Wellbutrin, unlike other antidepressants, can have a positive or neutral effect on sexual desire and performance. It has a unique pharmacological profile that makes it different from others.
Some people have reported feeling increased libido and sexual arousal after taking this medication. But why does this happen, and what does the science say? It’s important to look closely at the facts to understand how Wellbutrin might affect your sexual health.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at Wellbutrin and answering the burning question: Does Wellbutrin make you hornier? So, if you’re curious about this possible side effect or just want to know more about how Wellbutrin works, keep reading.
Wellbutrin, which is also known as bupropion, is a medication commonly prescribed as an antidepressant and smoking cessation aid.
This is used for treating depression and seasonal affective disorder, as well as supporting smoking cessation and weight management.
Bupropion also helps with mood and cravings for nicotine, and when taken with naltrexone, it can help reduce how much you eat.
Unlike selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which often come with the side effect of sexual dysfunction, Wellbutrin is categorized as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI).
This classification means that it mainly works by stopping the reabsorption of certain brain chemicals called norepinephrine and dopamine. This can make you feel more alert and may help increase sexual desire and performance for some people.
How Does It Work?
Wellbutrin works by blocking the reabsorption of certain chemicals in the brain that affect mood and motivation, like norepinephrine and dopamine.
By maintaining this higher levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain, the medication can help alleviate symptoms of depression and, for some people increase sex drive.
Researchers believe that since dopamine is linked with the reward circuits and pleasure areas of the brain, its increased activity could result in a higher libido.
It is believed that an increase in norepinephrine can boost energy and arousal. However, it’s important to note that the effect of Wellbutrin on sexual desire is still being studied, and individual responses can vary greatly.
Does Wellbutrin make you hornier?
Yes, Wellbutrin may have a smaller effect on sexual desire compared to other antidepressants, based on clinical studies and stories from people. Although we are still waiting for more solid data.
A systematic review of antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction in NIH found that bupropion has a lower risk of inducing sexual side effects compared to other antidepressants.
Another report by Borge et al. also showed that increased libido can be a side effect of Wellbutrin. It is important to note that all of these studies used bupropion as a daily treatment.
Here are some of its Positive effects on sexual functioning:
- Increased libido.
- Increased sexual arousal
- Improved orgasms
In some cases, it may even boost your sex drive. Because of this, it has been seen as a possible alternative for people who have sexual issues from taking other antidepressants.
However, everyone’s experience with Wellbutrin may differ, and if there are any changes in sexual desire, it’s important to talk to a professional for personalized and appropriate medical advice.
Possible side effects of Wellbutrin on sexual desire
Mood disorders are commonly treated with SSRIs, which can often cause sexual side effects in both men and women.
These side effects may include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty reaching orgasm
- Delayed ejaculation
However, studies have found that Wellbutrin doesn’t cause these specific side effects and can actually have a positive effect on the sexual health of many individuals.
Some people may experience changes in sexual function, like arousal and intensity of orgasm. These side effects are generally less common but should be considered as part of the drug’s overall profile.
This contrasts with SSRIs, which can suppress sexual desire and performance by increasing serotonin levels. By supporting norepinephrine and dopamine, Wellbutrin helps to maintain energy and mood states conducive to sexual activity.
It’s important for patients to observe their own reactions to the medication and report any unexpected changes to their provider.
Should you take wellbutrin because of sexual side effects?
No, Wellbutrin should not be taken just to increase sexual desire, even though it has been discussed as a potential remedy for the sexual side effects commonly caused by SSRIs.
Wellbutrin is mainly used to treat depression and help people quit smoking. Any effects on sexual function are considered secondary.
It’s crucial to first consult with your doctor to determine if Wellbutrin is an appropriate treatment for your specific needs.
The antidepressant medication should be used under the guidance of a provider who can monitor its effectiveness and side effects, and adjust dosages as needed.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Wellbutrin on the Body?
The first thing to keep in mind if you use Wellbutrin for the long term is that it may cause physical and psychological changes.
Physically, Wellbutrin is linked with an increased risk of high blood pressure, especially when taken in higher doses or alongside other medications.
Some people have reported psychological effects like feeling more anxious or agitated when taking this medication. However, these effects may decrease as the body gets used to the medicine.
