- What Are They
- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
What are the differences between Lexapro and Wellbutrin?
- Lexapro (escitalopram) and Wellbutrin (bupropion) are antidepressants used for treatment of major depression. Lexapro also is used to treat anxiety in adults.
- Lexapro belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressant drug class and Wellbutrin belongs to the aminoketone drug class.
- Side effects of Lexapro and Wellbutrin that are similar include:
- Side effects of Lexapro that are different from Wellbutrin include:
- Side effects of Wellbutrin that are different from Lexapro include constipation.
- Lexapro and Wellbutrin interact with different drugs.
- Lexapro may interact with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, tryptophan, St. John's wort, meperidine, lithium, triptans tramadol, warfarin, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop using Lexapro.
- Wellbutrin interacts with many drugs, for example, blood thinners, heart or blood pressure medications, HIV/AIDS medications, seizure medications, other antidepressants, psychiatric medicines, antibiotics, antihistamines, asthma medications, bronchodilators, birth control pills, estrogens, bladder or urinary medications, diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medications, insulin or oral diabetes medication, medicines for nausea/vomiting/motion sickness, medications to treat or prevent malaria, medicines for Parkinson's disease, medication for restless leg syndrome, medication for pituitary gland tumor, medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection, narcotics, numbing medicines, steroids, theophylline, or ulcer or irritable bowel medications.
What is Lexapro? What is Wellbutrin? How do they work?
Lexapro (escitalopram) is an oral drug that is used for treating depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Lexapro belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs called serotonin reuptke inhibitors (SSRIs). Lexapro prevents the reuptake of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) which results in more serotonin in the brain to attach to nerve receptors.
Drugs in the SSRI class also are used for treating obsessive compulsive disorders and panic disorders, although Lexapro is not approved for these purposes. Other SSRI antidepressants include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft).
Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant that also affects neurotransmitters. Wellbutrin works by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which results in more dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine to transmit messages to other nerves. Wellbutrin is unlike other antidepressants in that its major effect is on dopamine, an effect that is not shared by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) uses
What are the uses for Lexapro vs. Wellbutrin?
- Lexapro is approved for the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
- Drugs in the SSRI class also are used for treating obsessive compulsive disorders and panic disorders, although Lexapro is not approved for these purposes.
- Bupropion is used for the management of major depression (major depressive disorder) and seasonal affective disorder (depression that occurs primarily during the fall and winter). It is also is prescribed for smoking cessation.
- Off-label uses (non-FDA approved) for bupropion include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social phobia, and nerve pain (neuropathic pain).
What are the side effects of Lexapro vs. Wellbutrin?
Lexapro side effects
Some patients experience withdrawal reactions upon stopping SSRI therapy. Symptoms may include
In order to avoid these symptoms, the dose of SSRI can be slowly reduced instead of abruptly stopped.
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Lexapro or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults beyond 24 years of age. There was a reduction in risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults 65 years of age and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients who are started on therapy with antidepressants should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.
Common side effects of Lexapro
Common side effects associated with Lexapro include
- agitation or restlessness,
- blurred vision,
- difficulty sleeping,
- dry mouth,
- frequent urination,
- increased or decreased appetite,
- increased sweating,
- sexual difficulties (decreased sexual ability or desire, ejaculatory delay),
- taste alterations, tremor (shaking), and
- weight changes.
Although changes in sexual desire, sexual performance, and sexual satisfaction often occur as a result of depression itself, they also may be a consequence of the drugs used to treat depression. In particular, about one in 11 men given Lexapro report difficulties ejaculating.
Possible serious side effects of Lexapro include:
- Serotonin syndrome
- Suicidal thinking and behavior
- Abnormal bleeding
- Manic episodes
- Low sodium
- Angle closure glaucoma
Wellbutrin side effects
Four of every 1000 persons who receive bupropion in doses less than 450 mg/day experience seizures. When doses exceed 450 mg/day, the risk increases ten-fold. Other risk factors for seizures include past injury to the head and medications that can lower the threshold for seizures. (See drug interactions.)
