Does Wellbutrin make migraines worse?(+3 insights)

In this article we briefly discussed the exacerbation of migraines while taking Wellbutrin, explored research findings, considered alternative medications, examined how Wellbutrin may contribute to migraine worsening, and provided insights into managing migraines while on Wellbutrin.

Does Wellbutrin make migraines worse?

No, Wellbutrin does not necessarily make the migraines worse. Wellbutrin is an antidepressant medication that is sometimes used to treat migraines. While some people may find that Wellbutrin helps reduce the frequency of migraines, others experience an increase in migraines as a side effect.

What factors can cause the worsening of migraines when taking Wellbutrin?

There are some factors to consider : 


Wellbutrin can affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Stress is a common trigger for migraines, and changes in neurotransmitter levels can potentially impact migraine frequency or severity.


Wellbutrin might cause dry mouth, which could lead to dehydration. If not addressed. Dehydration is a known trigger for migraines in some individuals.

Sleep disturbance

Changes in sleep patterns or disturbances in sleep quality due to Wellbutrin can trigger migraines in susceptible individuals. Good sleep habits might ease Wellbutrin-induced migraine triggers stemming from altered sleep patterns. 

Hormonal Changes 

Wellbutrin might affect hormonal levels, potentially impacting migraine frequency, especially in patients sensitive to hormonal fluctuations.

Nutritional Changes

Changes in appetite or dietary habits due to Wellbutrin could influence migraine triggers due to irregular eating patterns.

Pre-existing health conditions

The presence of pre-existing health conditions in patients also makes migraines worse while taking Wellbutrin such as cardiovascular issues, seizure disorders, and eating disorders.

What are the potential side effects of Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant medication that is generally well-tolerated by many patients. However, like any medication, it can have side effects. It’s important to note that individual responses may vary and not, everyone will experience the same side effects. Some common side effects may include:

  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Dry Mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Heart Burn
  • Anxiety
  • Weightloss

What does research suggest about Wellbutrin and Migraines?

Some studies and clinical reports indicate that Wellbutrin may have a positive impact on reducing the frequency of reducing the severity of migraines for certain people. However, individual experiences may vary and they experience a rise in migraines (1). 

One research reveals a substantial reduction in migraine symptoms following the discontinuation of Wellbutrin. This study signals a potential connection between the medication and migraine exacerbation.

Clinical studies and case reports contribute further insights, suggesting that migraines can manifest as a side effect of Wellbutrin. Notably, 26% of individuals taking Welbutrin experienced a rise in migraines.

The fact that there is only a 20% higher chance of worsening migraines when taking Wellbutrin. Even though Wellbutrin does not specifically list “migraines” as a side effect, it can still lead to the emergence or worsening of migraines.

While migraines have been reported less frequently, it is important to note that individual responses can vary. If you are experiencing migraines while taking Welbutrin, contact your doctor immediately. 

How does Wellbutrin potentially worsen Migraines?

Firstly, Wellbutrin affects neurotransmitters in the brain, which play a great role in pain perception and sensitivity. Changes in these neurotransmitters may influence the threshold for migraine attacks.

Secondly, Wellbutrin is known to increase the risk of headaches, including migraines in some individuals. The exact reason for this is not clear, but it could be related to the drug’s impact on blood vessels or psychological processes involved in migraine development (2).

Additionally, individual variability in drug response plays a crucial role. People react differently to medications, and while some may experience a reduction in migraines others see an increase.

The interplay between a person’s unique neurochemistry, medical history, and the specific nature of their migraines contributes to this diversity of responses. Such patient needs to consult doctors and seek guidance.

How to manage worsening Migraines while taking Wellbutrin?

If you find your migraines worsen while taking Welbutrin, consult your healthcare provider and communicate the worsening symptoms. They can conduct an assessment, and determine the most suitable course of action. 

Additionally, some pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen a also be taken with the consultation of a doctor. Staying adequately hydrated is another important aspect, as dehydration can trigger migraines.

Identify potential triggers of migraines by studying the symptoms like stress, inadequate sleep, or specific foods. Minimizing these symptoms can also contribute to migraine management. 

Establishing consistent sleep patterns is key, as irregular sleep can be a contributing factor to migraines. Stress reduction techniques, including deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can also help in managing migraines. 


In my opinion, addressing worsening migraines while on Wellbutrin involves effective communication with doctors and considering adjustments in management. Lifestyle modifications and identifying triggers further contribute to the cessation of the worsening of migraines. 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Knight R, Sevecke J, Hassan F, Dore-Stites D. Managing sleep or managing pain: A case report detailing a sleep intervention in a patient with comorbid pain. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. 2016 Jun;4(2):200. Available from:


Rapoport AM. Acute and prophylactic treatments for migraine: present and future. Neurological Sciences. 2008 May;29:110-22.Available from:

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site