Also, there is evidence that suggests long-term use of bupropion can help decrease the chances of experiencing depressive episodes again. This indicates that it can be effective in managing depression symptoms over time.
However, studies have shown that out of all the newer antidepressants in the US, bupropion seems to be the one with the fewest issues when it comes to messing with your sex life, adding extra pounds, or making you feel sleepy.
Tips for managing sexual side effects of Wellbutrin
If you have any sexual side effects while taking Wellbutrin or any medication, it’s important to talk openly and honestly with your provider. They may suggest some strategies to help you deal with these side effects.
- Adjusting the Dosage: Sometimes, changing the dose of Wellbutrin can mitigate sexual side effects without compromising its effectiveness in treating depression.
- Timing of Medication: Taking the medication at a time that corresponds with your sexual activity may help. For example, taking Wellbutrin after sexual activity could reduce the impact on sexual function.
- Additional Medications: In some cases, your doctor might prescribe additional medications that can counteract sexual side effects.
- Non-Pharmacological Approaches: Techniques like therapy or counseling can also address psychological factors related to sexual dysfunction.
Remember, never attempt to adjust or combine medications without professional advice, as this could cause negative effects.
Precautions while using Wellbutrin
Wellbutrin has the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that necessitates immediate medical intervention.
If you experience symptoms such as a rash, itching, facial or throat swelling, difficulty breathing, or chest pain, contact your doctor without delay.
It’s important to take Wellbutrin as prescribed and follow these precautions for safe use:
- Do not take Wellbutrin with a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor.
- Avoid starting Wellbutrin within 2 weeks after stopping an MAO inhibitor.
- Wait for 2 weeks after stopping Wellbutrin before starting an MAO inhibitor.
- Taking them together or not waiting 2 weeks can cause different symptoms like confusion, agitation, restlessness, stomach or bowel issues, sudden high body temperature, extremely high blood pressure, or severe convulsions.
- Inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have, medication you’re taking, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Do not consume alcohol while using this medication.
- Report any unusual changes in mood or behavior.
- Do not operate heavy machinery or drive until you’re aware of how Wellbutrin affects you.
Wellbutrin is an option for managing depression with less impact on sexual health compared to some other medications. It’s important to use it with proper guidance from a provider, discussing any side effects or concerns. Safety measures should be taken to avoid interactions or allergies. Overall, talking to your doctor and finding a personalized approach to treatment is important for getting the most out of Wellbutrin while minimizing risks.
Does Wellbutrin Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
No, Wellbutrin is commonly known to have a less negative impact on sexual functions like erectile dysfunction (ED), especially when compared to other antidepressants like SSRIs. It may actually help improve sexual function or desire for some people. However, as with any medication, the experience can vary from person to person. If someone is experiencing ED while on Wellbutrin, they should consult their healthcare provider.
Can You Take Wellbutrin with Viagra?
Yes, Wellbutrin can be taken with Viagra, as there is no direct drug interaction between the two medications. But, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking them together.
What other medication should be avoided while using Wellbutrin?
Certain medications should not be taken or used carefully alongside Wellbutrin. These include other antidepressants, specific antipsychotics, theophylline, and systemic corticosteroids. It’s also important to avoid drugs that lower seizure threshold (e.g., tramadol, over-the-counter stimulants, anorectics). Also, stop using dopaminergic drugs like levodopa and amantadine, as they can increase side effects. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting or stopping any medications while taking Wellbutrin.
Can Wellbutrin be used in combination with therapy?
Yes, combining Wellbutrin with psychological therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or counseling, can often be more effective than medication alone for treating depression.
Can smoking cessation with Wellbutrin affect my mood or mental health?
Yes, using Wellbutrin (bupropion) for smoking cessation may affect your mood or mental health. It acts on brain chemicals that are involved in nicotine addiction and mood regulation. While it can help with nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms, it may also affect your mood. Some people might experience increased anxiety or mood swings, especially in the early phases of quitting smoking. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or notice changes in your mood while using Wellbutrin for smoking cessation.
How long does it take for Wellbutrin to start working?
Wellbutrin generally begins to show its effects on symptoms of depression within the first one to two weeks of treatment. But it usually takes a few weeks, around 4 to 6 weeks to feel all the positive effects of the medicine. Just make sure to stick to your schedule and follow your doctor’s instructions during this time.