Wellbutrin vs ssris

Which Medication Is Better for You?

When we struggle with our mental health or a depressive disorder, it can be tough to choose the best treatment plan. If you’re considering prescription drugs, two popular antidepressants are Wellbutrin and Lexapro.

When we take a close look at Wellbutrin vs Lexapro, which comes out on top? The answer varies for each individual. But if you’re trying to decide which is best for you, it helps to look at each medication and see which may better suit your needs, health, and lifestyle. There are some significant differences between Lexapro and Wellbutrin, with each having its advantages and disadvantages.

In this Minded Guide, we’ll take a closer look at both medications and what you need to know if you’re taking them for the first time or considering replacing Lexapro with Wellbutrin (or vice versa). This information can give you the confidence to make a sound decision.

Read on to learn more about the two medications, including:

  • An introduction to Wellbutrin and Lexapro
  • A breakdown between the specifics of Wellbutrin vs Lexapro
  • Lexapro vs Wellbutrin: how to decide which medication is better for you
  • Using Lexapro and Wellbutrin together


Wellbutrin and Lexapro are both used to treat mild, moderate, and severe depression. Both medications affect our mood and mental health but are not the same class or type of drug, as each targets different brain molecules and receptors. Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), while Wellbutrin is a norepinephrine/dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). These two reuptake inhibitors work in different ways. NDRIs block the actions of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine cell receptor transporters, while the SSRIs restrict brain cells from taking in serotonin—hence, accumulating more serotonin in the space between brain cells, for its action to be stronger and longer. Again, the best option depends on the individual.

Unlike tricyclic antidepressants, including amitriptyline or doxepin, medications like Wellbutrin and Lexapro have low anticholinergic effects. That means they are less likely to lead to side effects like memory problems and confusion. Medications with high anticholinergic effects have been linked to higher dementia risk. Drugs with high anticholinergic effects also produce more constipation, difficulty urinating, blurry vision, and dry mouth.

In summary, Wellbutrin and Lexapro are both antidepressant medications, though they differ in the way they work. They both have other uses that might make them a better fit for you.

Let’s look at the difference in response for each medication. Remember, when you look at Wellbutrin vs Lexapro, keep in mind what is most important in your health care.

Wellbutrin is the brand name of the generic drug bupropion. Zyban is another brand name the drug bupropion goes by, used especially to help people stop smoking (in lower doses than for treating depression).

Wellbutrin was approved in 1985 and is used most commonly to treat depression, major depressive disorder (MDD), and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It can also help with smoking cessation.

Many people who use Wellbutrin report feeling improvement within 1-2 weeks after starting on an initial dosage; improvement from more severe states of depression can take 6-8 weeks. The dosage a person is on may also affect its onset of action. 

Doctors might prescribe Wellbutrin for “off-label” uses, meaning different from its approved use from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Off-label” prescribing is very common and within the standards of quality medical care. Wellbutrin can be taken for conditions such as social anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. It’s also used as a “second-line medication” for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), meaning it is combined with psychostimulants like Adderall. While the Wellbutrin dosage may vary, it’s typically prescribed at 150 mg per day.

Wellbutrin comes in three different preparations:

  • Wellbutrin or bupropion SR for sustained release
  • Wellbutrin XL for extended release  
  • Wellbutrin IR for immediate release

The preparation of Wellbutrin you take will determine how long it stays in your body and brain. Its duration of action is a factor in how long it will affect you. Discuss your target dose with your doctor or one of Minded’s experts.

Side effects

The common side effects of Wellbutrin include headache, weight loss, dry mouth, insomnia, nausea, and constipation. You might also experience an irregular or fast heart rate, moodiness, or restlessness.

Less common but more severe side effects could include seizures, cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) problems, or worsening depression. Those taking Wellbutrin for smoking cessation might notice a change in their mood, for better or worse.

Talk to your doctor about any worsening of your depressive symptoms or the onset of panic attacks or suicidal thoughts.

