Wellbutrin, also known as Bupropion, does not suppress appetite, but it regulates the dopamine levels in your brain. For people who struggle to lose weight, Wellbutrin allows them to feel full for longer, thus reducing their food intake. The mid-20th century drug Bupropion has had a significant impact on both weight loss and mental health.
Today, a large population suffers from obesity and being overweight due to illness, lack of healthy food options, and lack of healthcare services that offer the appropriate advice. Obese people may find it difficult to begin their wellness journey due to a lack of information or simply not knowing where to start. Fortunately, Wellbutrin may be the much needed solution.
Wellbutrin provides additional support for patients with poor mental health. A person’s quality of life can be severely altered by mood disorders. But they can obtain a happier mental state with Wellbutrin. Addiction and dependency are also discussed along with mental health. For such issues, therapy is frequently the best option. Drugs, however, can be advantageous in such a discussion.
Wellbutrin is one of the most important medications in the twenty-first century as medical understanding and technology develop. So, learn whether it’s an appetite suppressant in this article.
What Is Wellbutrin?
Wellbutrin plays various roles in the medical industry. Firstly, it is an antidepressant offered to people who suffer from mood disorders. It is also known as bupropion, and in addition to mood disorders, it assists heavy smokers in their attempt to quit by suppressing powerful urges for nicotine. Thirdly, by influencing norepinephrine and domaine levels, which in turn regulate appetite and hunger, the medication aids obese and overweight adults in overcoming their condition.
The roles of bupropion are plenty and diverse, and with clinical studies always in the process, there may be more advantages to bupropion now than fifty years ago.
It is classified as a legal drug; however, it is not served over the counter, so consumers need a doctor’s prescription, even though it is relatively safe for consumption. In its simple pill form, it is easy to store, carry and consume.
Bupropion comes with precise instructions depending on the desired goal. For instance, the doses should be at least eight hours apart for those trying to quit smoking, and one can only take two doses per 24 hours. For most patients, the course of medication runs for 12 weeks, but a healthcare provider may exceed the time frame depending on the client’s requirements.
Bupropion is highly effective, and its popularity is partially thanks to its performance compared to other antidepressants. It is versatile, combating obesity, depression, and smoking addiction. Additionally, unlike other antidepressant medications, it does not cause drowsiness, tiredness, and insomnia. It does not affect the consumer’s sexual drive, and it does not promote weight gain.
The History of Bupropion
Wellbutrin is the brand name for bupropion. Bupropion itself was invented in 1969 as a treatment for depression. However, it has since become an effective tool for weight loss and smoking cessation—extensive research by Nariman Mehta, an Indian-American organic chemist and pharmacologist.
His extensive research revealed that bupropion effectively diminished signs of depression in the experimental subjects compared to those given a placebo. In 1974, Burroughs-Wellcome patented the drug, and the FDA approved it for public use a few years after under Wellbutrin.
In 1986 the FDA removed the drug from the market due to the succession of seizures in patients. However, it was later restored as a standard-release tablet in 1996 when they modified the dosage so that it entered the bloodstream slower.
Bupropion is now a well-known medical treatment around the world for mood disorders.
Forms of Bupropion
Bupropion is available in pill form for oral ingestion, and this is its only form, but it does vary in volume and chemical makeup depending on its use. This chemical difference turns it into a weight-loss drug, a smoking-dependent aid, or an antidepressant.
Bupropion XL/ Wellbutrin XL
To treat depression and combat smoking dependency, healthcare experts turn to bupropion Hydrochloride Extended-Release. It is administered in the morning (before or after food). And it is not to be crushed or chewed in the ingestion process.
Bupropion SR/ Wellbutrin SR
Unlike Bupropion XL, Bupropion Sustained-Release is taken twice daily (300 mg total).
- Both versions have similar effects on the consumer regarding weight loss, smoking, and depression. There is little difference between their functions and chemical makeup.
- The starting dose is 150 mg daily for both.