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of bupropion or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.
The most common side effects associated with bupropion include:
- Weight loss
- Skin rash
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Stomach pain
- Muscle pain
- Fast heartbeat
- Sore throat
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
In some people, the agitation or insomnia is most marked shortly after starting therapy.
Less common side effects include:
- Chest pain
- Hot flashes
- Problems swallowing
- Urinary tract infections
More serious side effects include:
What are the dosage instructions for Lexapro vs. Wellbutrin?
Lexapro drug interactions
- The usual starting dose of Lexapro for treating depression in adults or adolescents is 10 mg once daily in the morning or evening. The dose may be increased to 20 mg once daily after 1 week.
- Benefit may not be seen until treatment has been given for up to 4 weeks. A daily dose of 20 mg may not be more effective than 10 mg daily for treatment of depression.
- The dose for treating generalized anxiety disorder is 10 mg once daily.
- Lexapro can be taken with or without food.
Wellbutrin dosage instructions
- Bupropion immediate release tablets are usually is given in one, two or three daily doses. For immediate-release tablets, no single dose should exceed 150 mg and each dose should be separated by 6 hours.
- For depression, the recommended dose of immediate-release tablets is 100 mg 3 times daily (300 mg/day) maximum dose is 450 mg daily. The initial dose is 100 mg twice daily. The dose may be increased to 100 mg 3 times daily after three days and 150 mg 3 times daily after several weeks if the response is not adequate. .
- The initial dose of sustained-release tablets is 150 mg daily; target dose is 150 mg twice daily; maximum dose is 200 mg twice daily.
- The initial dose of extended-release tablets is 150 mg daily; target dose is 300 mg daily; maximum dose is 450 mg daily. Alternatively initiate at 174 mg daily and increase to 348 mg daily after 4 days and up to a maximum dose of 522 mg daily after 4 weeks. Extended release tablets are administered once daily.
- When used for smoking cessation, bupropion (Zyban) usually is started as 150 mg once daily for three days, and then the dose is increased to 150 mg twice daily for 7 to 12 weeks if the patient tolerates the starting dose.
- Smoking is discontinued two weeks after starting bupropion therapy.
- The dose for seasonal affective disorder is 150 mg once daily. Wellbutrin SR is given as two daily doses. Wellbutrin XL is given as one dose daily, up to 300 mg daily using extended release tablets. Alternatively treatment may be started with 174 mg daily and increased to a target dose of 348 mg day. Start treatment in the autumn prior to onset of seasonal depressive symptoms, and continue through the winter season.
What are the drug interactions of Lexapro vs. Wellbutrin?
Lexapro drug interactions
- All SSRIs, including Lexapro, should not be combined with drugs in the monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor class of antidepressants such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), selegiline (Eldepryl) and procarbazine (Matulane) or other drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase such as linezolid (Zyvox) and intravenous methylene blue. Such combinations may lead to confusion, high blood pressure, high fevers, tremor or muscle rigidity, and increased activity. At least 14 days should elapse after discontinuing Lexapro before starting an MAO inhibitor. Conversely, at least 14 days should elapse after discontinuing an MAO inhibitor before starting Lexapro.
- Similar reactions occur when SSRIs are combined with other drugs that increase serotonin in the brain, for example tryptophan, St. John's wort, meperidine (Demerol), lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith), triptans (for example, sumatriptan [Imitrex, Alsuma]), and tramadol (Ultram)
- Use of selective serotonin inhibitors may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding in patients taking warfarin (Jantoven, Coumadin), aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and other drugs that cause bleeding.
Wellbutrin drug interactions
- Bupropion should be used cautiously in patients receiving drugs that reduce the threshold for seizures. Such drugs include prochlorperazine (Compazine), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), and other antipsychotic medications of the phenothiazine class. Additionally, persons who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines [for example, diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax)] are at increased risk for seizures.