Wellbutrin’s side effects usually decrease within the first few weeks of taking the drug. The severity of side effects also may depend on certain existing medical conditions you may have, including high blood pressure, irregularities in your heartbeat, a brain tumor, liver disease, substance use disorder, or eating disorders.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before taking Wellbutrin if you have a history of any of these conditions. You can also discuss any concerns with one of the professionals at Minded.


The FDA has put Wellbutrin in category B for pregnancy, meaning that animal studies have not shown risk to the fetus. There are no adequate studies on its effect on humans, so we cannot rule out the risk of taking Wellbutrin if you are pregnant. Because depression can negatively impact your pregnancy or the care of your infant, it is essential for you and your doctor to consider the risks and benefits of using it.

Wellbutrin is carried by breast milk to a nursing child. If you continue to use Wellbutrin while breastfeeding, be sure to discuss with your pediatrician and pay careful attention to any changes you observe in your nursing infant’s behavior.

It’s recommended that you not drink alcohol when taking Wellbutrin; it can worsen its side effects. If you are prone to seizures, drinking alcohol with Wellbutrin can increase the risk of having them.

Consult with your doctor or a Minded clinician about any other medications you are taking to consider if Wellbutrin will cause any adverse problematic drug interactions. If you are taking Wellbutrin to stop smoking, consult with your doctor if you’re taking anything else in your effort to quit tobacco. 

Most people report mild to no withdrawal symptoms from Wellbutrin. Though if you’re using it to quit smoking, you may notice your nicotine cravings return.

Lexapro, the brand name of the generic drug escitalopram, was approved in 2002. It is an SSRI. It is mainly used for depression and major depression, as well as anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

People who take Lexapro report improvements in energy, sleep quality, mood, and appetite, often within 1-2 weeks. With more serious conditions, improvements may take 6-8 weeks. The typical dosage for Lexapro is 10-20 mg per day, depending on your age, weight, any medical problems you may have, and other medications (and supplements) you may be taking. Off-label uses of Lexapro include treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) and panic disorders.

Side effects

Lexapro’s common side effects include headache, nausea, sweating, restlessness, fatigue, insomnia, and changes in body weight. Some individuals experience sexual side effects, including sexual arousal disorder, sexual desire disorder, and orgasm dysfunction. Many people experience reduced sex drive or decreased libido as a side effect. 

Weight gain is not common on Lexapro. But if decreased appetite was one of your reasons for taking Lexapro, you may experience weight gain from an improvement in your appetite. Lexapro can worsen depression symptoms, so immediately speak with your doctor or therapist if you experience suicidal thoughts.

Severe side effects can occur with Lexapro, like high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Lexapro also may cause serotonin syndrome, characterized by symptoms that include agitation, fever, hallucinations, diarrhea, heartbeat irregularities, and restlessness. If that happens, contact your doctor immediately.


Lexapro is in category C for pregnancy, which means there have been animal studies that show a potentially harmful effect on the fetus. Not enough studies have been done to confirm the risk on human fetuses. Lexapro does carry the risk of premature birth when taken in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

You, your doctor, or a Minded professional will need to balance these risks with the potential benefits of Lexapro, including your health during pregnancy. Lexapro is carried in breast milk to the nursing child, so carefully monitor your baby’s health for any unusual or abnormal effects.

You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Lexapro. Some people find that an overly restrictive suggestion; for those who do, talk to your doctor or a Minded professional for information about using alcohol in small quantities. 

If you’re taking Lexapro with other medications, check with your doctor to see if there will be any problems with combining Lexapro with the other medications you are taking. Some significant drugs to pay attention to are antipsychotics, SSRIs, blood thinners, or lithium. 

Please be aware that suddenly stopping your use of Lexapro can produce withdrawal symptoms, so it is best to slowly reduce its dose, as advised by your doctor. Withdrawal symptoms may include headache, agitation, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.

Contact your doctor if you experience severe symptoms — like wanting to take your life.

There is no clear-cut answer in choosing between Lexapro and Wellbutrin. That is because each person is different, with potentially different responses and sensitivities to a medication.

Both drugs have been effective in depressed patients. Your choice will be more informed by the information here, as well as speaking with your doctor or a Minded professional about any difference in favor of one or the other, as well as if SSRIs or NDRIs are likely to be a better choice for you.

