Does Wellbutrin cause gastroparesis? (3+ tips)
In this article we will answer, “Does Wellbutrin cause gastroparesis?” We will discuss scientific evidence and also the potential causes of gastroparesis.
Does Wellbutrin cause gastroparesis?
No, Wellbutrin does not cause gastroparesis. There’s no strong evidence to suggest that Wellbutrin causes gastroparesis.
Gastroparesis is typically a delay in emptying the stomach, and as far as we know, Wellbutrin isn’t a known major trigger for this condition.
Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is primarily used to treat depression, anxiety, and OCD. It increases the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which play crucial roles in mood regulation.
Is there any potential link between gastroparesis and Wellbutrin?
Although there isn’t substantial evidence indicating that Wellbutrin directly causes gastroparesis, it’s worth noting that some individuals have reported gastrointestinal side effects while taking Wellbutrin.
The gastrointestinal side effects of Wellbutrin include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, diarrhoea, and constipation. These symptoms may mimic those of gastroparesis, but it is not established that Wellbutrin is a cause of the condition. (1)
Gastroparesis, often referred to as delayed gastric emptying, is a condition where the stomach takes too long to empty its contents into the small intestine. This can result in a range of distressing symptoms, including persistent nausea, frequent vomiting, abdominal bloating, and discomfort. (2)
Various factors can contribute to the development of gastroparesis, such as diabetes, previous abdominal surgeries, and certain medications.
Interestingly, Wellbutrin is known for its potential to increase appetite, which can be especially beneficial for individuals dealing with depression-related changes in appetite. (3)
While some people may experience a temporary loss of appetite when they begin Wellbutrin therapy, it’s essential to understand that this effect often subsides after an initial adjustment period.
The psychological burden on individuals coping with gastroparesis is a significant concern. Research consistently indicates the presence of depression and anxiety among those affected by gastroparesis. In some cases, these mental health factors may contribute to the development or worsening of gastroparesis. (4)
How to manage gastroparesis while taking Wellbutrin?
If you already have gastroparesis or are facing similar symptoms while taking Wellbutrin, here are some helpful tips.
Consult your doctor
This is the cornerstone of managing both gastroparesis and Wellbutrin. Regular and open communication with your healthcare provider is beneficial.
If you experience symptoms that could be related to gastroparesis or if you suspect that Wellbutrin may be contributing to digestive discomfort, discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your condition, perform any necessary tests, and make informed decisions regarding your medication
Make some dietary modifications
Dietary changes are fundamental when dealing with gastroparesis. Consume smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to ease the digestive burden on your stomach. Choose foods that are easier to digest, such as well-cooked fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Avoid high-fibre and fatty foods, which can be harder to digest and may exacerbate gastroparesis symptoms. Carbonated beverages and alcohol should also be limited or avoided.
Get your medicines reviewed
If you’re taking multiple medications, you should ensure they don’t interact negatively with Wellbutrin or exacerbate gastroparesis symptoms.
The timing of your Wellbutrin doses is also critical in managing potential gastrointestinal discomfort. Taking Wellbutrin with food reduces gastrointestinal discomfort and can also help in the management of gastroparesis symptoms.
Discuss all your medications with your doctor or pharmacist to assess their compatibility and potential side effects. They may consider adjusting the timing or types of medications to minimise gastrointestinal discomfort.
Manage your stress
Stress and anxiety can significantly worsen gastroparesis symptoms. Since Wellbutrin is commonly used to manage mental health conditions, it’s vital to take it consistently as prescribed and address any psychological distress.
Consider complementary stress management techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or meditation to support digestive comfort.
What are some other causes of gastroparesis?
As stated above, depression and anxiety can cause gastroparesis and related symptoms, other than this some common causes of gastroparesis are as follows: (2)
- The most prevalent cause is diabetes. Diabetes can damage nerves in the stomach and the vagus nerve, impairing muscle function in the digestive tract.
- Certain drugs, such as opioid pain relievers, specific antidepressants, and medications for high blood pressure and allergies, may slow gastric emptying and mimic gastroparesis symptoms.
- Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are known to cause gastroparesis.
- Certain autoimmune disorders like scleroderma can lead to gastroparesis.
- An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can be a root cause of gastroparesis.
In conclusion, we’ve examined Wellbutrin, gastroparesis, and their potential connection.
While Wellbutrin primarily targets mental health, there’s limited scientific evidence to suggest a direct link between the medication and gastroparesis.
If you experience digestive issues while taking Wellbutrin, consulting with a healthcare professional is advised for a proper evaluation.
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Symptoms & Causes of Gastroparesis [Internet]. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. NIDDK – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 16]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gastroparesis/symptoms-causes
Harto-Truax N;Stern WC;Miller LL;Sato TL;Cato AE. Effects of bupropion on body weight. The Journal of clinical psychiatry [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2023 Oct 16];44(5 Pt 2). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6406454/