Which antidepressants can increase energy and motivation? (3 options)

Which antidepressants can increase energy and motivation?

The antidepressants that are known to help improve energy and motivation are:

  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
  • Effexor (Venlafaxine)
  • Prozac (Fluoxetine)

Wellbutrin (Bupropion)

Wellbutrin is considered the best antidepressant for energy and motivation. It is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). It inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine. It is used in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), seasonal affective disorder, and smoking cessation. (1)

When the drug acts on dopamine and norepinephrine, it can have a stimulating effect, which is beneficial when you have depressive symptoms such as a lack of energy and motivation. The chemical dopamine is strongly associated with pleasure and reward.

The effect of Wellbutrin on dopamine and norepinephrine is the reason why Wellbutrin is considered the best antidepressant, which can help improve levels of motivation and energy.

Wellbutrin has many functions and is very versatile, but it is not suitable for everyone and it may not have the same effect on everyone who uses it. It is known to cause weight loss in many patients, can cause anger issues, and has a risk of causing seizures.

Please consult with your doctor before starting this medication and talk about other possible side effects. If you are taking Wellbutrin, you should do this under the supervision of your doctor.

Common side effects of Wellbutrin include: (2)

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Ringing in the ears

Effexor (Venlafaxine)

Effexor is also considered a good antidepressant to boost energy levels. It is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It inhibits the reuptake of the two chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, restores their balance, and helps improve depressive symptoms.

This may also help improve energy and mood to some extent. Effexor is known to cause some energy-boosting activity.

However, it is known to cause insomnia in patients using this drug. Some people who do experience insomnia take it in the morning to keep the energizing effect from interfering with their sleep.

Common side effects of Effexor include: (3)

  • Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Weight loss
  •  Sweating
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Enlarged pupils

Effexor will not have the same effect on every individual; not everyone who suffers from depressive symptoms will experience improved energy. Please talk to your doctor about starting Effexor, and your doctor will prescribe the best antidepressant for your condition.

Prozac (Fluoxetine)

Prozac (Fluoxetine), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is another good option for people who struggle with low energy levels. It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by blocking the serotonin transporters. The increased levels of serotonin in your brain help regulate mood. It is known for giving people more energy than other antidepressants.

For anyone suffering from depressive symptoms such as low energy, sadness, and lethargy, Prozac can be useful in regulating their mood and improving energy levels.

There are a few studies that suggest that the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Fluoxetine help improve depressive symptoms like cognitive and psychomotor dysfunctions, along with an improvement in mood during effective therapy. (4)

It is very important to note that not everyone will have similar effects from taking Prozac. It is very important to talk to your doctor about Prozac before starting it. Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and prescribe the best antidepressants that are suitable for your condition.

Antidepressants affect every person differently. While there are benefits to using this drug, the side effects experienced while taking Prozac may affect the treatment if they are persistent.

Common side effects of Prozac include: (5)

  • Heartburn
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Tremors
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Skin Rashes
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating, memory problems

Which antidepressant is the best choice for you?

The best antidepressant for you can only be decided by a qualified healthcare professional, based on your age, symptoms, concomitant use of other medications, and your overall physiological well-being.

You should discuss all your symptoms with your doctor so they can evaluate them and make a proper diagnosis. This helps your doctor prescribe you an antidepressant that is right for your health condition. You should never start taking any antidepressants on your own. It is very important to take antidepressants as prescribed by your doctor.

Ask your doctor about the possible side effects of the drug before starting your treatment. If you experience any side effects, tell your doctor immediately. Your doctor may reduce your dose until your body completely adjusts to the medication.

If your side effects are persistent, your doctor may switch you to another antidepressant. Make sure you never change or stop taking your antidepressant without consulting your doctor first.


In this article, we discussed which antidepressants help improve mood and increase energy. We also discussed the possible side effects associated with these drugs.

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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 :  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470212/


National Library of Medicine. Bupropion: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a695033.html


National Library of Medicine. Venlafaxine: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a694020.html


Jaykaran, Bhardwaj P, Kantharia ND, Yadav P, Panwar A. Effect of fluoxetine on some cognitive functions of patients of depression. Indian J Psychol Med. 2009 Jan;31(1):24-9. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.53311. PMID: 21938087; PMCID: PMC3168075. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168075/


National Library of Medicine. Fluoxetine: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a689006.html

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