Your medication goals, in addition to treating your depression, like reducing anxiety or curbing your smoking, can help you choose between Lexapro vs Wellbutrin. Your doctor might also suggest using one or the other to help with other, off-label conditions.

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Side effects: Wellbutrin vs Lexapro

Wellbutrin can have fewer side effects, especially not producing reductions in libido and sexual dysfunction.  In one clinical trial, Wellbutrin had fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants, including Lexapro.

But if you have medical conditions in addition to depression, or a history of specific illnesses in your family, Wellbutrin may not be the right choice for you; this is important to discuss with your doctor in order to minimize any serious side effects or reactions.

Warnings: Wellbutrin vs Lexapro

In terms of pregnancy, neither medication is considered fully safe since neither have had enough human studies to ensure their safety. But the FDA does categorize Wellbutrin in a more secure class than Lexapro, so it is potentially safer for use in those who are pregnant. Both antidepressants can help with postpartum depression, quite common, especially in those with a history of depression. Recall, as noted above, that both pass in the breast milk to the nursing child. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks of using Lexapro vs Wellbutrin if breastfeeding your infant.

Verdict: Wellbutrin vs Lexapro

Is Lexapro better than Wellbutrin, or does Wellbutrin work better than Lexapro? We know that one of the most significant differences is Lexapro’s potential to cause sexual dysfunction side effects. And we know that Wellbutrin carries more risk if you are prone to seizures.

Further answers lie in understanding each person’s needs, age, and weight, the use of other medications, the person’s medical conditions, and medical history. Taking the time to consider these matters with your doctor can make a considerable difference in your reaction to either medication. 

Wellbutrin and Lexapro together

Clinical studies have shown that taking Wellbutrin and Lexapro together can produce beneficial results. Combining Wellbutrin and Lexapro together can improve symptoms in depressed patients. Talk to your doctor or a Minded expert to find out if the combination might work for you.

Lexapro and Wellbutrin both help in the active treatment of anxiety and depression disorders.

They also have other uses, like Wellbutrin aiding smoking cessation and Lexapro helping anxiety.

Both medications have strengths and weaknesses. When deciding if Wellbutrin (bupropion) vs Lexapro (escitalopram) is better, seek the medical advice of your health care provider to determine which one may best serve your needs.

If you’re looking for a new solution to getting your medication, try Minded’s medication renewal plan. Medications delivered straight to your door. Contact us for more information.

Sources Referenced:

  • https://www.drugs.com/compare/bupropion-vs-lexapro
  • https://www. medicinenet.com/lexapro_vs_wellbutrin/article.htm
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/bupropion-oral-route/description/drg-20062478
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/escitalopram-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20063707
  • https://www.drugs.com/wellbutrin.html
  • https://www.drugs.com/lexapro.html
  • https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Bupropion-(Wellbutrin)
  • https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Escitalopram-(Lexapro)
  • https://www.rxlist.com/lexapro_vs_wellbutrin/drugs-condition.htm

Is Wellbutrin an SSRI, SNRI, or NDRI?

This article does not replace the advice of a medical professional and is only intended for informational and educational purposes.

Wellbutrin is in a class of drugs called antidepressants. Wellbutrin is an antidepressant medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of depression. Unlike many antidepressants that are SSRIs or SNRIs, Wellbutrin is an NDRI (norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor).

Norepinephrine and dopamine are two neurochemicals—chemicals that impact the nervous system—that can affect mood. A reuptake inhibitor works to prevent these chemicals from being reabsorbed to help make them available for use longer inside your body, usually in higher amounts at once. When used properly, Wellbutrin may be highly effective at improving symptoms of depression.

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What are the symptoms of depression?

People experience depression in different ways. Some feel profound sadness or hopelessness. Many also feel overwhelmed, stressed, and burned out. Some people may have low self-esteem or feel nothing at all.

The main symptoms of depression include:

  • Having little interest or pleasure in doing things
  • Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
  • Feeling tired or having little energy
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Feeling bad about yourself or feeling like a failure
  • Trouble concentrating on things
  • Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed, or being fidgety/restless
  • Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or thoughts of hurting yourself

There are many treatments for depression, including medication and therapy. Wellbutrin is just one example of antidepressant medication. There’s no shame in taking antidepressants— around 13% of Americans take them and millions have benefitted from them.

