By Tammy Preston, MS

Generic Name: Bupropion (bew-PROH-pee-on)

Brand Names: Wellbutrin®, Zyban®, Budeprion®, Aplenzin®, Voxra®

Manufacturers: GlaxoSmithKline Inc.

What is Wellbutrin®?
Wellbutrin® is an antidepressant that has shown promise in helping people with childhood and adult ADHD. Antidepressants are sometimes used in conjuction with stimulants (such as Adderall) or as a standalone treatment for sufferers of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As well, depression and adult ADHD often coexist, and this medication is useful for people dealing with both issues.

How Does Wellbutrin® Work?
It is not known exactly how Wellbutrin® works, but it is thought that it inhibits the reuptake to norepinephrine and dopamine, which creates feelings of enjoyment and motivation.

How Do I Take Wellbutrin®?
Normally Wellbutrin® XR (extended release) is used as this ensures the medication remains effective all day, as well as reduces incidences of side effects.

Is Wellbutrin® Effective for Adult ADHD?
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of 40 patients, Wellbutrin® showed a statistically significant effect in improving symptoms of people with adult ADHD.

That being said, Wellbutrin® is normally on tried after stimulants such as Adderall have been tried as stimulants are normally more effective in treating adult ADHD.

Wellbutrin® Side Effects
The biggest side effect of Wellbutrin® is the possibility of seizures. This risk is mitigated by using the lowest possible effective dose.

Pregnancy Category C
Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not use Wellbutrin®.

Wilens, et al. (2001), A Controlled Clinical Trial of Bupropion for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults, Am J Psychiatry 2001;158:282-288


  1. I have been on Adderall for 1 1/2 years now and it has changed my life! I am also taking Lexapro w/it. I did not know that wellbrutrin could possibly work better w/adderall. Anyone have any info or advice? My email is ddaugherty91861@yahoo.com

  2. I am trying Wellbutrin, and in 3 days, I had a terrible taste in my mouth. It has been over 8 weeks now, and it has not subsided. What other similar drugs are there to try??? This is VERY frustrating!

  3. I was on Wellbutrin for depression for 2 days when I started feeling really really down and depressed more than usual. I thought it was just me adjusting to the meds but on the 3rd day I had a horrible panic attack, to the point i thought i was dying. Went to the ER and was immediately taken off of it. It was reacting in a such a way with my body that it was causing my anxiety to go way overboard. Now on Zoloft and klonopin and trazodone. Does nothing for me or my depression or ADHD. Going to a new psych doctor tomorrow who can hopefully get me on the right track. I was diagnosed at age 12 with ADHD and was given strattera, did nothing but turned me into a zombie. I pulled away from friends and family and stayed in my bedroom. Eventually it turned into suicidal thoughts, and when i would address this to my mother and the doctor they gave it no serious thought. So when i would have to take my meds i would sneak and flush them down the toilet. I will never be put on that crap again!!

  4. I was put on Wellbutrin xlnt 150mg for 5 days then upped it to 300 mg. All I do is sleep. Anyone else have this problem?

  5. Wellbutrin has balanced me out. To the point I was at 22. Happy, full of life, I don’t sleep in, I’m mentally there. For the first time in my life I actually feel GREAT! I’m 31 now and never diagnosed until 2 months ago with depression. Turns out that’s whats been wrong with me for a VERY long time. My mother didn’t believe in meds to help out with mind. She grew up with a Manic depressive mother who underwent shock treatment and I believe that it is why she was anti pills which I’m sure watching your mother go through shock treatment would mess you up.

    Lexapro is what they started me on and I just wanted to sleep. Yea my anxiety was gone but I was drowsy that’s not my personality. Wellbutrin makes me feel like myself but keeps my mind under control still. Email me if you have questions.

    I really didn’t want to be on meds but they are working. I find myself really enjoying everything and its keeping my energy up too.

    Before Wellbutrin I eat extremely healthy and worked out 5 days a week. Whenever I was done with the gym I felt so good but that feeling quickly would wear off. Now with Wellbutrin its pretty much that feeling all time. I do have slight trouble going to bed but that’s a very small price to pay versus blowing my brains out which is pretty much where I was psychologically.

  6. i have Personal experience with both Wellbutrin and adderil. Also lamectil. This combo has helped me tremendously. So grateful!! But u also have to do a lot of self help too. There are side effects.

