Wellbutrin And Sex Drive: Does Bupropion Increase Libido?

Last Updated: June 12, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

According to a study conducted by NCBI, 1 of 10 women are plagued with reduced sexual desire. A lot of them are victims of unintentional antidepressants adverse reactions. When bupropion is advocated to combat depression, the fear of the sexual side effects of Wellbutrin commonly comes up. While it is possible to lose weight on Wellbutrin, does it also cause erectile dysfunction or it is a medication to treat it?

Does Wellbutrin Have Any Sexual Side Effects?

Data obtained from the CDC has shown that nothing less than 50 million people across the U.S. are struggling from one form of mental health disorders such as Major depressive disorder. MDD has been connected with sexual problems, such as low libido and erectile dysfunction, and bupropion is commonly used to treat the Major depressive disorder. Most antidepressants are known for lowering patients libido and sexual desire. Fortunately, bupropion is not one of them. All of its formulations are standing among the safest antidepressants almost without potential sexual side effects. But are there completely none of them?

Wellbutrin And Hypersexuality Side Effects

Bupropion is known as a reliable medication against Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), and Wellbutrin and sex drive’s improvement is a known fact. Wellbutrin has a positive impact on libido, even if it was worse due to a previous antidepressant, and some patients begin to worry about dealing with hypersexuality as a side effect of Wellbutrin. So, does Wellbutrin hypersexuality side effect exist?

woman during therapy of hypersexuality caused by Wellbutrin
One study explored the issue of hypersexuality related to bupropion. A man, who was undergoing the course of antidepressants, had his sexual interest exceedingly heightened. He previously had been taking bupropion to manage his depression. The patient was scared and wanted to stop taking bupropion, but he first sought the counsel of his healthcare provider. However, studying his medication history properly, it was discovered that sertraline also had been introduced into his regimen previously. The physicians discovered it was the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor had caused the hypersexuality, but not Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin does not usually cause hypersexuality. There is some anecdotal evidence of increasing in sexual interest after the concomitant use of Wellbutrin with SSRIs, but further research has proven that this side effect resulted from SSRI use, not Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin hypersexuality scare is baseless and has no evidence, because of its drug class, even though bupropion HCl SR can help patients suffering from Hypoactive sexual desire disorder and other sexual diseases.

Wellbutrin For Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

HSDD is commonly caused by negative emotional states and health conditions related to depression. As stated by Mayo Clinics Proceedings bupropion and its formulations may be considered as off-label treatments for HSDD in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women having HSDD.

Wellbutrin For Sexual Dysfunction

Wellbutrin And Erectile Dysfunction In Men

Wellbutrin erectile dysfunction isn’t known to happen in men. In fact, sex drive in men becomes optimal when bupropion is introduced. Moreover, there is a progressive relationship between Wellbutrin and testosterone as the levels of this hormone is boosted during the course of bupropion.

Wellbutrin Benefits For Sexual Dysfunction In Women

Wellbutrin doesn’t lead to sexual dysfunction in women. It rather enables good sexual health. This medication eventually leads to faster and multiple orgasms in women. According to a study on the psychosexual dysfunction experienced in people of both genders, bupropion libido effects observed in women showed healthier libido as well as better sexual satisfaction.

Female Sexual Dysfunction

Wellbutrin Dose For Low Libido

According to a study focused on the relationship of Wellbutrin, sex drive, low libido, and orgasms in men and women, bupropion dose of 150 mg/day to 300 mg/day of bupropion was found to be just adequate. It was discovered that the male part of the research was able to achieve and sustain an erection. Also, these men were able to have pleasant sexual experiences. What seemed to please the men who used bupropion compared to their counterparts that were placed on placebos, was that they experienced prolonged duration before reaching climax and ejaculating.

Wellbutrin As A Sex Pill: Is It Safe To Take It?

Based on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of bupropion, Wellbutrin and dopamine inhibition occurs. Furthermore, bupropion prevents the reuptake of norepinephrine. So, does this interference of norepinephrine make Wellbutrin safe for sex?
One of Wellbutrin benefits for a good sexual experience is the release of dopamine. This also helps in relieving stress. Recent scientific evidence revealed bupropion was observed to have restored normal sexual functioning in about 70% of the research population. Both men and women were included in the research, as well as young and older adults, from 18 years to 80 years old. The results show that this medication is suitable for both genders and all ages. Conclusively, there were no Wellbutrin sexual side effects found by this research.

Risks of Wellbutrin addiction and abuse exist, especially during long-term treatment, and if any signs of addiction appear, one should visit a rehabilitation facility.

Page Sources

  1. Piyush Das, Abhishek Rai, Amit Chopra, Vijay Dewan, Sertraline-Induced Hypersexuality in a Patient Taking Bupropion, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3425452/
  2. Crenshaw TL, Goldberg JP, Stern WC, Pharmacologic modification of psychosexual dysfunction, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3121861
  3. Gregory S. Sayuk, Britt M. Gott, Billy D. Nix, Patrick J. Lustman, Improvement in Sexual Functioning in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Depression Treated With Bupropion, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024343/
  4. Goldstein I, Kim NN, Clayton AH, DeRogatis LR, Giraldi A, Parish SJ, Pfaus J, Simon JA, Kingsberg SA, Meston C, Stahl SM, Wallen K, Worsley R, Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH) Expert Consensus Panel Review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27916394?log$=activity

Published on: July 5th, 2019

Updated on: June 12th, 2020

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.


Leave a comment

  • D. Rambone
    I’m a 65 yr old male. I had S.A.D., and my doc put me on 300 mg Wellbutrin. The drug made me hypersexual (horny), so I started to taper, all the way down to my current 60 mg. Even at 60mg, the drug makes me horny, which is good if you want to have sex once a day, which at 65 I don’t, and can’t. Just read that it is the SSRI (Celexa) I once took that is responsible for the hypersexuality.
    • Tuong Hua
      I had experiment all SSRI medication , I took CELEXA or any of the SSRI I will not reach orgasm .
  • kotcha doonkeen
    what is a average dose of welbutrin for a 65 year old man?