Anyone have opinions about Wellbutrin


New Member
Hi everyone,

psychiatrist wants to try difficult child on Wellbutrin - starting at a low dose. He was tried on Zoloft 6 months ago and we got all of the negative reactions after 8 weeks on the medication that are warned.

I have read a bit about Wellbutrin and it seems they have just about the same warnings for it as Zoloft. I was hoping someone with more education on medications can help me out.

difficult child is currently inpatient at psychiatric hospital. He was withdrawn from lithium about 5 weeks ago and we have significantly decreased his seroquel dosage - and psychiatrist is continuing to wean him off that - her goal is to leave him just enough seroquel to aid his sleep at night.

New theory is that he does not fit enough of the criterion to carry the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis. They believe the root of his issues comes from anxiety. The new psychiatrist also believes he fits the asperbergs category better (which we have had on our possible list of suspects from age 4) and he has hyperactive/compulsive tendancies.

Any input - positive or negative - would be appreciated.



Hi Jamie, according to my son's psychiatrist, Wellbutrin is the least likely of all the antidepressants to cause hypomania/mania. Having said that, it helps depression more than anxiety, and in some cases, can exacerbate existing anxiety. My son has both anxiety and depression (right now depression is the bigger problem), and we were very interested in trying Wellbutrin, given that he has reacted poorly to Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Effexor XR. However, the pills were too large for him to swallow (he has sensory issues), and we couldn't convince him to try them. That's how he ended up on a low dose of Lexapro in addition to the mood stabilizer Lamictal. For my son, I would have absolutely no problem trying Wellbutrin.

Just so you know, some kids with AS still have mood issues akin to the mood instability of BiPolar (BP). So you end up having to treat them as if they have BiPolar (BP), even if they don't fully meet the criteria (if that makes any sense). Some kids just react poorly to any SSRI, even if they don't have BiPolar (BP). Wellbutrin, by the way, is not an SSRI, but an atypical antidpressant that works on the neurotransmitters Dopamine and Norepinephrine.


New Member

Thanks for the insight. Our difficult child has some depression, too, but the psychiatrist is split on whether the depression is brought on by the anxiety or vice versa. difficult child expresses stressing out over feeling things aren't going well, difficult child not fitting in, not having friends because he's different, he's always afraid something will happen that he will not be able to control, etc. I guess only time will tell. He worries about everything. Even perseverating on things that are not his to worry about - i.e. money issues, the war, easy child's grades in school, my job, etc. And, he told psychiatrist that he felt his biggest problem was that he is always agitated and irritated by everyone and everything and unable to control what happens next when he is agitated.

He is inpatient right now, as I mentioned, and has yet to have any issues there. So far, so good, as they say, but he can go weeks without a major episode, so that's pretty typical. Not to mention, there is always the 'honeymoon phase' to factor in.

I found out about 30 minutes ago that difficult child took his first dose of the wellbutrin already, so I guess we'll just to have to buckle in and wait and see how it goes.

For some reason, I cannot seem to grasp the differences between the SSRI's and other medications. I have read and read and tried, but it's like I myself have a mental block where it's concerned.

Thanks again.


New Member
SSRI's work on Seratonin, and Wellbutrin on Dopamine and Nor epinephrine. Wellbutrin worked for a while as an add on to Tegretol for my bipolar nephew. My difficult child tried Wellbutrin alone and it made him extremely agitated. I guess that is a side effect that can go away after time, but it seemed to stay with him. He was taking it for depression, but it did not work. We are trying to ween him from it right now because we feel it is the one medication in his cocktail that he really does not need.

I hope that it helps your difficult child. I also have not heard that it was used as an anti anxiety medication, but mostly for depression.


New Member
Someone already said this but Zoloft is an SSRI working on Serotonin while Wellbutrin works on dopamine. I take both, none of my natural chemicals talk to each other I guess. I really like Wellbutrin, it was a godsend for me but I am an adult.

Hopefully it works for your difficult child.