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol) may reduce the effect of bupropion by reducing the blood concentration of bupropion. Monamine oxidase inhibitors should not be combined with bupropion because of the risk of severe reactions. At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI and initiation of bupropion. Bupropion may affect the action of warfarin (Coumadin).
- Ritonavir (Norvir) may increase the breakdown and elimination of bupropion. In some studies ritonavir reduced the concentration of bupropion in the body by 22% to 66%.
Are Lexapro and Wellbutrin safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- The safety of Lexapro during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. Therefore, Lexapro should not be used during pregnancy unless, in the opinion of the physician, the expected benefits to a patient outweigh unknown hazards to the fetus.
- Lexapro is excreted in human milk. Lexapro should not be given to nursing mothers unless, in the opinion of the physician, the expected benefits to the patient outweigh the possible hazards to the child.
- There are no adequate studies of bupropion in pregnant women. In one study, there was no difference between bupropion and other antidepressants in the occurrence of birth defects. Bupropion should only be used in pregnancy if the benefit outweighs the potential risk.
- Bupropion is secreted in breast milk.
Lexapro (escitalopram) and Wellbutrin (bupropion) are drugs used to treat major depression and general anxiety disorder (GAD). Lexapro belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drug class, and Wellbutrin belongs to the aminoketone drug class. Lexapro and Wellbutrin have similar side effects, for example, nausea, headache, dry mouth, insomnia, agitation, shaking, and restlessness. Lexapro also may cause side effects like diarrhea, blurred vision, drowsiness, sexual difficulties, weight changes, indigestion, and blurred vision. Wellbutrin also may cause side effects like constipation. Do not take Lexapro or Wellbutrin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
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While there is no one size fits all solution to treating depression, symptoms may be reduced through medication, therapy, and lifestyle modifications.
How Does Anxiety Affect You Physically?
Physical signs of anxiety include rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, headache, and more. Find out how to recognize and ease your symptoms.
Can Blue Light Cause Depression?
Yes, in humans, there is evidence that supports that blue light disrupts the normal circadian rhythms (biological clock), resulting in mood disorders such as depression.
Is Psoriasis Linked to Anxiety?
Like other chronic conditions, psoriasis can take a toll on your emotional health. Anxiety can trigger or worsen psoriasis, and psoriasis can cause anxiety.
What Is the Main Cause of Anxiety?
Anxiety is usually caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that may include stress, trauma, family history, and underlying health conditions.
What Does Social Anxiety Feel Like?
People affected by social anxiety or social phobia often feel intense fear or anxiety of being judged or criticized while being in a social situation.
How Can I Help My Young Child With Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal part of daily life, even for children. Help your young child with anxiety by giving the feeling a label, validating their feelings, tracking causes of anxiety, and using other methods.
Can Anxiety Give You a Stomachache?
Anxiety triggers the release of cortisol, which can cause your stomach to produce more acid and give you a stomachache. Learn about how to cope with anxiety symptoms.
What Is the Best Treatment for Anxiety?
The best treatment for anxiety is typically a combination of psychotherapy and medication. However, lifestyle modifications can also help manage symptoms.
Is Depression a Medically Treatable Disorder?
Depression is a medically treatable disorder because it is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Learn about treatment options.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Postpartum Depression: Behind the Smile
- Illness Anxiety Disorder (Hypochondria)
- Postpartum Depression
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Anxiety Treatment with Virtual Reality Exposure
- Teen Depression
- Depression Drug Warning: Signs of Suicide
- Anxiety, Panic, and Phobias: Seeking Help
- Depression: Beating the Holiday Blues
- Anxiety: Facing Fear and Anxiety -- Jonathan Davidson, MD
- Depression FAQs
- ADHD FAQs
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder FAQs
- Panic Attacks Disorder FAQs
- Diabetic Neuropathy FAQs
- Adult ADHD FAQs
- Does Depression Cause Obesity or Does Obesity Cause Depression?
