Does Wellbutrin energize you? (3+ facts)

In this article, we will learn about the effectiveness of Wellbutrin in boosting energy. We will also know about the research findings. How can you identify if your medication is working? And what are the measures to take if you do not notice any improvement in your treatment? 

Does Wellbutrin energize you?

Yes, Wellbutrin can increase your energy and motivation levels. Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is primarily used to treat symptoms of major depression, which include decreased mood, loss of interest in day-to-day activity, fatigue and motivational deficiency.

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) acts on dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake transporters and, to some extent, on nicotine and serotonin receptors. The effect of Bupropion on dopamine transporters helps improve depressive symptoms by increasing dopamine levels in the brain.

How long does Wellbutrin take to increase your energy levels? 

The therapeutic effect of Wellbutrin can be noticed in the second week of treatment. (1) Wellbutrin’s effect on energy and motivation is seen 1-2 weeks after initial treatment with the drug. (2) However, the effect on depressed mood or lack of interest can be seen after 6-8 weeks of treatment. (2)

If you are taking Bupropion and do not see any effect, it is because it takes 1-2 weeks for the drug to show its action. It is essential to be patient with your treatment. Do not discontinue your medication without your physician’s guidance. 

What does the research suggest?

Bupropion’s ability to enhance dopamine levels can treat “effort-related motivational dysfunction” and improve symptoms like anergia (loss of energy), fatigue and psychomotor retardation. (3)

A study was done on adults diagnosed with major depression disorder. They were treated with Bupropion XL (extended-release) 300 to 450 mg/day, and the study concluded that Bupropion was effective in treating reduced energy levels, pleasure and interest in day-to-day activities. (4)

The effect of Bupropion SR (sustained-release) on anhedonia was significant and showed improvement compared to placebo. (5) The effect of Bupropion varies from person to person. Some individuals may respond to the drug differently, and it may take longer than usual to show its action.

How do you know if Wellbutrin is energizing you? 

Improvement in depressive symptoms shows that Wellbutrin is working. Wellbutrin’s therapeutic effect on energy and motivation is seen 1-2 weeks after you start taking your medication. It may vary in some individuals because each individual responds to drugs differently.

If you do not see any improvement in your condition even after several weeks or months of treatment, this shows that your body is not responding to the medication. If you notice any changes in your energy level, concentration, or effort to work, it is a positive sign that you are responding well to the treatment.

Note that depression symptoms vary in their response to treatment, and some may take longer to improve. It is essential to follow the treatment plan as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

What to do if Wellbutrin does not energize you?

If Wellbutrin is not energizing you, it may be because you are not responding to your medication; here is what you can do. 

  • Seek medical help: Consulting your physician should be the priority if you feel less energized or your depressive symptoms are not subsiding even after months of treatment. Your physician may adjust your dose or add another antidepressant to your treatment regimen.
  • Be patient: It may take some time for the medication to take effect, so it’s important to be patient. Ensure that you follow the instructions provided for the medication and do not stop taking it without consulting your healthcare provider.
  • Consider additional evaluations: Other underlying medical conditions can sometimes contribute to or exacerbate depression. Your healthcare provider may recommend further evaluation or tests to rule out any physical health issues.

Remember that treatment for depression is highly individualized, and what may work for one may not work for another. Your physician will guide you through this process and tailor the treatment plan to your specific needs.

What are the strategies to improve your energy levels? 

Implementing changes to your daily routine can boost your energy levels. Here are some strategies to try:

  • Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by participating in physical activities like sports, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and practising meditation and yoga will help you deal with stress, feelings of demotivation and low energy.
  • Get sufficient sleep: Wellbutrin can cause insomnia. Ensure you’re getting a good quality of sleep; aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
  • Take power naps: A 20-30-minute nap can help you recharge your energy levels during the day without disrupting nighttime sleep. 
  • Set realistic goals: Breaking big goals into smaller steps and rewarding yourself after completing them can keep you motivated and increase efficiency.
  • Explore alternatives: Alternatives like acupuncture and massage can help you. Note that alternatives should be considered along with your treatment and not alone. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any alternative therapy.
  • Caution: Do not discontinue your medication without a physician’s approval; it may lead to withdrawal symptoms and can worsen your condition.


This article talks about the effect of Wellbutrin on energy levels. Remember to be patient during your treatment. Take time to process your emotions. It is essential to adhere to your medication; if you face any side effects related to Wellbutrin, talk to your physician or pharmacist.



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Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A. Bupropion. [Updated 2023 Apr 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:



Carratalá-Ros C, Olivares-García R, Martínez-Verdú A, Arias-Sandoval E, Salamone JD, Correa M. Energizing effects of bupropion on effortful behaviors in mice under positive and negative test conditions: modulation of DARPP-32 phosphorylation patterns. Psychopharmacology. 2021 Dec;238:3357-73. Available from:


Jefferson JW, Rush AJ, Nelson JC, VanMeter SA, Krishen A, Hampton KD, Wightman DS, Modell JG. Extended-release bupropion for patients with major depressive disorder presenting with symptoms of reduced energy, pleasure, and interest: findings from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2006 Jun 1;67(6):865-73. Available from:


Tomarken AJ, Dichter GS, Freid C, Addington S, Shelton RC. Assessing the effects of bupropion SR on mood dimensions of depression. Journal of affective disorders. 2004 Mar 1;78(3):235-41. Available from:

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