Depression Home > Wellbutrin XL and Weight Loss

Clinical studies on Wellbutrin XL and weight loss showed that up to 23 percent of people taking it lost weight. Although it is not entirely clear why this occurs, it is thought that other side effects of the medication (such as loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting) may be factors. Also, when treating depression with Wellbutrin XL, weight loss may occur when the depression symptom of weight gain is resolved.

An Overview of Wellbutrin XL and Weight Loss

Wellbutrin XL® (bupropion XL) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression). It is also approved to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Side effects are possible with Wellbutrin XL, and weight loss appears to be one of them. For some people, this may be a good thing. For others, however, unintended weight loss can be a problem.
 

How Common Is Weight Loss With Wellbutrin XL?

Studies have shown that up to 23 percent of people taking Wellbutrin XL lost more than five pounds. People taking higher doses were more likely to lose weight.
 

Why Does Wellbutrin XL Cause Weight Loss?

It is not entirely clear why Wellbutrin XL can cause weight loss. The medication can cause a loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting, which may contribute to weight loss. Often, these side effects go away with time. Let your healthcare provider know if these side effects do not go away, however. Also, because weight gain can be a symptom of depression, treating the depression can lead to weight loss.
 
If you are experiencing too much weight loss with Wellbutrin XL, be sure to let your healthcare provider know.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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