considered safe during pregnancy. Zoloft is pregnancy category C, meaning there have not been adequate human studies to determine safety. In general, either drug should only be used with the benefit to the mother clearly outweighs the risk to the fetus.
What Are The Drug Interactions Of Lexapro Vs Wellbutrin
Lexapro drug interactions
- All SSRIs, including Lexapro, should not be combined with drugs in the monoamine oxidase inhibitor class of antidepressants such as isocarboxazid , phenelzine , tranylcypromine , selegiline and procarbazine or other drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue. Such combinations may lead to confusion, high blood pressure, high fevers, tremor or muscle rigidity, and increased activity. At least 14 days should elapse after discontinuing Lexapro before starting an MAO inhibitor. Conversely, at least 14 days should elapse after discontinuing an MAO inhibitor before starting Lexapro.
- Similar reactions occur when SSRIs are combined with other drugs that increase serotonin in the brain, for example tryptophan, St. John’s wort, meperidine , lithium , triptans , and tramadol
- Use of selective serotonin inhibitors may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding in patients taking warfarin , aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , and other drugs that cause bleeding.
Wellbutrin drug interactions
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What To Use With Wellbutrin For Anxiety
If you and your doctor conclude that Wellbutrin is the appropriate prescription drug for your specific situation, you may encounter anxiety at times.
If your anxiety symptoms interfere with your everyday functioning, speak with your healthcare professional about their anxiety-relieving recommendations.
Coping skills for anxiety such as regular exercise, mindfulness, and meditation can also help you manage Wellbutrin-related anxiety. Some people may also combine Wellbutrin with psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy .
If your anxiety is severe, your doctor may suggest switching to a different type of medicine. A doctor may prescribe both Wellbutrin plus an SSRI or SNRI medicine in some instances.
A short-acting anti-anxiety medicine, such as benzodiazepine, may be administered for acute episodes of anxiety or panic attacks caused by Wellbutrin. However, because these medications have a higher risk of adverse effects and benzodiazepines are addictive, they are unsuitable for long-term usage. Your doctor may decide to treat your anxiety with different medicine.
If you take Wellbutrin, you must follow your doctors advice. Alcohol, for example, should not be consumed with Wellbutrin since it might exacerbate Wellbutrins adverse effects and worsen anxiety and depression.
Certain prescription drugs or supplements may interact with Wellbutrin, so check your healthcare practitioner before beginning anything new.
But Doesnt Wellbutrin Cause Anxiety
There is a little confusion about how Wellbutrin can treat anxiety. This is because Wellbutrin has a reputation for inducing anxiety rather than treating it. So what should you believe?
Yes, Wellbutrin can cause anxiety, but the risk of developing a side effect from Wellbutrin is roughly the same as the risk posed by other antidepressants.
All antidepressants can cause anxiety, with roughly 1 in 10 depressed patients experiencing this side effect. While there is a small risk that Wellbutrin may cause anxiety, it can also be an effective anxiety treatment for others.
Wellbutrin seems to have developed more of a reputation for causing anxiety than other antidepressants, and it is the fourth most frequently prescribed antidepressant. This is surprising considering that the risk of developing further anxiety symptoms is essentially the same with Wellbutrin as with other antidepressants.
Wellbutrin has fewer common side effects than other antidepressants, like weight gain, reduced energy, sexual performance issues, and apathy.
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Wellbutrin And Your Mental Health
Wellbutrin is like any other medication: used correctly, it has the potential to help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of the medical condition it treats. And like any other medication, following the directions of your healthcare provider is key.
Thats why dosage is so important: an improper dose may have serious side effects, or cause major issues with the effectiveness of your treatment.
Ultimately, Wellbutrin may just be one of the elements of effective treatment for your mood disorders.
Others may include lifestyle changes or therapy a healthcare provider will likely make recommendations for your individual needs, and it may include some or all of the options available for treatment.
You cant and should never change a prescription on your own, but there are things you can do without a healthcare professionals input to work on your mental health like reading.
