How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Your System?

How long does Wellbutrin stay in your system? Learn about Wellbutrin’s uses, half-life, side effects, and available treatment options.

What Is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is one of the most common antidepressant medications used to treat depression.

Wellbutrin is a brand-name version of bupropion. Unlike other medications, it is not regulated by the FDA, so quality can vary greatly. While there has been limited research on Wellbutrin, studies show it is safe and effective.

how long does wellbutrin stay in your system

Questions about addiction?

Call Us Now: 1-866-232-9103

Your call is confidential with no obligation required to speak with us.

What Does Wellbutrin Treat?

Wellbutrin is in a group of drugs called antidepressants. Because Wellbutrin doesn’t affect serotonin, it is unique among other conventional medications in its class. Instead, Wellbutrin is a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which can boost mood and help overcome depression.1

When Does Wellbutrin Start Working?

Note that this medication should be taken regularly to maintain these benefits—one or two weeks is not sufficient to provide positive effects. It takes between six and eight weeks for Wellbutrin to start working effectively.

Does Wellbutrin Show Up on a Drug Test?

Wellbutrin isn’t a controlled substance, so it is not tested on conventional drug screens. Nonetheless, Wellbutrin can cause a drug test to present a false positive for amphetamines.

Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Like many other medications, Wellbutrin may cause side effects ranging from mild to severe. While they vary from person to person, knowing the side effects prepare and help patients to make informed decisions regarding their health. Below is a list of possible side effects related to Wellbutrin use:2

Common Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects of Wellbutrin include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping

Serious Side Effects

Wellbutrin also has more serious side effects that patients need to be aware of. These include:

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, stop taking the medication and contact a doctor immediately. These side effects indicate that something is awry with the medication dosage and reaction in the body.

How Long Do Wellbutrin Side Effects Last?

The side effects of Wellbutrin can last days or weeks. If someone experiences prolonged side effects, they should seek medical care or a detox program where comforting medication can be administered in a safe, professional environment.

How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Your System?

As mentioned above, Wellbutrin is not commonly tested with conventional drug tests because it is not a controlled substance. Thus, exact data may not be available for some tests.

Half-Life of Wellbutrin

Half-life is the time a medication remains in the body after it has reached half its effectiveness. The half-life of Wellbutrin lasts thirty-three to thirty-seven hours. On average, it will take roughly six days for the drug to leave the system completely. However, genetics, dosage, and other factors can affect how long Wellbutrin stays in the body. This means that the half-life of Wellbutrin varies throughout the body.3

How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Your Urine?
It is unknown how long Wellbutrin stays in the urine.

How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Your Hair?
Wellbutrin can show up in a hair test for up to ninety days.

How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Your Blood?
Wellbutrin can stay in the blood for several days, but the exact number is unknown.

How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Your Saliva?
The average time Wellbutrin stays in the saliva is 4.4 days.

Factors That Affect How Long Wellbutrin Stays in Your System

Several factors can affect the length of Wellbutrin’s stay in the system, including how long the prescription has been taken and the dose.

The following characteristics may impact how long the prescription stays in the body:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Metabolism
  • Liver functioning
  • Dosage amount and frequency

Other factors include medical conditions and other medications taken in conjunction with Wellbutrin. Therefore, it’s important for patients to disclose all medications they take to their doctor.

Wellbutrin Overdose and Withdrawal

With Wellbutrin, taking too much or stopping too quickly can cause serious side effects and symptoms. A doctor or treatment provider should be the only one to recommend lowering or raising a patient’s Wellbutrin dosage. As such, patients should not attempt to control their dosage of Wellbutrin on their own.4

Wellbutrin Overdose and Withdrawal

Wellbutrin Overdose

If a patient incorrectly increases their dose, they are putting their health and well-being at risk. If the current dose is too much, patients should notify their doctor right away to take steps to reduce their medication intake.

Wellbutrin overdose can cause many serious side effects, such as seizures, coma, hypotension, and ventricular dysrhythmias.5

Wellbutrin Withdrawal

Abruptly ceasing the use of Wellbutrin after taking it for an extended period of time can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking, nausea, dizziness, and irritability.

If patients want to stop taking this medication, they should talk to their doctor about tapering off the dosage instead of stopping all at once to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Gradually decreasing the dose of Wellbutrin will give the body more time to adjust.

Treatment for Wellbutrin Addiction

In the case of Wellbutrin addiction, seeking help from a treatment facility is the best way to begin the road to a healthy and long-lasting recovery.


Wellbutrin detoxification provides patients with the care they need to eliminate the medication from the body safely. Along with the withdrawal symptoms noted above, other common effects include depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations. So, to ensure the safety and well-being of all patients, detoxing at an addiction treatment center is highly recommended.

Get Support at Stillwater Behavioral Health

Stillwater Behavioral Health focuses on providing patients with personalized treatment for individual experiences and addictions. We understand and acknowledge each patient is unique and deserves a treatment program tailored to their specific needs. This is how we ensure the patient has the most promising recovery journey.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we invite you to give us a call. We are happy to schedule a consultation to discuss the best solution to long-term recovery.