If you take medication for depression, working to build a stronger understanding of how you should be using your medication can help you achieve better results. If you are not sure which medication might be best for you, or if you have tried other medications but have not noticed any improvements, it may be a good idea to consult your provider about Wellbutrin or other antidepressants like SSRIs or SNRIs. Your provider can answer any questions or concerns you may have, and they can also work with you to come up with a tailored treatment plan. 

How does Wellbutrin work?

Wellbutrin is the brand name for bupropion, which is neither an SSRI nor an SNRI, but rather an NDRI. Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Aplenzin) is used to treat depression. Bupropion (Wellbutrin XL, Aplenzin) can also be used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a subtype of depression, and bupropion (Zyban) is used as part of a treatment plan to help people stop smoking. Wellbutrin works by preventing your body from reabsorbing norepinephrine and dopamine, which can lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Wellbutrin is thought to have comparable effects to other antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which makes it a good option if other medications have proved to be ineffective for your needs.  

Like many other antidepressants, Wellbutrin can take a few weeks to start causing noticeable changes, and it may even take up to 12 weeks to produce its full effects by building up in your body. Patience is key, and unless your provider tells you otherwise, it’s generally recommended to give it the appropriate time before determining whether or not the medication is working for you. 

What are the side effects of taking Wellbutrin?

There are some potential side effects of taking Wellbutrin, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle twitches
  • Weight loss
  • Sleep troubles
  • Sore throat

These side effects are often mild and temporary, typically improving within a week or two. You should always alert your provider of any side effects you are experiencing.

Some rare, but more serious side effects may occur in which case you should call your provider or seek medical attention immediately:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Significant worsening of any symptoms of depression
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Severe headaches
  • Irregular, fast, or pounding heartbeat
  • Rashes, such as hives
  • Confusion or hallucinations
  • Seizures or convulsions

If you experience these more serious side effects, this may indicate that your body is not tolerating your medication properly, and a change in medication may be in order. You will want to find a medication that is both tolerable and effective. Your provider will be able to work with you to get to the root of the problem and help you find a solution.

What class of antidepressant is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) is an antidepressant of the aminoketone class, used to manage depression.

Is Wellbutrin XL an SNRI or NDRI?

Wellbutrin XL is an extended-release form of Wellbutrin. Like Wellbutrin and Wellbutrin SR, it is not an SNRI. Wellbutrin XL is an NDRI (norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant.

What are the long-term side effects of Wellbutrin?

To date, there are no known problems associated with the long-term use of bupropion. It is a safe and effective medication when used as directed, though it may increase your blood pressure.

What antidepressant is closest to Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant, meaning it doesn’t fit into other classes. Atypical antidepressants are unique medications that work differently from other antidepressants and typically change the levels of one or more neurotransmitters in the brain. Wellbutrin affects the norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitters.

Forfivo XL, Aplenzin, and Zyban are other brands of bupropion.

Is Wellbutrin safer than an SSRI or SNRI?

You will need to talk to a provider to determine what types of medications are safe for you. In general, these types of antidepressants are safe for most people. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, SSRIs are also generally safe for most people, though in some circumstances they can cause problems. For example, high doses of citalopram may cause dangerous abnormal heart rhythms, so doses over 40 milligrams (mg) a day should be avoided according to the FDA and the manufacturer.

Likewise, SNRIs are safe for most people, though in some circumstances they can cause concerns. For example, certain SNRIs may raise your blood pressure or worsen liver problems.

Summary Of FDA warning 

According to NAMI, here is a comprehensive summary of the FDA warning that accompanies antidepressants, including Wellbutrin, SSRIs, and SNRIs:

Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications. This risk may persist until significant remission occurs.

In short-term studies, antidepressants increased the risk of suicidality in children, adolescents, and young adults when compared to placebo. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24. Adults ages 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidality. 

