Does Wellbutrin cause dry mouth?

In this article, we will discuss Wellbutrin-induced dry mouth, which is one of the most commonly reported side effects of this antidepressant. We will also discuss what one should do if this side effect occurs. 

Does Wellbutrin cause dry mouth?

Yes, Wellbutrin does cause dry mouth (xerostomia). It’s relatively common and can be experienced by individuals taking various types of antidepressants, not just Wellbutrin (1). 

A dry mouth occurs when there’s a decrease in the amount of saliva produced in your mouth, which can lead to discomfort and difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and even tasting food in severe cases (1).

If you’re concerned about Wellbutrin-induced dry mouth, please discuss it with your healthcare provider. Your doctor will help you with the side effects and will do absolutely everything which is necessary to make your treatment with Wellbutrin as comfortable as it can get. 

What is the incidence of Wellbutrin-induced dry mouth?

The incidence of Wellbutrin-induced dry mouth is estimated to be around 25% of people who take the medication. However, it’s important to remember that each individual’s response to medications can vary (1). 

Just as people have unique physical characteristics, they also have differences in how their bodies react to medications. While one person might experience dry mouth while taking Wellbutrin, another person might not. 

This is because medications interact with the body’s complex systems, and individual variations can play a significant role.

Various factors can contribute to how side effects are experienced. For instance, a person’s age, metabolism, and preexisting health conditions can all influence how they respond to medications. 

Additionally, the presence of other medications being taken concurrently can affect the occurrence and severity of side effects. 

What does research suggest? 

Several research studies have mentioned Wellbutrin-induced dry mouth as a potential side effect. The exact mechanism is not known, but it is most probably linked to how Wellbutrin works. 

Wellbutrin affects chemicals in the brain, and it can also influence a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter helps control various bodily functions, including saliva production (2). 

When Wellbutrin impacts acetylcholine, it could potentially lead to reduced saliva production, causing the sensation of dry mouth. Our body relies on a balance of different chemicals to function properly, and medications like Wellbutrin can sometimes disrupt this balance (2).

Some research studies have indicated that dry mouth is more commonly reported with the use of sustained-release (SR) dosage forms of Bupropion – the active drug present in Wellbutrin (3,4). Other side effects like insomnia, nausea, etc are also more commonly linked to Bupropion SR.

What to do if Wellbutrin causes dry mouth as a side effect? 

If you’re experiencing dry mouth as a side effect of Wellbutrin, there are strategies you can consider to manage this discomfort. Dental and oral care plays a significant role in addressing the oral effects of dry mouth.

Topical fluoride treatments applied by your dentist or fluoride rinses and high-strength fluoride toothpaste can be helpful. Another option is using a casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) cream for remineralization (5). 

If you need quick relief, there are gels and products that can make your mouth feel better. Chewing sugarless gum or a CPP-ACP gum can also help make more saliva and make your mouth less dry (5). 

Furthermore, it is important to avoid acidic drinks like wine, fruit juices, and soft drinks, as they can contribute to the problem. Limiting sugar intake and avoiding sugary snacks can also help prevent tooth decay. Using a bicarbonate mouthwash upon waking and throughout the day for symptomatic relief is advised (5).

It’s essential to remember that everyone’s response to medications can vary, and what works for one person may not be the same for another. If you’re dealing with dry mouth due to Wellbutrin or any other medication, it’s wise to discuss it with your doctor. 


In this article, we have discussed Wellbutrin-induced dry mouth and how common this side effect is. We have also discussed some management strategies that are clinically suggested to make the symptoms better and more tolerable. 

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Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A. Bupropion. 2023 Apr 9. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29262173.


Foley KF, DeSanty KP, Kast RE. Bupropion: pharmacology and therapeutic applications. Expert Rev Neurother. 2006 Sep;6(9):1249-65. doi: 10.1586/14737175.6.9.1249. PMID: 17009913.


Aubin HJ. Tolerability and safety of sustained-release bupropion in the management of smoking cessation. Drugs. 2002;62 Suppl 2:45-52. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200262002-00005. PMID: 12109935.


Fava M, Rush AJ, Thase ME, Clayton A, Stahl SM, Pradko JF, Johnston JA. 15 years of clinical experience with bupropion HCl: from bupropion to bupropion SR to bupropion XL. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2005;7(3):106-13. doi: 10.4088/pcc.v07n0305. PMID: 16027765; PMCID: PMC1163271.


Daly C. Oral and dental effects of antidepressants. Aust Prescr. 2016 Jun;39(3):84. doi: 10.18773/austprescr.2016.035. Epub 2016 Jun 1. PMID: 27350018; PMCID: PMC4919175.

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