Wellbutrin and Weight: Can Bupropion Cause Weight Loss?

Last Updated: June 3, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Bupropion, also known by the branded formulations Wellbutrin XL, SR, and IR are averagely popular antidepressants which are primarily prescribed to a patient by a doctor but can also be gotten over the counter in other forms. Wellbutrin is prescribed for reducing symptoms of a smoking addiction or treat Major depressive disorder. One of the side effects of Wellbutrin medication is to cause changes in a patient’s body mass. Primarily bupropion causes weight loss, but it can also cause Wellbutrin weight gain in some patients. Discover how does Wellbutrin cause weight gain or loss, and is it safe to use bupropion as a diet pill?

Wellbutrin And Weight Loss

With research through clinical observation, the results showed that patients who were overweight or had obesity issues lost weight while on Wellbutrin. Bupropion weight loss is considered as a side effect of Wellbutrin treatment process, but this is not directly related to it. This is possible because, for instance, a patient who is an ardent smoker or suffers depression may be consuming too much food or alcohol with bupropion due to these issues.
There are so many Wellbutrin weight loss stories and reviews from patients who have been on the medication or are currently on the drug. Some individuals, while on the bupropion HCL XL 150 mg, experienced weight loss of up to 10 pounds just within six weeks of intake. Some others lost 11 pounds after taking it for one to two years, at various dosages. Some individuals also say it helps to give them the motivation to stick to a strict or healthy eating plan.
Wellbutrin will help to curb these symptoms, thereby reducing the thirst or hunger for excess food intake. It also helps by helping to curb cravings, so individuals on the medication only need to eat when hungry and not at any time of the day. This way, the client can eat a properly balanced diet and not have cravings caused by anxiety, depression, or addiction.
This means that there is or might be a significant calorie reduction while patients are on Wellbutrin medication.

Hand measuring waist after bupropion intake

What Is The Dosage Amount For Weight Loss On Wellbutrin?

There is no actual Wellbutrin xl dosage for weight loss, as intake is dependent on the prescription is given to the patient by the physician. Dosage may be increased gradually or as seen fit by the doctor in charge of the patient.
A patient taking bupropion HCL XL 300 mg daily may experience weight loss of up to five pounds after taking it for six months. This is highly dependent on the individual’s weight when the medication intake began. Different patients experience different levels of weight loss while on Wellbutrin.
In totality, there is no definitive answer for how fast loss of body mass is for a patient on bupropion, or is there any specific bupropion weight loss dosage that must be followed accordingly. Despite this, it is proven that bupropion does unintentionally cause loss of body mass in some patients.

Bupropion Weight Gain: Does Wellbutrin Cause Weight Gain?

Unlike Wellbutrin weight loss, which is very common, Bupropion weight gain also occurs. Like its reasons for loss in body mass, patients diagnosed with depression and anxiety suffer many different symptoms. Different individuals experience and suffer through depression, anxiety, or smoking cessation in various ways. Some patients might be inclined to eat more while going through an episode, while others might not eat at all.
There are several Wellbutrin reviews on weight gain from different patients who have been or currently are on bupropion. Some patients have gained up to 50 pounds after taking it for a couple of years.

How Fast Is Weight Gain on Wellbutrin?

Intake of bupropion HCL XL 150 mg or 300 mg may cause one to gain up to 5 pounds after half of the year. Like in its weight loss equivalent, the mass gain is dependent on the initial weight of the patient before beginning bupropion medication plan.
Dosage can be increased to up to 400mg daily or as seen approved by a qualified physician. patients are strongly discouraged to always consult their doctors before changing, increasing, or reducing medication intake.
Although Wellbutrin can be taken with or without food, it is possible for bupropion drug interactions to occur. Patients are strongly advised to consult their doctor before taking bupropion with other medications as interactions can go either be major causing death or moderate like dizziness and dry mouth.

Wellbutrin can cause fat gain on hips

Taking Wellbutrin For Weight Gain or Weight Loss

Due to the widespread popularity of Wellbutrin and its weight changing properties, individuals have chosen to go on this medication with the goal of either gaining weight or losing body mass. This is because it helps to curb food cravings or allow for regular food intake completely.
Taking Wellbutrin for weight loss can help patients, but when the medication is stopped, there is a possibility that weight gain might begin again. This is because bupropion works by increasing the reaction of two chemicals in the brain called norepinephrine and dopamine.
Weight changing effects don’t mean that the medication should be avoided, if it was taken to reduce depression symptoms, and lose body mass was noticed during that period. If a patient is suffering with weight problems alongside mental health issues, Wellbutrin may work as a pill to reduce or increase weight while a patient is on it.

Is It Safe To Take Wellbutrin For Weight Gain or Weight Loss?

Wellbutrin is not recommended for patients who are struggling with anorexia or bulimia or have a history of seizures, as it can put the patient at a higher risk. Wellbutrin for decreased sex-drive in also one more common off-label use of this medication.

 Studies show that this overdose can cause anything from hypoxia and seizures to loss of life in the patient.

Female doctor consults elderly patient about wellbutrin ad weigh
Wellbutrin and its equivalents were created to help treat depression and NOT for gaining weight or losing it. In totality, it might be safe to take Wellbutrin as a diet pill in patients struggling with depression or anxiety. It might not be safe to take it for only weight changing purpose.
Patients who want to use this drug to lose or gain body mass are advised to contact a medical practitioner before buying Wellbutrin or going on any medication or for a prescription of an adequate weight loss pill.

Page Sources

  1. Gadde KM, Parker CB, Maner LG, Wagner HR, Logue EJ, Drezner MK, Krishnan KR, Bupropion for weight loss: an investigation of efficacy and tolerability in overweight and obese women.

Published on: July 5th, 2019

Updated on: June 3rd, 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

  • Lordie Lordie
    I’ve been on Wellbutrin XL 300mgs for probably 4 years now..yes I have gained tons of weight.I have gained total of 45 50 lbs. and I have tried to lose weight,and cannot..I will soon be discontinuing using it.because the weight gain is very hard on me.. it may be different for others but it has made me gain…
    • InnerRise
      I’ve lost like 11 pounds like 10 weeks.