Individuals, their families, and caregivers should be alert to the emergence of anxiety, restlessness, irritability, aggressiveness, and insomnia. If these symptoms emerge, they should be reported to the individual’s prescriber or healthcare professional. 

All people being treated with antidepressants for any reason should watch for and notify their healthcare provider for worsening symptoms, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment.

Proper usage: What you need to know

Proper usage of Wellbutrin involves consideration of several factors. Before you start taking Wellbutrin, you should inform your provider of the following:

  • Any symptoms you are experiencing that you find particularly bothersome
  • If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or are harming yourself
  • Any medications you have previously taken for your symptoms, including how effective they were or were not 
  • Any adverse effects you have previously experienced from medications
  • Any health conditions you are experiencing aside from the condition you are currently looking to treat
  • Any other medications you are already taking, including vitamins and supplements
  • If you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or are breastfeeding
  • If you have a history of seizures or epilepsy

Wellbutrin may not be recommended for use by people with certain conditions or who are taking certain medications. According to the University of Michigan Health, you should not use bupropion within 14 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitors inhibitor), such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine. 

The first step when it comes to proper usage of your medication is making sure that you have informed your provider of all important information that could harm your health if not disclosed. Additionally, because there can be drug interactions with Wellbutrin and other medications, you should also talk to your provider before taking any over-the-counter medication with Wellbutrin. For example, cold and allergy medications can affect your central nervous system so you should check with your provider before taking them.

How should I take Wellbutrin?

Talk to your provider for instructions and follow them carefully. In general, you may take Wellbutrin with or without food. But if you have nausea, take the medicine with food.

Swallow the tablet whole. Do not chew, crush, or break it. 

What are the forms of Wellbutrin?

There are three main forms of Wellbutrin available, including immediate-release, sustained-release, and extended-release, and the proper dosing for you will depend on your situation as well as which form of Wellbutrin your provider has prescribed.

The three forms are:

  • IR (immediate-release)
  • SR (sustained-release)
  • XL (extended-release)

Can I take Wellbutrin while pregnant or breastfeeding? 

Wellbutrin is not a recommended treatment during pregnancy. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states:

If you are planning on becoming pregnant, notify your health care provider to best manage your medications. People living with major depressive disorder (MDD) who wish to become pregnant face important decisions, each with risks and benefits as they relate to how the illness, medications, and risks to the fetus may interact. Untreated MDD has risks to the fetus, as well as the mother. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor and caregivers. 

Bupropion has also been evaluated for smoking cessation during pregnancy and is recommended only after other therapies have failed.

Caution is advised with breastfeeding since bupropion does pass into breast milk.

What should I do if Wellbutrin is not working for me?

If the medication is not providing relief from your symptoms, you should consult your provider. Your provider will work with you to determine if your dosing needs to be adjusted, and by how much.

You should take care to follow the specific instructions included with your medication as well as any instructions your provider has personally given you. If you have any questions or concerns, it is always best to play it safe and consult your provider rather than trying to guess what may be the correct way to use your medication. In general, drinking alcohol should be avoided with bupropion. 

If you are seeking high-quality mental health care that you can access right from the comfort of your home while still also having access to effective medication, Brightside is here to help. 

With Brightside, you have unlimited access to the care you need, including precision prescribing, psychiatry and therapy experts, and science-backed approaches that can help you feel like yourself again. Depression can be difficult, but Brightside is here to get you the care you deserve, whether that’s therapy, medication, or a combination of both. 

The bottom line

Wellbutrin is not an SSRI or an SNRI—it is an NDRI, one of many commonly prescribed antidepressants. This means that the drug works by blocking your body from reabsorbing dopamine and norepinephrine, resulting in higher levels of both of these chemicals, which are associated with the regulation of your moods and emotions. 

Wellbutrin is the brand name for bupropion, and while it may be highly effective, it can take several weeks to work. In fact, it may take around 12 weeks for Wellbutrin to produce its fullest effects after building up in your system, so patience is key with this medication as with many others. You may notice positive effects on your sleep, energy, or appetite before noticing an impact on mood. These can be good indicators that the medication is working.

When you begin taking Wellbutrin, you should carefully follow your provider’s instructions alongside any instructions that come along with the medication itself.