Much luck!



for me I felt great on Wellbutrin, but difficult child II was nasty and it made him worse not better everyone responds differently which makes it hard


Active Member
Wellbutrin is apparently one of the best anti-depressants out there-so it is worth a try. Both my psychiatrist and my son's rave about it.

I personally just tried it a couple of weeks ago in combo with my Lexapro and it agitated my anxiety, made me tired and hyper at the same time (I could not sleep for 2 nights in a row), and gave me heart palpitations. So there you go!! Everyone is different - but I know my psychiatrist wants to try my son on it also when he is stablilized enough. (He is also in inpatient right now). So hopefully your son will respond well to it.


Well-Known Member
My hub took Zyban to quit smoking (it's Wellbutrin with a different name). He is a very calm person, but it made him so nervous he had to quit. He eventually did quit smoking, but wouldn't go near Wellbutrin again. It's very individual. I have heard it's stimulating from some who take it.


psychiatrist had me try Wellbutrin and my blood pressure went through the roof. Felt as if my heart was jumping out. I told him I needed to quit, and even after I went off, my blood pressure remained high for quite some time. psychiatrist told me that would go away with treatment and I didn't give it enough time. I couldn't handle the agitation and it made anxiety much worse when you feel as if your heart is ready to jump out. That was my experience.


New Member
Wow, thanks to everyone. Sounds like a mixed bag. I know that all people respond differently to all medications. I keep reminding myself that while difficult child is inpatient, this is the best time to try a new medication.

He was pretty cranked up at last night's visit, but it was the first one where all of us went - husband, easy child and myself. And, we took takeout for dinner, as it is our weekly tradition and he has been perfectly behaved so far.

He said he was having a hard time yesterday because the weekends are hard - with not much to do - and a peer was having a particularly bad time of it - several outbursts/episodes in one day. difficult child is used to being able to retreat to his room for some quiet, alone time at home and he's missing that right now. I checked in with staff last night about 9:30 and he was fine the rest of the evening - watched a movie, etc., so I guess it's so far, so good.

Thanks for the input, everyone.


New Member
I've been on it for 5 yrs. I lost weight and it didn't affect my sex life-I'd buy stock in it if I could.
Only scary thing I have heard is that you can get involuntary shaking from it long term.
I guess I am long term so I ought to reevaluate it. Only a twitch or two so far and nothing I could pinpoint as the medications or anything that troubled me for long.
I became a teacher as I started taking it so I don't know if I became more anxious or irritable or if 200+ kids per yr. did it, ha ha.


I haven't replied to this because what I heard about welbutrin is so different. Many people here have said that it's supposed to be the least of all the AD's to cause mania.

I had a diagnosis of BiPolar (BP) for about 5 minutes simply because of how I reacted to welbutrin. It made me want to come out of my skin. I didn't buy the diagnosis because I've never had any mania/hypomania outside of the welbutrin reaction. I went to a new psychiatrist and he agreed that I don't have BiPolar (BP) and that that reaction is pretty common from welbutrin. Maybe that's just for adults. I don't know. My therapist at the time agreed with what psychiatrist said about my reaction.

Or maybe I misunderstood. That's not out of the realm of possibilities. I was severely, severely depressed at the time. Things get fuzzy.

See why I hesitated responding? Not helpful at all.


Heather, the "jumping out of your skin" feeling is actaully a common side effect that I've heard reported and a reason Wellbutrin is sometimes discontinued. But I think that's very different from hypomania/mania. When my son is manic, it goes way beyond not feeling comfortable in his skin. It's downright scary. So I don't think your reaction and Wellbutrin being the least likely AD to cause hypomania/mania are contradictory.


That doesn't surprise me, actually. My first psychiatrist, like I said, gave the diagnosis of BiPolar (BP) after only one 45 minute visit simply because of my reaction to welbutrin. He put me on lithium and lamictal and when I said, wait a minute...I want to talk about this, he accused me of not being medication compliant and told me to go somewhere else. So I did. Happily. Jerk.