Does Wellbutrin cause nightmares? 

Does Wellbutrin cause nightmares? 

Wellbutrin can cause nightmares in some cases. It’s not a surprise for doctors to hear from their patients about vivid and terrible nightmares they experience on antidepressants. 

However, the occurrence of nightmares can vary among individuals, and it may also depend on factors such as individual sensitivity to the medication, pre-existing sleep disturbances, or other underlying conditions.

The incidence of nightmares with Wellbutrin

The exact incidence of nightmares with Wellbutrin varies among individuals, and research on this specific side effect is limited. The mechanism behind nightmares associated with Wellbutrin is not well understood. 

Wellbutrin affects the balance of certain chemicals in the brain, including dopamine and norepinephrine (1,2). These neurotransmitters play an important role in regulating your sleep cycle and enhancing your mental alertness when you wake up. 

When an antidepressant affects these chemicals, it can cause a significant impact on the sleep architecture – especially REM sleep during which a person dreams. This not only causes nightmares but can also make the brain hold on to them and remember them in detail (3,4). 

It’s important to note that not everyone who takes Wellbutrin will experience nightmares. Additionally, the occurrence of nightmares can be influenced by individual factors such as Wellbutrin-induced sleep disturbances, personal sensitivity to medication, or other underlying conditions.

How to get rid of Wellbutrin-induced nightmares? 

If you are experiencing bothersome or persistent nightmares while taking Wellbutrin, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider.

Wellbutrin-induced nightmares may start to fade away on their own with time, as your brain accepts the increased activity of excitatory chemicals and your body fully adjusts to the medication. 

However, some people may experience nightmares throughout the entire course of their treatment with Wellbutrin. Medications affect people differently and it’s always best to tell your doctor about how Wellbutrin makes you feel and discuss some ways to recover from that. 

Taking Wellbutrin in the morning or with food may help some people with the side effects, but not everyone responds in the same way. 

If Wellbutrin significantly affects your mental health because of the nightmares, instead of making it better – your doctor will most likely switch you to another antidepressant. 

Make sure you don’t stop using Wellbutrin abruptly, or else you’ll be subjected to terrible withdrawal symptoms. 

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