- In clinical trials, studies found that those who took bupropion XL were less likely to relapse and experienced fewer bouts of depression than those who took the bupropion SR version.
- Secondly, the body absorbs bupropion XL slower than bupropion SR.
- While both doses begin at 150 mg once a day, bupropion XL increases to 300 mg once daily instead of bupropion SR’s 150 mg twice daily.
- Bupropion XL, unlike bupropion SR, also treats seasonal affective disorder.
Wellbutrin and Smoking Cessation
Cigarette smoking is responsible for millions of nicotine-related addictions and deaths in the USA annually. But quitting is a challenge that requires physical and mental tenacity. It is often difficult to achieve the first time, especially if attempting to do it alone. In an attempt to help people with their smoking addictions, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) became the sought-after treatment.
Smoking is a difficult habit to get rid of because the brain registers nicotine use rapidly. The substance triggers chemicals that make you feel good, making smoking a reassuring routine over time. Additionally, this creates a reliance on nicotine.
So how does a person quit smoking? The body has to grow accustomed to disassociating the ecstatic feeling with nicotine, and the smoker has to remove the habit from their routine. For many, smoking becomes a coping mechanism, an emotional crutch. NRT is a valuable intervention tool for nicotine abusers and heavy smokers.
However, the creation of bupropion showed more significant success in treating smokers with nicotine dependency. For heavy smokers who are trying to quit, Wellbutrin is a commendable drug. It does not contain nicotine, unlike the standard nicotine patches. Therefore, the weaning process is quicker because the withdrawal symptoms are not as strong or as prominent.
How It Works
Bupropion reduces the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. These may include exhaustion, irritability, and the urge to smoke. It inhibits dopamine reuptake and weakens the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor to reduce the high associated with smoking and the craving for nicotine.
The health practitioner introduces the bupropion two weeks before the date the client wishes to quit smoking. This way, the body can adjust to the bupropion before the smoker quits. The drug is administered in phases; with each stage, the dosage increases to a specific dosage.
Once the course begins, it can take up to 12 weeks for the smoker to wean off smoking altogether, but bupropion is safe to consume for up to 12 months if necessary.
As a smoking deterrent, it can also work with gum and nicotine patches if the patient requires further assistance.
Wellbutrin and Mood Disorders
Mental wellness is a crucial component of a person’s overall health; without the appropriate intervention, poor mental health can physically affect the body. Mood disorders are triggered in several ways. For some, traumatic events act as a catalyst. In others, it is a hormonal and chemical imbalance. Wellbutrin is an effective drug to combat mood disorders, but it is not the only form of treatment. Many do not respond to it and must seek other treatment methods.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mental illness where one experiences negative emotions over a long period. There are several variations of the mood disorder, but the common symptoms include the following:
- Feeling disinterested in hobbies.
- Anger and frustration
- Tiredness and reduced appetite
Depression can be difficult to diagnose without expert assistance because symptoms differ for everyone. Therefore consulting your doctor or a qualified mental health specialist is the best step forward.
Depression can also be caused by hormonal imbalances and illnesses that disrupt the release of endorphins. Depending on the severity of the disorder, some clients require medication to stabilize their mood and alleviate their condition.
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
SAD is a depressive condition associated with the time of year. Often many clients experience SAD in winter or autumn. For many who suffer from the condition, options for treatment include light therapy (where the individual is exposed to more light): psychotherapy, or medication like bupropion. The symptoms are similar to those of depression.
The symptoms are:
- Feeling irrelevant or unwanted
- Social withdrawal
- Suicidal thoughts
- Appetite changes
There are variations of SAD. While some may experience it mainly during the colder months, others experience it during sunnier, hotter seasons like Summer and Spring. The symptoms of summer depression may be different due to the weather. For instance, while others experience bouts of hunger in winter, they may have a poor appetite in summer.
