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Wellbutrin for Anxiety. What You Need to Know. Does Wellbutrin Help with Anxiety?

Wellbutrin for Anxiety is effective, but it is typically used to treat depression, though, on rare occasions, it may be prescribed to treat anxiety.


We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: August 7, 2023

Wellbutrin for Anxiety

Wellbutrin, also known as bupropion, is an antidepressant medication that has been explored for its potential to treat anxiety disorders. While not typically considered a first-line treatment for anxiety, evidence suggests that Wellbutrin may benefit specific individuals. Its mechanism of action involves modulating neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine, which are involved in anxiety regulation.

Wellbutrin may be considered an option for individuals who have coexisting depression and anxiety, as it can address both conditions simultaneously. It may also be used when other anxiety medications are ineffective or have caused unwanted side effects. Although further research is needed to establish its efficacy specifically for anxiety, Wellbutrin may be an option for individuals with comorbid depression and anxiety or who have not responded well to other medications.

Does Wellbutrin Help With Anxiety?

Wellbutrin, or bupropion, is primarily prescribed as an antidepressant rather than an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication). While it may not be the first choice for treating anxiety disorders, some evidence suggests that Wellbutrin can help alleviate anxiety symptoms in specific individuals. However, it is essential to note that individual responses to medication can vary, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Some studies and anecdotal reports have indicated that Wellbutrin may positively impact anxiety symptoms, particularly in cases where anxiety coexists with depression. Wellbutrin’s mechanism of action involves affecting the levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and dopamine, which can influence mood and anxiety regulation.

Best Wellbutrin Combo for Anxiety

The best combination of medications for anxiety, including Wellbutrin (bupropion), varies for each individual and should be determined with the guidance of a healthcare professional. Some possible combinations may include Wellbutrin with SSRIs, Wellbutrin with buspirone, or short-term use of Wellbutrin with benzodiazepines.

Wellbutrin may be used as part of a comprehensive treatment approach, combining medication with therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to address anxiety symptoms and underlying causes.
Wellbutrin may be used as part of a comprehensive treatment approach, combining medication with therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to address anxiety symptoms and underlying causes.

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Wellbutrin Anxiety Fact Sheet

What is Anxiety?

  • Anxiety is a normal and often temporary response to stress or a perceived threat.
  • It involves feelings of unease, worry, fear, or apprehension.
  • Anxiety becomes a concern when it is persistent, excessive, and interferes with daily life.

Types of Anxiety Disorders:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
    • Characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry and anxiety about various aspects of life.
    • Symptoms may include restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
  2. Panic Disorder:
    • It involves recurrent and unexpected panic attacks, which are intense periods of fear or discomfort.
    • Panic attacks can cause rapid heartbeat, sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain, and a sense of impending doom.

3. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD):

  • It involves an intense fear of social situations and of being judged or embarrassed.
  • People with SAD may avoid social interactions, leading to significant distress and impairment.

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

  • Characterized by intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions) performed to alleviate anxiety.
  • OCD can interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress.

Wellbutrin Dosage for Depression and Anxiety

The appropriate dosage of Wellbutrin (bupropion) for anxiety can differ based on several factors, such as the intensity of symptoms, how an individual responds to the medication, and any coexisting medical conditions.

Anxiety and Usage of Wellbutrin Statistics

While there are various treatment options available for anxiety disorders, including therapy and medication, the use of Wellbutrin (bupropion) as a potential treatment has gained attention. Understanding the statistics related to anxiety and the usage of Wellbutrin can provide valuable insights into its effectiveness and prevalence in managing anxiety symptoms.


264 million

An estimated 264 million people globally were living with anxiety disorders in 2017.

Source: WHO

50%

Depression and anxiety frequently coexist. 50% of people with anxiety disorders develop depression.

Source: ADAA

$42 billion

Anxiety disorders cost more than $42 billion annually in healthcare expenses and lost productivity in the United States.

Source: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry


Wellbutrin for ADHD and Anxiety


Wellbutrin (bupropion) is commonly used to treat both ADHD and anxiety. The FDA approves it for ADHD and says it may help improve attention, focus, and impulse control. While not explicitly approved for anxiety, Wellbutrin may also relieve anxiety symptoms due to its effects on norepinephrine and dopamine. Individual responses to Wellbutrin can vary, and combining medication with therapy is often beneficial.

The effectiveness of Wellbutrin for both ADHD and anxiety can vary among individuals. Some people may experience improvements in both conditions, while others may respond differently. Working closely with a healthcare professional to monitor your response and adjust the dosage or treatment plan as needed is essential.

If you are considering Wellbutrin for anxiety, discussing this with your healthcare professional is crucial.
If you are considering Wellbutrin for anxiety, discussing this with your healthcare professional is crucial.

Wellbutrin for Anxiety and Depression

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is commonly prescribed for both anxiety and depression. It is an antidepressant that increases norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain, which helps alleviate depressive symptoms. While not explicitly approved for anxiety, Wellbutrin may also relieve anxiety symptoms, especially when anxiety coexists with depression. Individual responses may vary, and combining medication with therapy is often beneficial.

