Does Wellbutrin slow gastric emptying? (+5 factors)

In this article, we will discuss the factors that impact Wellbutrin on gastric emptying. We will look at the efficiency of Wellbutrin in emptying the stomach. Furthermore, we will figure out the factors and conditions that slow down the gastric emptying process. 

Does Wellbutrin slow gastric emptying?

No, Wellbutrin is not associated with slowing down the gastric emptying process. Welbutrin is an atypical antidepressant that is not generally linked with gastrointestinal issues.

However, if taking Wellbutrin is causing any effects on your gastric emptying process, then you need to seek medical attention. This is not commonly associated with Wellbutrin hence you need to discuss this with your doctor. 

Gastric emptying is the process of releasing gastric components into the intestine for further metabolism. Many drugs and conditions may impact this process however, Wellbutrin is not directly linked with it but may affect it depending on the patient’s medication response. 

The potential impact of Wellbutrin on gastric emptying

The potential impact of Wellbutrin on gastric emptying or gastroparesis has not been studied very extensively. However, there are not very well-researched results or reports of the effect of Wellbutrin on gastric emptying. 

Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant that has been approved by the FDA for smoking cessation. There are other off-label uses of Wellbutrin such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and ADHD which are approved by the FDA as well (1). 

Wellbutrin is an aminoketone drug known to inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine. It is also known to inhibit the uptake of serotonin and nicotine to a lesser extent (1).  

Based on the mechanism of action of Wellbutrin, it may be associated with various side effects such as dry mouth, tachycardia, tremors, nausea, weight changes, and constipation (1).

However, as mentioned earlier, Wellbutrin is rarely linked with delayed gastric emptying. If you experience any gastric side effects due to the use of Wellbutrin, you should seek immediate medical help. 

What factors may affect gastric emptying with Wellbutrin?

The factors that may affect gastric emptying while taking Wellbutrin are (2,3):

Concomitant drugs and pre-existing conditions

Some drugs may impact gastric motility and cause delayed emptying. Among them, opioids, anticholinergic agents, and some tricyclic antidepressants are known to delay gastric emptying in some patients. 

Delayed gastric emptying can be due to some underlying health conditions. It was observed that patients with diabetes, autoimmune diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and obesity may have difficulty in gastric emptying (3). 

Moreover, it is reported that patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders have shown delayed gastric emptying. Gastric inflammation and gastroenteritis may alter basic gastric physiology and delay stomach emptying in some patients. 

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and meals can have a huge impact on gastric emptying or gastroparesis. Highly-fibrous foods, and large, fatty meals may extend the emptying time from the stomach. Gastric emptying also varyingly depending upon the meal time and volume consumed. 

What to do if Wellbutrin slows gastric emptying?

If you feel that Wellbutrin is affecting your gastric motility and causing symptoms of delayed gastric emptying, then you should report it to your doctor. Your doctor might suggest an alternate antidepressant based on your condition or might suggest altering your Wellbutrin dose. 

Based on your symptoms, your doctor might suggest some dietary modifications to help improve your gastric motility. Your doctor may suggest you to consult a dietician for improvement and changes in your diet. 

You should also consider some lifestyle modifications that would help improve your gut motility such as exercising, yoga, or meditation. You can also consider doing some stress-relieving activities. 

Your doctor should consider changing the timing of Wellbutrin. You should be advised to take Wellbutrin with or without a meal to alter the gastric effects of the medication. 


In the above article, we have successfully discussed the effects of Wellbutrin in gastric emptying. We have discovered some factors and conditions that alter gastric emptying and discussed some ways to manage this delay. 

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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:


Jacoby, H. I. (2017). Gastric Emptying. Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences.


Noveloso, Bernard MD. What causes delayed gastric emptying (gastroparesis) besides diabetes?. Evidence-Based Practice 17(12):p 10-11, December 2014. | DOI: 10.1097/01.EBP.0000540860.00455.2d

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