How It Works
Certain transmitters in the brain are responsible for releasing and regulating chemicals that dictate your mood. People with depression have a higher level of an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. This chemical disrupts the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin– chemicals and hormones responsible for happiness. Bupropion helps restore balance to these chemicals in the brain.
Wellbutrin and Other Disorders
Off-label bupropion may also positively affect conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and sexual dysfunctions often brought about by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The drug can also assist individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Wellbutrin and Weight Loss
Wellbutrin is not the only appetite suppressant available. However, it is an effective medication for overweight and obese people. The drug is combined with another called Naltrexone to stimulate hunger suppression. Not only this, but it also aids in alleviating weight-related health problems.
Naltrexone is used in opioid addicts to help wean them off the drug. However, when combined with Wellbutrin in the correct dosage, it acts as a hunger suppressant.
How It Works
With Naltrexone, bupropion affects the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a region in the brain. It is responsible for releasing hunger cues and the mesolimbic dopamine system. This region is responsible for an individual’s sense of desire and reward. The drug increases specific neurons in this brain area to lower the urge for food while increasing energy output.
The medication is not available over the counter. Therefore a prescription note from your doctor is required. Also, great care is needed when handling this medication because it combines two different substances. Thus, if you are taking other medicines, you must notify your doctor to prevent a chemical imbalance between the drugs.
While studies show solid evidence that overweight and obese people benefit from the drug, Wellbutrin weight loss only last by partnering with other weight loss interventions, people who take it still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keeping up this healthy lifestyle includes eating nutritious meals and becoming more active inside and outside the home. Therefore, bupropion only works in conjunction with lifestyle changes for weight loss.
The Advantages of Wellbutrin
Wellbutrin does have positive effects on the consumer not only physically but even on their mental well-being. A drug like this has changed many lives. And it can shape many more for the better if it is taken correctly and handled cautiously. Because it began as an antidepressant, it works well to offer relief to the client with the mood disorder.
Physical Effects and Advantages
- Wellbutrin assists in weight loss
- It helps with weight maintenance
- It helps with smoking dependency
- It does not cause sleepiness
- It does not affect sexual drive
- It does not cause weight gain
- It does not require food
- Alleviates symptoms of depression
Side Effects of Wellbutrin
Like any drug, prescribed or illicit, Wellbutrin has adverse effects, and consumers must practice caution. Some of the results may last as long as the course of the medication, but long-term effects are possible. As a chemical that alters the body, some adverse effects may be more apparent than others, such as skin reactions (rashes, breakouts, eczema).
- High blood pressure
- Stomach pains
- Dry mouth
Mental Side Effects
- It can affect an individual’s personality
- It may inadvertently encourage disordered eating
- May cause symptoms of anxiety
- May exacerbate suicidal thinking
Bupropion and Other Drugs
Bupropion is a substance that can interact with several other drugs. The interaction can change the effectiveness of other substances in your system. Therefore, before you begin your course, ensure that your healthcare provider knows your medication and the substances you consume.
If you take it for an extended period (most courses last three months), bupropion can alter your alcohol tolerance. It also interacts with other antidepressants and antipsychotics and can give false positive readings in urine samples. Thus, bupropion interaction may come with unforeseen side effects if not careful.
Who Should Take Wellbutrin?
As noted, bupropion is an effective drug that serves different conditions. It has the potential to reshape an individual’s life and improve their standard of living vastly. Wellbutrin should be handled under prescription, under specific instructions. Medics can guide you through the medication, monitoring how your body reacts. Wellbutrin is specifically for:
- Smokers struggling to quit
- Obese and overweight adults
- Individuals suffering from mood disorders, specifically major depressive disorder and SAD
- People who have PTSD, sexual dysfunctions, bipolar disorder, and ADHD (off-label)
Who Should Not Take Wellbutrin?
As a drug, Wellbutrin and its contents can cause harm or exacerbate an issue. Due to this inherent risk, a licensed practitioner can appropriately advise the consumer and align their needs with their current medical conditions and medical history.