If Wellbutrin proves to be ineffective at bringing you relief from your symptoms, your provider will recommend other medications that may be a better fit for you.

Brightside provides you with access to both expert psychiatric providers and licensed therapists, as well as medication so that you can get the care you need all in one place. Get started with Brightside by taking a free assessment today and see if medication like Wellbutrin may be helpful for you.

Do antidepressants help smokers trying to quit

This translation is out of date. Please click here for the latest English version of this review.

Relevance and issues addressed in the review

Some medications used to treat depression (antidepressants) have been investigated to see if they can help people trying to quit smoking. Two antidepressants, bupropion (Zyban) and nortriptyline, are sometimes prescribed to help people quit smoking. In this review, we set out to investigate whether the use of antidepressants increases the likelihood of successful smoking cessation for six months or more, and to determine the safety of using these drugs to assist in smoking cessation.

Study profile

Evidence current to July 2013. This update includes 24 new studies, for a total review of 90 studies. Both smokers and people who recently quit smoking took part in the studies. 65 studies have been conducted with bupropion, which is approved for use as a smoking cessation drug under the trade name Zyban. Ten studies have been done with nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant drug that is not approved for use in smoking cessation aids. We included only those studies that reported a long-term outcome (regardless of whether study participants stopped smoking within six months of study entry or not).

Main findings and quality of evidence

Trials using bupropion (Zyban) for smoking cessation showed high-quality evidence that this drug increases the likelihood of a successful quit attempt for at least six months (44 trials, over 13,000 participants). Side effects of bupropion include insomnia, dry mouth, nausea, and rarely (1:1000) seizures and possibly various psychiatric problems, but the latter is not clear. Moderate-quality evidence, limited by the relatively small number of included studies and participants, indicates that use of the antidepressant nortriptyline also increases smoking cessation rates (six trials, 975 participants). Side effects of using this medicine include: dry mouth, constipation, nausea and sedation, and this drug can be dangerous in overdose. Serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (eg, fluoxetine), MAOIs (eg, selegiline), and the antidepressant venlafaxine have not been shown to help quit smoking, nor has herbal medicine with St. John's wort or S-adenosyl-L-methionine, a dietary supplement which is believed to have antidepressant properties.


The mechanism of action of bupropion and nortriptyline is not well understood. Both drugs help to quit smoking, regardless of whether patients had previous depression or depressive symptoms at the time of quitting. The likelihood of successful smoking cessation with bupropion or nortriptyline was similar to that of nicotine replacement therapy, but lower than with varenicline.

Translation notes:

Translation: Yakov Petrovich Nizhnik. Editing: Ziganshina Lilia Evgenievna. Project coordination for translation into Russian: Cochrane Russia - Cochrane Russia (branch of the Northern Cochrane Center on the basis of Kazan Federal University). For questions about this translation, please contact us at: [email protected]

First fast-acting oral drug approved for depression | News

Keywords / keywords: NMDA receptors, Antidepressants, Major depressive disorder, Depressive disorders, Psychiatry, Antidepressants, Major depressive disorder, Depressive disorders, Psychiatry

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first use of an oral NMDA receptor antagonist for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults. The drug is called Auvelity (Auvelity, the company Axsome Therapeutics).

The drug is a combination of dextromethorphan (45 mg) and bupropion (105 mg) in a tablet form with a sustained release and an extended duration of action. Dextromethorphan is a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, also known as a glutamate receptor modulator, and a sigma-1 receptor agonist. The second component of the drug, bupropion, is an aminoketone and a CYP2D6 inhibitor; the main task of this compound is to increase the concentration of dextromethorphan in the blood and prolong the effect.

About 2/3 of patients show no effect in response to ongoing therapy for depression with drugs currently available on the pharmaceutical market. In cases where the effect is achieved, its clinically significant level can be formed up to 6-8 weeks. AUVELITY becomes the first and so far the only oral drug with a fast-acting effect aimed at combating major depressive disorder.

The results of a clinical study (GEMINI) showed that the drug has a greater antidepressant activity compared to placebo, the effect of which is observed already in the first week.

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