- Depression - St. John's Wort
- Miscarriage - Depression Risk Increased
- Accutane (isotretinoin) for Acne linked to birth defects, depression and suicide
- Depression and Women
- Hot Flashes: Anxiety Worsens Hot Flashes
- Is Depression a Side Effect of Celebrex?
- Do Statins Cause Depression?
- What Is CNS Depression?
- Can You Outgrow ADHD?
- Can I Treat ADHD Without Medication?
- What Are the Symptoms of ADHD?
- Does My Child Have ADHD?
- Could Gluten Make ADHD Worse?
- 11 Common Depression Symptoms
- Adult ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment
- Diet and Depression: How Food Can Help with Depression Symptoms
Medications & Supplements
- Lexapro (escitalopram) vs. Buspar (buspirone)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Cymbalta vs. Wellbutrin Comparison
- Buspar vs. Zoloft (Differences between Side Effects and Uses)
- fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly)
- Stimulants (ADHD Medications)
- Celexa vs. Lexapro
- Zoloft vs. Lexapro
- paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
- Lexapro vs. Effexor
- Lexapro vs. Prozac
- Types of Medicine for ADHD
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top Lexapro vs Wellbutrin Related Articles
13 Tips for Parenting a Teen With ADHDParenting a teenager who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be challenging. Parents can use specific strategies to help their teen cope with school and homework. Special care should be taken to help an ADHD teen drive safely and avoid alcohol and drug use.
Adult ADHD SlideshowMost people don't associate adults with the term ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) but it is a common disorder in adulthood. Learn about symptoms, tests, treatment and medications for ADHD.
What Is ADHD in Children?Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes the following symptoms in children: excessive activity, problems concentrating, and difficulty controlling impulses. Stimulant medications are the most common medication used to treat ADHD.
Childhood ADHD QuizFind out causes, symptoms, and treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a widespread behavioral condition commonly seen in children. Take the Childhood ADHD Quiz.
AnxietyAnxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
DepressionDepression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, MedicationKnow when you or someone else is depressed. Get information on depression symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression chronic depression and postpartum depression.
Depression QuizMany people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With proper diagnosis, treatments and medications are available. Take this quiz to learn more about recovery from depression.
Exercises for Diabetes Nerve PainLearn how to cope with the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy through pain management exercises. Find relief for diabetic nerve pain without medication.
Anxiety SlideshowLearn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of anxiety disorders.
Mental HealthMental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under the umbrella of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, and substance-abuse disorders are common types of mental illness. Symptoms and signs of mental illness include irritability, moodiness, insomnia, headaches, and sadness. Treatment may involve psychotherapy and medication.
Neuropathic PainNeuropathic pain is a chronic condition that leads to ongoing pain symptoms. Patients can be predisposed to developing neuropathic pain who have conditions such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, HIV, vitamin deficiencies, shingles, and multiple sclerosis. Patient history and nerve testing are used to diagnose neuropathic pain. Antidepressants, antiseizure medications, and other types of medications are used to treat neuropathic pain. Many people with neuropathic pain are able to attain some level of relief.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to suffer repeated obsessions and compulsions. Symptoms include irresistible impulses despite a person's realization that the thoughts are irrational, excessive hand washing, skin picking, lock checking, or repeatedly rearranging items. People with OCD are more likely to develop trichotillomania, muscle or vocal tics, or an eating disorder. Treatment for OCD includes psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medication.
Panic Attacks QuizCould you suffer a panic attack? Take this Panic Attacks Quiz to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for panic disorder. Use this quiz to learn to recognize the main elements of this serious, yet common disorder known as panic attacks.
Panic AttacksPanic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms: racing heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers, chills, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of loss or control. There are several treatments for panic attacks.
Post-traumatic Stress DisorderPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric condition, can develop after any catastrophic life event. Symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, sweating, rapid heart rate, detachment, amnesia, sleep problems, irritability, and exaggerated startle response. Treatment may involve psychotherapy, group support, and medication.
Teen DepressionDepression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.