In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “What are the signs of Wellbutrin working for smoking?”. Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant in nature, but it also works as a smoking cessation aid.
It is, in fact, a prescription medication to help people quit smoking. This blog will cover the signs that tell you that wellbutrin is working for the best for your smoking cessation.
What are the signs of Wellbutrin working for smoking?
The signs of Wellbutrin working for smoking include:
- You don’t crave cigarettes as much as you used to
- You have lesser nicotine withdrawal symptoms
- Your stress, anxiety and depression are getting better
You don’t crave cigarettes as much as you used to
This is one of the biggest green flags which tell you how Wellbutrin is making positive changes in your system. Cigarette smoking is a choice at first, but then it becomes a habit. It is still considered easy to let go of a habit, but what about a habit that becomes an addiction?
That’s why quitting smoking is one hell of a task, especially for people who have been doing it for a long, long time. Wellbutrin makes it easy for you to function well without smoking.
This reduces your urge to go for a quick smoke, every now and then and controls the frequency of your smoking. This process continues until you no longer feel like smoking.
However, if you reach that stage, you need to take good care of yourself and you have to protect yourself from getting back to that addiction ever again.
You have lesser nicotine withdrawal symptoms
We all know why addiction occurs in the case of smoking. When you consume nicotine through cigarette smoking, it acts on your brain in different ways. Nicotine mimics our sympathetic nervous system, also known as the system associated with fight and flight response.
This action of nicotine triggers the release of epinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with increased heart rate and blood pressure. Nicotine also triggers the release of a happy hormone called dopamine.
It generates a reward sensation and you actually feel rewarded, relieved, and relaxed after smoking cigarettes. This makes you an addict and you keep wanting to feel this reward sensation again and again.
When you don’t smoke, the excess release of epinephrine is not there and you start to feel like your heart is sinking. Other nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Cravings of nicotine
- Inability to focus or concentrate on anything
- Anger and agitation
- Anxiety and depression
- Insomnia or inability to fall asleep
- Increased appetite
The use of Wellbutrin helps to counteract the above mentioned nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant. The exact mechanism of action is still a topic of research.
However, it increases the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine inside your brain. Now, do you remember the surge of dopamine that nicotine can give you? Well, Wellbutrin is doing that for you now.
The increased dopamine does not let you feel so miserable and your brain starts to believe that cigarettes are not that important as you seem to function just fine without them. This cuts back the urge to smoke and you slowly begin to settle in.
Your stress, anxiety and depression are getting better
Several surveys have revealed that the most common cause of cigarette consumption is to get rid of excess stress. People tend to lean towards nicotine when they have a lot of things to worry about.
Be it work problems, financial problems, relationship related problems or family problems, smoking feels like an escape. When you feel that dopamine induced reward sensation, life doesn’t seem so bad for a while.
This makes you go back to that feeling, over and over again. Wellbutrin, as we have already discussed, is an antidepressant. It actively increases the amounts of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain. The biggest reason for feeling dull is the lack of these happy chemicals.
The use of Wellbutrin not only helps you with your smoking habit, but also fights against the stress or depression that made you an addict in the first place.
Just make sure you only start using this medication if prescribed by your healthcare provider. It is not recommended to start using any medication on your own.
Wellbutrin may take some time to kick in. Don’t give up or think that your med isn’t working. Just give your body some time to adjust to the new med.
What are the side effects associated with the use of Wellbutrin?
Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is associated with the following side effects:
- Unexplainable excitement and happiness
- Insomnia or inability to fall asleep
- Xerostomia or dry mouth
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Excessive sweating
- Altered sense of taste and smell
- Throat infection
- Increased frequency of urination
Wellbutrin is also associated with some serious and rare side effects. These include:
- Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches etc. Symptoms associated with the respiratory system include tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc.
- Auditory or visual hallucinations
- Joint rigidity and pain
- Muscle aches
- Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.
These side effects can vary from person to person. Some people get away with mild side effects that begin to go away with time when the body starts adjusting to the medication.
However, some people may not be able to tolerate Wellbutrin at all and may discontinue the use of this antidepressant. Make sure you only use this if prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Do not deviate from the recommended dose as higher doses or overdoses come with more disturbing and intense side effects.
What are the warnings associated with the use of Wellbutrin?
