Does Bupropion treat social anxiety? (3 groups)

This article addresses the question: Can Bupropion effectively treat social anxiety? We’ll explore the scientific evidence and the appropriate utilisation of Bupropion in managing social anxiety.

Does Bupropion treat social anxiety? 

Yes, Bupropion can be a viable option for managing social anxiety. It’s worth noting that Bupropion isn’t typically considered a first-line therapy for social anxiety. However, it has demonstrated positive outcomes when used in conjunction with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

Bupropion works by increasing the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the body, which not only elevates mood but also improves anxiety symptoms.

An advantage of Bupropion over other antidepressants is its propensity not to cause weight gain or sexual dysfunction, which are common side effects associated with many other medications.

Therefore, Bupropion can be prescribed as a monotherapy for social anxiety, especially when patients express concerns about the potential for sexual dysfunction or weight gain and have comorbid depression alongside social anxiety.

What does research suggest?

According to research, Bupropion has the potential to treat both depression and anxiety. 

It has been shown to be as effective as SSRIs in reducing anxiety symptoms associated with depression. However, because of limited research in these cases, Bupropion is considered off-label for specific anxiety disorders. (1)

Research shows Bupropion is a safe and effective option for elderly people with anxiety and depression. Compared to medications like sertraline and fluoxetine, it has a favourable side effect profile and has shown positive results in managing anxiety associated with depression. (2)

Bupropion-SR achieved a remarkable 50% response rate in strict response criteria, indicating its potential in treating generalised social phobia. (3)

Furthermore, research dispels concerns that Bupropion worsens anxiety in people with comorbid major depressive disorder. It is as effective as SSRIs in reducing anxiety symptoms and is more tolerable, so clinicians should consider it more frequently. (4)

While bupropion is not the first choice for comorbid anxiety disorders, it rises to prominence when avoiding side effects, particularly sexual dysfunction and weight gain, is a top priority. (5)

Can Bupropion cause anxiety as a side effect?

As a potential side effect, bupropion can cause anxiety, especially in the early stages of treatment. Anxiety is one of the medication’s rare side effects. (4)

Bupropion, as previously stated, is not the first choice for treating anxiety. However, when combined with a comprehensive anxiety treatment plan, it can help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Patients should be aware that the therapeutic benefits of Bupropion usually become apparent after approximately 6-8 weeks of consistent use. Some people may notice positive effects early. 

Successful antidepressant treatment requires patience and strict adherence to the prescribed plan.

Who can benefit from using Bupropion for social anxiety?

Some groups may be more appropriate for Bupropion therapy when it comes to social anxiety. If your doctor has prescribed bupropion in combination with other drugs or as a monotherapy for social anxiety, you should trust him.

People with comorbid anxiety and depression

People dealing with anxiety and depression frequently find Bupropion a promising treatment option. This medication effectively treats both conditions and improves symptoms effectively. (1,2)

Bupropion can be valuable for those who are dealing with depressive thoughts as well as the anxiety that social situations can bring. It can help to alleviate the burden of both of these mental health challenges at the same time.

People concerned about weight gain and sexual side effects

Bupropion stands out as an appealing choice for people who are concerned about the side effects that many other antidepressants have, specifically weight gain and sexual dysfunction. 

When compared to other antidepressants, bupropion is generally well-tolerated and has a notably low incidence of sexual side effects. Also, it is more likely to result in weight loss than gain. 

These benefits make Bupropion a good choice for people who want to reduce the impact of these common side effects in their treatment. (5)

As a combination therapy with other drugs

A combination therapy approach can be extremely effective when anxiety plays a central role and requires special attention. Bupropion can be an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan. It improves the management of anxiety symptoms when combined with anxiolytic drugs such as Xanax. (6)

Bupropion can also be prescribed with Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) in low doses. This approach provides a more comprehensive strategy for addressing the complexities of social anxiety. (6)


Bupropion has a positive effect on the treatment of social anxiety. Incorporating Bupropion into the treatment plan of people suffering from anxiety can result in better therapeutic effects. 

Notably, Bupropion treats anxiety without the typical side effects of weight gain and sexual dysfunction. 

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