Wellbutrin dosage for depression and anxiety can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of symptoms, the individual’s response to the medication, and any other medical conditions present. Typically, the initial dosage of Wellbutrin for depression is 150 mg once daily, possibly increasing it to 300 mg daily. For anxiety, the dosage may be similar, starting at 150 mg and potentially increasing to 300 mg daily

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What to Pair with Wellbutrin for Anxiety?

Here are some potential options that may be considered when pairing Wellbutrin with other treatments for anxiety:

  1. Therapy: Wellbutrin can be combined with various forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a widely used and evidence-based approach for managing anxiety. Therapy can help you develop coping strategies, challenge negative thought patterns, and learn relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety symptoms.
  2. Benzodiazepines: In some situations, short-term use of benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam or diazepam, may be prescribed alongside Wellbutrin to provide immediate relief from acute anxiety symptoms. However, it’s important to note that benzodiazepines have the potential for dependence and should only be used under careful supervision.
  3. Other Antidepressants: Depending on the individual’s response and the specific anxiety symptoms, other antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may be considered in combination with Wellbutrin. Combining different medications can target multiple neurotransmitters and provide a more comprehensive approach to managing anxiety.
  4. Lifestyle Changes: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can positively impact anxiety. Regular exercise, stress management techniques (e.g., deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, yoga), maintaining a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol can complement medication treatment and help reduce anxiety symptoms.
  5. Supportive Resources: Seeking support from friends, family, or support groups can be beneficial in managing anxiety. Sharing experiences, seeking understanding, and receiving encouragement can provide a sense of community and reduce feelings of isolation.

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Can Wellbutrin Cause Anxiety?

Keep in mind that Wellbutrin is not specifically approved for anxiety disorders, so its effects on anxiety can vary among individuals.
Remember that Wellbutrin is not explicitly approved for anxiety disorders, so its effects on anxiety can vary among individuals.

Yes, Wellbutrin (bupropion) can cause or worsen anxiety as a side effect in some individuals. While Wellbutrin is primarily prescribed as an antidepressant and can effectively treat depression, it can also stimulate the central nervous system. These stimulant effects may increase some people’s feelings of restlessness, nervousness, or anxiety. Not everyone will experience anxiety as a side effect of Wellbutrin, and the likelihood varies from person to person. Some individuals may tolerate the medication without experiencing increased anxiety symptoms, while others may be more susceptible to this side effect.

How Long Does It Take for Wellbutrin to Work?

The time it takes for Wellbutrin (bupropion) to start working can vary among individuals. Some people may notice improvements in their symptoms within the first few weeks of starting the medication, while others might take longer to experience its full effects. Regarding anxiety, Wellbutrin’s impact on anxiety symptoms may also become noticeable within the first few weeks of treatment, but it could take up to several weeks to see significant improvements. Communicate regularly with your healthcare professional during the initial treatment period to monitor your response to Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin for Anxiety and Weight Loss

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is sometimes prescribed off-label for treating anxiety and may be associated with weight loss as a side effect. However, it is essential to understand that weight loss with Wellbutrin is not guaranteed, and individual responses can vary.

The weight-loss side effect of Wellbutrin is believed to be related to its effects on norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which can suppress appetite and increase metabolism. Some individuals may experience decreased appetite or increased energy levels while taking Wellbutrin, leading to weight loss.

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Wellbutrin for Anxiety Treatment at We Level Up WA

The choice between other anxiety prescriptions and Wellbutrin depends on individual factors, including the specific anxiety disorder, previous treatment response, side effect profile, and personal preferences. Consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial in determining the most appropriate medication and dosage for your anxiety disorder. They can evaluate your situation and guide you toward making an informed decision.

If you are taking Wellbutrin for anxiety and notice that your symptoms have worsened or if you experience new anxiety symptoms, it is essential to discuss this with your healthcare professional. They can evaluate your situation, determine if the medication contributes to the anxiety, and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

Contact We Level Up Washington mental health treatment center for more information. Our mental health specialists can help you explore treatment options and provide further resources.

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Wellbutrin for Anxiety FAQs

  1. Is Wellbutrin good for anxiety?

    The FDA has not explicitly approved Wellbutrin (bupropion) for treating anxiety disorders. However, it may provide some relief for anxiety symptoms in specific individuals.

  2. Can Wellbutrin cause anxiety?

    Yes, Wellbutrin (bupropion) can cause or exacerbate anxiety symptoms in some individuals. While Wellbutrin is primarily prescribed as an antidepressant and can effectively reduce depressive symptoms, it can also stimulate the central nervous system. This stimulation can increase anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, or agitation in specific individuals.

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Sources
  1. National Institute of Mental Health – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – “Mental Health – Anxiety and Depression” Link: https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm
  3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – “Coping With Stress and Anxiety” Link: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/coping-with-stress-and-anxiety
  4. MedlinePlus – “Anxiety” Link: https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/conditions/anxiety-disorders
  6. National Institute on Aging – “Anxiety Disorders in Older Adults” Link: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/anxiety-disorders-older-adults
  7. Office on Women’s Health – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/anxiety-disorders
  8. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – “Anxiety” Link: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/anxiety-at-a-glance
  9. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/anxiety.asp
  10. National Library of Medicine – “Anxiety” Link: https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html