How Effective Is Bupropion for ADHD?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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Bupropion is very effective at controlling adult attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). This medication seems to be most efficacious when the long-lasting form is used to control ADHD by modulating the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. The most common side effects of bupropion for ADHD include dry mouth and headaches. Bupropion is also used to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder and act as an aid in smoking cessation.

A large multi-site study on adults with ADHD has shown that bupropion is highly effective at reducing impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. One of the benefits of buoripion for ADHD is that this drug is long acting. A dose taken at 8 am will ramp up and reach its peak effectiveness between 12 pm and 2 pm and then gradually taper off by the time the next day’s dose is taken.

Many adults who suffer from ADHD in childhood and took medication for this medical condition find that their symptoms continue into adulthood. Stimulant medications that were effective at managing childhood ADHD are not always as effective in adults. As a result, adult symptoms of ADHD resurface and become an issue. Bupropion for ADHD is a viable alternative to control the symptoms of this condition in adults.


What exactly causes ADHD is not known. Many studies suggest that people with ADHD have different concentration of neurotransmitters in their brains when compared with people not afflicted with this condition. Bupropion for ADHD is effective because, as a nonstimulant dopamine and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor, this drug is able to increase the concentration of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This improves concentration and focus.

A few side effects were observed when bupropion for ADHD was prescribed. The most widely described side effects were headaches and dry mouth. Some patients also experience nausea and constipation as well as sleepiness and tinnitus. Many of these conditions faded after taking bupropion for ADHD for several weeks. Side effects could also sometimes be controlled by lowering the dose of medication without any loss of benefits.

Bupropion is a drug that is classified as an antidepressant. This medication is, however, used to treat a variety of different problems. One of the most widely known uses of bupropion is as a smoking cessation aid. Prescribing bupropion for this use should be closely monitored, as many patients have reported difficult side effects, such as suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior, and depression.

This drug is also frequently prescribed to treat depression. It appears to be especially effective in treating depression that occurs in conjunction with biopolar disorder. Seasonal affective disorder is also treated with bupropion.

This medication is available in pill forms that are normal-releases, slow acting, and a long lasting-release. The regular-release pill is taken every six hours a few times a day. Slow release pills are taken twice a day. Prolong-release pills are taken once a day, typically in the morning.


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If someone has been taking bupropion for almost 12 years and then was recently diagnosed with ADHD, why should why should they continue to use bupropion for ADHD?

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