3 Positive Sexual Side Effects of Wellbutrin
Written By Kobi Nathan, Pharm.D., M.Ed., CDP, BCGP, AGSF
Sleep Disorders
November 26, 2023

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is a widely prescribed medication approved by the FDA for treating mood disorders.

Belonging to the class of drugs known as norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), Wellbutrin increases the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, which positively impact the brain’s pleasure centers.

While Wellbutrin is primarily used to treat depression, seasonal affective disorder, and smoking cessation, clinicians understand the three positive sexual side effects of Wellbutrin, which we will discuss later in this article.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Lexapro and Zoloft are well known for their sexual side effects, such as erectile dysfunction, difficulties with orgasm, and decreased sexual desire.

As you can imagine, this type of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction can be incredibly debilitating and cause significant stress and anxiety, further complicating or exacerbating the person’s underlying anxiety or depression.

However, Wellbutrin is not associated with these side effects.

This article will explore the mechanism behind Wellbutrin’s positive effects on sexual functioning, as well as how it can be used to manage sexual dysfunction caused by other antidepressants.

Let’s get into the details…

Key Takeaways

  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is an FDA-approved medication for treating mood disorders and is classified as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI).
  • Wellbutrin does not typically cause sexual side effects like low sex drive or difficulties with orgasm, and it may actually increase libido.
  • Unlike other antidepressants, especially SSRIs, Wellbutrin has been widely used to treat major depressive disorders without negatively impacting sexual functioning.
  • Wellbutrin’s positive effect on sexual functioning may be attributed to its ability to increase dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain’s pleasure centers.

Sexual side effects of Wellbutrin (Positive ones)

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) does not typically cause sexual side effects, making it a favorable option for individuals concerned about these issues.

Unlike other antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Wellbutrin has been found to have a beneficial effect on sexual functioning.

Specifically, Wellbutrin provides the following three positive effects on sexual functioning:

  1. Increase in sexual desire (libido)
  2. Increase in sexual arousal/satisfaction
  3. Improvement in orgasms

These effects may be attributed to the drug’s mechanism of action, which involves increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain’s pleasure centers.

This case report discusses how a patient’s sexual urges and desires increased markedly when Wellbutrin was added to his fluoxetine (Prozac) therapy.

It is important to note that Wellbutrin is primarily used as an antidepressant and has not been officially approved for treating sexual dysfunction unrelated to depression.

The video below from a healthcare-related YouTube channel discusses the uses and positive sexual side effects of Wellbutrin:


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How to treat sexual dysfunction from antidepressants

Managing antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction can be very challenging.

As I mentioned earlier, anxiety and depression in and of themselves can cause or worsen sexual dysfunction, and the gold standard medications (SSRIs) that are recommended by treatment guidelines to manage these mental health conditions can worsen the underlying sexual dysfunction.

Several strategies can be employed to manage sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants.

One option is to switch to a different antidepressant medication that is less likely to cause sexual side effects.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is often considered an alternative agent, as it has been shown to have a lower incidence of sexual side effects.

This is done commonly in clinical practice – I recommend making the switch to Bupropion or adding it to an SSRI for my patients in my own practice.

Another approach is to add a medication such as sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis), which can help improve erectile function.

Additionally, non-pharmacological interventions such as counseling, sex therapy, and lifestyle changes may also be beneficial.

I recommend online-therapy.com.

They offer individual or couple counseling sessions via live video, phone, or text-only options.

Signing up through the link above will give you a 20% discount!

Whatever you decide to do, I want to stress that you should consult with your doctor to discuss the best course of action for managing sexual dysfunction caused by your antidepressant.

More on this below…

Seeking professional advice for managing sexual side effects of Wellbutrin

While the sexual side effects of Wellbutrin are positive, professional guidance is essential for effectively managing your therapy.

Seeking advice from a qualified healthcare professional can provide valuable insights and personalized recommendations for optimizing these positive side effects of Wellbutrin.

Here are three reasons why professional advice is crucial:

  1. Individualized assessment: Your doctor knows you best and can assess your specific situation, taking into account factors like medical history, current medications, and dosage. This personalized evaluation enables them to tailor their recommendations to your unique needs.
  2. Treatment adjustment: A healthcare professional can consider adjusting the dose of Wellbutrin or exploring alternative treatment options to alleviate sexual side effects. They may suggest combining Wellbutrin with other medications or adding supplements to counteract these effects.
  3. Psychological support: Sexual side effects can have a significant impact on an individual’s well-being and intimate relationships. Professional guidance can provide emotional support, education, and strategies to cope with these challenges, fostering overall mental and sexual health.

What you should ask your doctor about sexual side effects of Wellbutrin

Hopefully, this article has helped to answer most of the questions you have about the sexual side effects of Wellbutrin.

I cannot stress this enough: Everyone responds to Wellbutrin and all other medications differently.

A particular dose that may work well for another person may give you intolerable and serious side effects.

As I discussed above, your doctor is best poised to help fine-tune your specific Wellbutrin dose for you.

Here are some questions you can ask your provider:

  • When will I start seeing the positive effects on my sexual function?
  • How will I know if my Wellbutrin dose is working to manage my mood symptoms?
  • If Wellbutrin is being added to my SSRI, what symptoms should I expect to see?
  • What medications, food, or dietary supplements should I avoid while taking Wellbutrin?
  • What are the severe symptoms of Wellbutrin?
  • When should I call you if symptoms are severe?

Note: If you are experiencing the following severe symptoms, don’t hesitate – call your doctor or 911 immediately:

  • Your anxiety or depression worsens
  • You experience panic attacks
  • You have suicidal thoughts or actions
  • You become abnormally agitated, irritated, or angry
  • You begin engaging in violent behavior
  • You experience seizures ( a known side effect if Wellbutrin is dosed inappropriately)


In conclusion, Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is a medication commonly used to treat mood disorders.

It has unique effects on sexual functioning compared to other antidepressants.

Unlike SSRIs, Wellbutrin is not associated with low sex drive or difficulties with orgasm and may even increase libido.

It can also be used as an alternative treatment for managing sexual dysfunction caused by other antidepressants.

Seeking professional advice and utilizing additional mental health support resources are important for managing any potential sexual side effects.

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