Wellbutrin is the brand name for bupropion hydrochloride, a medication commonly used to treat depression and anxiety. It is a member of the amino-ketone class of chemicals and is chemically different from most other anti depressants. It is a derivative of diethylpropion, which is an amphetamine-like substance used as an appetite suppressant. Wellbutrin works on the neurotransmitters in the brain and restores the chemical balance, thus improving the mental well-being of the person. It acts as a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor as well as a dopamine neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitor. However, like many other medications, this drug may also cause some undesirable effects.
Wellbutrin is a fairly popular medication used to treat depression, as well as other disorders such as bipolar disorder, restless legs syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), obesity and sleep disorders. The dose of Wellbutrin may vary depending on various factors such as age of the person, nature and severity of the condition and medications the person may be taking for some other health condition. Most people tolerate the drug well, however, some may experience certain adverse effects with its use.
The most common Wellbutrin side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Irregular heartbeat
- Frequent urination
Some people may experience allergic reactions with Wellbutrin such as skin rash, hives, swelling of the face, rapid heartbeat and chest pain. Preventing or stopping the side effects can be achieved by sticking to the dosage prescribed by your doctor, as higher dosage can cause several bothersome side effects. Let us have a closer look at these side effects.
Insomnia is one of the common side effects of Wellbutrin. Difficulty in falling asleep and waking up too often during the night are some of the symptoms associated with this condition. If you experience insomnia during treatment with this drug, improving sleeping habits by keeping a regular sleep wake cycle, refraining from any kind of exercises within two hours of bedtime, refraining from having large meals and avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before bedtime can be an effective cure.
Another common side effect associated with Wellbutrin is weight loss. Although some people may benefit from this side effect of weight loss, it can be a serious problem for many. It often causes nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and other digestive issues and these side effects may together contribute to weight loss. If you experience rapid weight loss, be sure to consult your medical care provider as soon as possible.
Hair loss is one of the rare side effects of Wellbutrin that affects women more often than men. It is believed that the increased dopamine function due to Wellbutrin may lead to an increase in the testosterone levels. This in turn causes over production of DHT, a metabolite of testosterone, which can be the reason for hair loss.
Wellbutrin may potentially interact with some drugs resulting in a bundle of other health problems. Some examples of drugs that can interact with it include antipsychotic medications, beta blockers, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, steroids and other antidepressants. The drug interactions can cause the body to metabolize the medications differently and can lead to several health hazards.
If you observe any of these side effects, consult your health care provider as soon as possible. The use of Wellbutrin should be avoided in children or adolescents, as it can react with their brains and cause feelings of suicide and depression.