  7. just been reading through the opinions, not all really relating to me i guess. Ill state mine situation and maybe someone could help??? email me or reply idk.

    when i was 15 / 16 i was diagnosed with ADHD and was put on Concerta. I went to school and actually took notes and did my homework instead of dicking around. My father stopped paying for them a few months and we missed the checkups. I stopped bugging him and we just blew it off till i was 18, by then i was to old for the clinic i went to.

    im 22 now and a few months ago i had suicidal thoughts and bad depression. I was put on lamotrigine and it got rid of my anxiety. I have told my psychiatrist many times that i cant focus and i interrupt people without knowing, be lazy, and have no motivation to do anything….. very forgetful also. So he put me on wellbutrin, then wellbbutrin XL.
    Am i suppose to feel the same way as Concerta? my doc says he is super sure this is gonna make me focus and be on task and what not…….. i mean, i dont feel anything… what am i suppose to feel? I remember what my concerta felt like and its nothing the same. maybe cause im a adult now? any help or suggestions can help. thank you

  8. Hunter, first, I am sorry to hear all the time (most of your normal learning years) you could have been growing in school but you were fighting with your issues in your brain chemical make-up. I have been trying to get on something for my ADHD and after Adderal, Vyvanse (which I loved, very mild) and now Concerta which all three gave me hives on my arms and tongue, I am now going to try Wellbutrin with my Citalopram. My point is, your doctor sounds a bit unprofessional in that he will not prescribe Concerta for you, if that is what works for you!!! EVERYBODY will react in a different way to any given drug, why do you think there are so many choices. My advice is to ask for a Concerta prescription or go elsewhere if you can & find a doctor who will listen to your unique needs. I think Concerta would be worth another shot, your body is still the same as when you were 15 for the most part. Good luck!

  9. Hi Hunter and whomever else bothers to read this,

    When I was on standard health insurance I was on a antidepressant and adderall. The combination worked and life was pretty good, the adderall was like flipping a light switch in my head. I went from utterly random to focused and started performing better at home and at work.

    Later I lost that job (fired for being a veteran… yeah, that’s a completely different conversation) so I used the VA more than I used to and they simply ignored the ADHD side of things and tried treating the depression which never really helped one way or the other. The last mental health doc tried various dosages of bupropion which I can’t really tell if they did much, part of the problem is that I can never remember to take my medications lol. I finally got her to understand that the ADHD sucks (which is one of the reasons she says she opted for bupropion) and finally she got me on the burpropion HCL (Wellbutrin XL) so I only needed to take one 300mg tab per day instead of trying to remember multiple dosages which proved nearly impossible.

    I guess it helps a bit, it still doesn’t take much more than a flash of something or something in an unexpected place to cause a complete loss of what I was doing and set me on a completely different track… but I do seem to remember some things better than before… I still can never find my car keys… or wallet… or my lunch…

    I found that having a job where you can distract yourself makes it easier. I work IT and if I have 8 machines that need to be built or repaired I can do them all pretty quickly because as soon as one makes a noise or something appears on the screen I bounce to it and things just work out in my favor.

    If you are expecting the same results as a stimulant, you’re in for a huge disappointment. However if you have heart issues or a doctor who is too afraid to prescribe due to the idiots out there that abuse medications, it’s better than nothing. I guess how much better depends on the person.

    With Asperger’s, ADHD and depression I can at least say that being around me is interesting! (or did I mean annoying?)

  10. I know this is an adult website but I am writing here as a parent of a 16 year old who is just like many of you and I would so appreciate any advice anyone has. My son was diagnosed with ADD in 7th grade when he couldn’t keep up anymore. He went on vyvance and it helped him with his school work tremendously. We have had to increase his dose every year with weight and growth gain and he is now on 50mg and I don’t think it is working anymore. His grades are suffering and they are the worst he has ever had. We know he is very bright bc we had him tested. He is in 11th grade and doesn’t socialize any because he seems to be anxious, seems down. and lacks self esteem along with focus. My husband and I try everything to help him but I don’t know what to do. My brother took his own life because of a cocktail of drugs for anxiety and depression so I am super leary of meds at such a young age. Any suggestions or ideas how I can make this better for him would be great. This is tearing me apart watching my son go through this. Thanks in advance.

  11. Nadine Totty says

    I am 32 years old and have adhd. I was taking strattera which was working good but made me tired all the time. So my doctor decided to try Wellbutrin I feel a little lost 4 days in almost had an anxiety attack in Walmart yesterday not sure if I’m going to be continuing this I’m still tired. Any suggestions?

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