Ready to talk to someone? Consider scheduling an online psychiatry evaluation today.
Using Wellbutrin For Anxiety: Can It Help
Wellbutrin is the brand name for bupropion, which is a medication commonly prescribed to treat depression, though it can also be prescribed for those with anxiety.
Medications can have different effects on different people, which may leave you with some questions.
For some, Wellbutrin may cause worsened anxiety symptoms, but for others, it can actually be a highly effective treatment. It all comes down to the fact that everyones body and brain chemistry is different.
The FDA has approved bupropion for use in treating seasonal affective disorder as well as helping those trying to quit smoking. These usages that have been approved are referred to as on-label uses, but Wellbutrin has several off-label uses as well.
These off-label uses include treating:
- Sexual dysfunction that has been caused by previous use of antidepressants
- Depression associated with bipolar disorder and obesity
- Weight gain linked to the previous use of psychiatric medications
- Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults and children
- Generalized anxiety disorder
If your doctor has recommended that you start treatment with Wellbutrin and you are looking to learn more, or if you are curious about the medication before heading into your consultation, we have you covered.
Gaining a better understanding of psychiatric medications can help you make more informed decisions when it comes to your health and treatment plans.
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Choosing Medications For Anxiety
Medicine has received an unfair reputation in the anxiety world. It does have a purpose, and can be helpful for those with anxiety. But it needs to be more of a last resort, and should never be used alone. You don’t want to stop taking the medicine and watch as your anxiety comes back stronger than before.
NDRIs and Anxiety
Bupropion is an NDRI, or norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Your brain sends messages to other cells in your body using neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine and dopamine. After sending those messages, your body is supposed to take the neurotransmitters back out a process known as reuptake.
When using a reuptake inhibitor, like Bupropion, these receptors are prevented from taking the neurotransmitters back out. This leads to more of them building up so that they send more and more of the messages.
Norepinephrine is one of your body’s fight or flight chemicals. It increases when a person is faced with a danger, and tells the body to respond with fight or flight. Increasing norepinephrine levels would thus be more likely to increase anxiety, rather than reduce it. Similarly, studies have shown that increased dopamine levels lead to more anxiety as well.
For this reason, a person suffering from anxiety, but not from depression, will likely not be helped by bupropion, because the fight or flight chemicals released may increase stress, rather than balancing out depression caused symptoms of feeling dull and inactive.
What Is A Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a group of commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs that inhibit the reabsorption of serotonin by neurons. Serotonin is a chemical messenger in the brain that works as a mood stabilizer. By increasing the availability of serotonin, SSRIs help to regulate mood. Zoloft is an SSRI.
Wellbutrin belongs to a different class of medications called NDRIs . NDRIs and SSRIs act similarly, i.e., they boost the levels of certain chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain. However, SSRIs such as Zoloft boost serotonin levels. NDRIs such as Wellbutrin boost norepinephrine and dopamine levels.
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How Long Does It Take Wellbutrin To Work
Your condition should start to improve within the first week or two of beginning Wellbutrin. You may notice positive effects, such as that you sleep better, have more energy, or your appetite has improved, for instance. Improvement of psychological symptoms, such as those related to mood, may take a bit longeror up to eight weeks.
If you’re taking bupropion to help you quit smoking, this medication works by reducing your tobacco cravings. Starting it about one week before you plan to quit gives it time to reach a therapeutic effect in your system.
Wellbutrin can be fairly fast-acting when used for weight loss. One study involving 3,362 people found that many lost 5% of their body weight within eight weeks of starting a treatment containing bupropion, with more than half keeping this weight off a year later.
Final Thoughts: Wellbutrin Vs Lexapro: Which Medication Is Better For You
Lexapro and Wellbutrin both help in the active treatment of anxiety and depression disorders.
They also have other uses, like Wellbutrin aiding smoking cessation and Lexapro helping anxiety.
Both medications have strengths and weaknesses. When deciding if Wellbutrin vs Lexapro is better, seek the medical advice of your health care provider to determine which one may best serve your needs.
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