The medication can have adverse side effects, particularly in individuals who are not meant to consume it. For example, bupropion can cause congenital heart defects in expecting women. Wellbutrin can also cause seizures because bupropion lowers the body’s seizure threshold. The following should not consume it:
- Pregnant women
- Women breastfeeding
- People with a history of disordered eating and eating disorders (bulimia nervosa and anorexia)
- Individuals taking various medication
- People with epilepsy
- Individuals practicing alcohol/substance withdrawal
- People under the age of 18
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Is Wellbutrin an appetite suppressant?
Wellbutrin can assist in weight loss. It is a weight loss drug called bupropion, which can stunt hunger and cravings.
Through appetite suppression, your body consumes fewer calories while burning its usual amount, thus causing weight loss over time. It is not recommended for individuals with eating disorders or a history of eating disorders.
2. Do bodyweight exercises build muscle?
Bodyweight exercises can help you increase your overall muscle mass and strength. Movements like pushups, burpees, and squats target several muscle groups, simultaneously increasing caloric burn. Especially if you are a beginner at working out, bodyweight exercises are an excellent place to start muscle building. Adding weights to your workouts can further assist with muscular development.
3. What is your body mass index?
Body mass index (BMI) is a scale that measures body fat. It measures your weight against your height. These readings are then compared to the estimates of an average individual of your age group to determine whether you are below or above the expected weight range.
BMI measures weight exclusively. It does not include a measurement of your fat percentage and can not be the only guide in determining your health as it cannot account for internal issues.
4. Does working out cure depression?
Working out can alleviate signs of depression because it releases endorphins. However, it is not a blanket solution to treat a major depressive disorder, as cases vary. For many people working out is a way to relieve stress, anxiousness, and depressive symptoms. But others may require more assistance like medication or therapy to address their disorder.
5. Should I take Wellbutrin daily to lose weight?
Your dosage requirements depend on the desired outcome and medical advice. For many conditions, doctors and medical professionals prescribe daily ingestion. However, the medication is not a meal substitute. Taking Wellbutrin as a weight loss medication can be beneficial. Though it suppresses hunger, it cannot replace the crucial nutrients you get from a healthy diet.
6. What is the difference between being overweight and obese?
Obesity is the end of weight gain while being overweight is milder. To measure this, a physician or health practitioner measures your Body Mass Index (BMI); if your BMI exceeds 30.0, you are considered obese. Obesity also has varying scales to determine the severity of obesity.
However, BMI is not the sole factor in diagnosing someone as obese. Other factors come into play, such as age, height, muscle mass, and even family and medical history.
7. Can antidepressants cause weight gain?
In some cases, antidepressant and antipsychotic use can cause you to gain weight because of their chemical makeup.
However, as your body regulates or grows used to the medication, your body weight may decrease. It is highly subjective to the individual. Some of the antidepressants that are likely to cause weight gain include monoamine oxidase inhibitors, nortriptyline, and SSRI paroxetine.
Bringing this discourse about Wellbutrin to a close, there are various uses for the drug bupropion. Wellbutrin can effectively assist in weight loss even though it was initially an antidepressant.
A large population suffers from mood disorders, most commonly depression. Bupropion can help reduce the intensity of negative emotions, improving their mental well-being.
Additionally, the drug is effective in weight loss because it reduces hunger cues, thus reducing the amount of food one consumes. Equally important, though, is the individual’s ability to stay dedicated to a healthier lifestyle that includes healthy food and exercise.
Bupropion also aids in smoking cessation for heavy smokers. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, but bupropion helps ease the withdrawal symptoms, making the transition tolerable.
While it is generally safe for consumption, bupropion has side effects, and specific individuals should not consume it, such as those living with eating disorders. The medication may amplify the issue. Others who should not take the drug include pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding, minors, and individuals who struggle with substance abuse.
Overall, bupropion is a valuable medication for physical and mental health. With caution, it has the potential to make a significant difference in people’s lifestyles.