How Effective Is Bupropion for Anxiety?

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  • Written By: Valerie Goldberg
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2019
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Bupropion is a prescription medication typically given to people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression. The qualities of this medication and the fact that many people suffer from depression and anxiety at the same time mean bupropion also can be a very effective treatment for some types of anxiety. A doctor may choose to prescribe bupropion for anxiety in a patient who has a combination of depression and an anxiety disorder or who has a social anxiety disorder.

A medical professional may first prescribe bupropion for anxiety in a very low dose. There are many options available for treating depression and anxiety, and many doctors like to work with their patients to find the best medication or medications to manage an individual patient's specific level of symptoms. Some patients may take bupropion for anxiety as a sole medication, while others may need to take bupropion as part of a multiple-medication treatment plan.


Patients should be aware of all potential side effects before taking bupropion for anxiety. Some common side effects include fatigue, weight loss, dry mouth and headache. Certain side effects may be strong in the beginning and then fade as the patient gets used to taking the medication. If a person taking bupropion for anxiety experiences a serious side effect, such as difficulty breathing or a seizure, then he or she should seek immediate medical help. Serious side effects are rare but can be life-threatening if not dealt with in a timely manner.

The prescribed dosage of bupropion for anxiety can be as little as 75 mg two times a day or as much as four 150 mg doses daily. Factors such as age, weight and other medications being taken may effect how much bupropion a doctor prescribes. A patient taking bupropion strictly for anxiety also may need a different dosage than a patient who also is suffering from multiple mental or physical conditions.

If a patient is unhappy with the way he or she is responding to bupropion and wants to try a different anti-anxiety medication, then he or she needs to speak to the prescribing doctor. Bupropion is a medication that should not be stopped cold turkey. A doctor can recommend a way for patients to safely quit this medication before beginning a new drug. Patients who like to consume alcoholic drinks should discuss their liquor consumption habits with a doctor before beginning to take the medication.


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Post 3

Bupropion doesn't work well for anxiety, but it's great for motivation. While on bupropion, I can actually get out of bed and do things.

Post 2

@ysmina-- Really? I'm on it for anxiety and depression and it's working for me. I can't say that my anxiety is entirely gone, but I'm less depressed. I feel more happy than usual and I don't worry as much.

I wonder if bupropion is better for depression than it is for anxiety? If you only have anxiety, maybe it's not benefiting you?

It could also be that you need a higher dose. What dose are you on now? I'm on 150mg/daily, I don't think it's as effective in lower doses.

It's a good idea to ask your doctor about it. He can adjust your dose or you might need to switch to another medication altogether.

Post 1

I was prescribed bupropion for anxiety, I've been on it for two months now.

I know it can take a while for anxiety medications to start working but so far, bupropion doesn't appear to be doing anything. My anxiety has not lessened at all. I'm going to talk to my doctor about it at my next appointment.

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