Wellbutrin comes with a few black box warnings and the activity of this drug should be monitored in some patients. Following are the warnings that comes with Wellbutrin:
Risk of suicidal behaviour
Wellbutrin comes with a black-box warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This antidepressant is capable of causing abnormal and suicidal behavior in people less than 24 years of age.
This effect is much more pronounced in children under 12 years of age and they should be closely monitored. Experts believe that this suicidal behavior could be dose dependent.
Lower doses may not possess threat, as long as the med is taken properly and all the precautionary measures are followed.
Risk of convulsions
One of the serious side effects of Wellbutrin is seizures. This can become life threatening for patients already suffering from epilepsy. This is exactly why Wellbutrin is contraindicated to be used in patients who have health problems associated with convulsions.
This warning is of great importance for people who often misuse medications. When you take more than you are supposed to, you invite nerve-racking side effects to come and hit you.
Risk of mania or irrational excitement
Another warning associated with the use of Wellbutrin includes excessive excitement that eventually takes the form of mania. This side effect is more commonly found in people who have some underlying personality disorder like bipolar disorder.
How to ensure the proper use of Wellbutrin?
- Take as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not take more or less than the prescribed dose.
- If you fail to understand how to use the drug properly or have any other question, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when.
- If you have missed a dose and you’re way past the usual time at which you take your med, do not take it. It will cause you to overdose when you take your next dose, which is not too far away. It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one. If you remember your missed dose earlier, it’s safe for you to take it.
- Report any problems with bleeding or bruising to your doctor. If you see any unexplained blisters or rashes on your body, or experience any problems with urination, or if you feel changes in your vision, immediately report to your healthcare provider.
- Ask your doctor before taking this medicine if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or if you are a breastfeeding mother.
In this blog post, we have talked about the common signs that show the effectiveness of Wellbutrin for smoking cessation. We have discussed how Wellbutrin can control the cravings and can significantly reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
It can also tone down your stress and anxiety as Wellbutrin is antidepressant in nature. Make sure you only start using this medication if prescribed by your healthcare provider. It is not recommended to start using any medication on your own.
FAQs: Signs Wellbutrin is working for smoking
How long does it take for Wellbutrin to work for smoking?
Bupropion typically takes 10-15 days to start counteracting the physical symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal. However, more time is required to achieve full therapeutic response. Make sure you take Wellbutrin properly. Do not take more or less than you’re prescribed.
What happens if you smoke on Wellbutrin?
If you continue to smoke with Wellbutrin in your system, it not only can cause side effects but also indicates that you’re not using the med properly. It’s meant to be used with cigarette smoking to help get rid of the cravings and addiction.
How effective is bupropion for smoking?
Wellbutrin makes it easy for you to function well without smoking. This reduces your urge to go for a quick smoke, every now and then and controls the frequency of your smoking.
It increases the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine inside your brain and helps to counteract the symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal. It also helps you get rid of the stress or depression that made you an addict in the first place.
Can you drink coffee on Wellbutrin?
You can drink coffee on Wellbutrin, but not too much. Excessive caffeine intake can make your side effects much worse, especially Wellbutrin induced anxiety and agitation. If caffeine is consumed in the evening or at nighttime, this can make Wellbutrin induced insomnia much worse.
How long does it take for Wellbutrin to leave your system?
Wellbutrin has a half life of about 30-33 hours. It means that the concentration of the drug is reduced to half after this time period. The remaining amount is further reduced to half in the next 30-33 hours. This process keeps on ongoing until the drug is completely washed out from your body.
What happens if Wellbutrin doesn’t work?
If Wellbutrin does not work, it will not treat the health condition for which you start taking this antidepressant in the first place. This results in therapeutic failure which can lead to the discontinuation of the treatment.
- CDC – How to Use Bupropion SR for smoking https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/quit-smoking-medications/how-to-use-quit-smoking-medicines/how-to-use-bupropion-sr.html
- Scott Wilkes (2008) – The use of bupropion SR in cigarette smoking cessation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2528204/#__ffn_sectitle
- Bupropion Hcl SR – Uses, Side Effects, and More https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-171383/bupropion-hcl-oral-as-a-smoking-deterrent/details
- Charlotte Warner et al. Addict Biol. (2005) – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16109583/