Does Wellbutrin cause jaw clenching? 

Does Wellbutrin cause jaw clenching? 

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) may cause jaw clenching in some individuals. Although it’s not that commonly reported, it may affect some people severely. 

Jaw clenching is generally found more common in people who are new to Wellbutrin or antidepressants in general, or when the dose of Wellbutrin is escalated. 

Jaw clenching during the early course of Wellbutrin treatment may start to get better as your body adjusts to the medication, but it may not go away in some people and lead to Wellbutrin discontinuation. 

It’s always best to reach out to your healthcare provider and discuss the side effects caused by Wellbutrin. In severe cases, jaw clenching can lead to disturbing symptoms, including:

  • Pain in jaw muscles and tightening. 
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Pain in the entire face and neck
  • Inability to fall asleep 
  • Inability to speak properly in severe cases, where it becomes difficult to open and close your jaw easily. 
  • Teeth grinding 
  • Damaged teeth
  • Gum bleeding 

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on jaw clenching caused by Wellbutrin. However, there are a number of case studies which showed Wellbutrin-induced dystonia, a condition associated with stiffness and involuntary contraction of the face, neck and jaw muscles (1,2).

The affected people experienced severe jaw pain associated with involuntary jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Some people developed these side effects after a few weeks of Welbutrin use. However, some case reports show dystonia after a single dose of Wellbutrin (3).

Researchers have indicated that dystonia with Wellbutrin is not that common like other early side effects, and can be managed by taking Buspirone. 

In general, jaw clenching is not considered a common side effect of antidepressants, but meds like Wellbutrin, Celexa, Zoloft, etc may trigger jaw pain and stiffness in some individuals. 

What to do if Wellbutrin causes jaw clenching? 

Reach out to your healthcare provider if Wellbutrin causes jaw clenching. Your doctor may try dose reduction if you’re new to Wellbutrin or your dose has recently been increased. 

There are some other things that your doctor may recommend, like taking Buspirone with Wellbutrin to help mitigate jaw clenching. 

Buspirone is overall a good addition to Wellbutrin, but since each individual is different and responds differently to medications, this option may not work well for everyone. 

Your doctor may also prescribe a suitable muscle relaxer to control the involuntary contraction of your jaw muscles. 

This does help some people, especially when used along with a mouth guard – which basically protects your teeth and jaw muscles from the negative impacts of continuous jaw clenching. In severe cases, Botox injections may also be used. 

The safety and efficacy of these treatment methods vary from person to person, and only your doctor can determine which one of these is the best for you. Make sure you don’t stop taking Wellbutrin or start taking any medication with it, without consulting your doctor first. 

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Detweiler MB, Harpold GJ. Bupropion-induced acute dystonia. Ann Pharmacother. 2002 Feb;36(2):251-4. doi: 10.1345/aph.1A145. PMID: 11847943. Available from:


Zahra T, Voloshyna D, Bseiso A, Shaik TA, Ferman HG, Sathish M, Al Barznji S, Saleem F, Ghaffari MAZ. Bupropion-Induced Dystonia: A Case Report. Cureus. 2022 Oct 3;14(10):e29857. doi: 10.7759/cureus.29857. PMID: 36337825; PMCID: PMC9627898. Available from:


Elyasi F, Mahtiyan E. Acute Dystonia After Single Dose of Bupropion. Indian J Psychol Med. 2016 Sep-Oct;38(5):460-462. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.191384. PMID: 27833231; PMCID: PMC5052961. Available from:

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