When wellbutrin is taken as a depression treatment, it usually takes up to six weeks before the medication starts working fully. However, some patients may start to feel the drug’s benefits after one or two weeks. These include improvements in sleep patterns, appetite, energy and ability to focus.
The main ingredient in wellbutrin is bupropion, which affects norepinephrine and dopamine levels. It inhibits the reuptake of these neurotransmitters, which helps control mood, sleep, restlessness, memory retrieval and arousal. The medication also has a stimulant-like effect. Wellbutrin is available in several formulations including extended-release (SR or XL) and generics. It is FDA-approved to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder, as well as to help people quit smoking.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking the medication. This is especially true if you are taking other medications, including herbal products and health supplements. In addition, alcohol use can interact with the drug and lower your seizure threshold. It is also important to tell your doctor if you have an angle-closure glaucoma or liver disease.
The side effects of wellbutrin can be mild or severe. If they persist or worsen, speak to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking the drug, you might experience withdrawal symptoms. To avoid this, you must gradually taper off the medication. This process is called downward titration. It takes weeks and should not be done on your own. If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, talk to your doctor about this, as well. The medication may pass into breast milk and cause harm to the baby.