Wellbutrin (bupropion) Works for ADHD 

Dr. John Kruse
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Clinicians have been using Wellbutrin to treat ADHD for at least three decades. Although the details still remain murky, Wellbutrin acts primarily as a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor. In humans, the norepinephrine effect appears to be more potent than the dopamine effect.
Several studies, albeit with small numbers of patients, have shown Wellbutrin to be effective in reducing ADHD symptoms in children, adolescents, and adults. Wellbutrin helps at least as much as does Strattera (atomoxetine) and in several studies appears to be as effective as Ritalin (methylphenidate). Wellbutrin may be particularly attractive for those who want to avoid stimulant medications, and the potential for addiction.
Confusion exists among most doctors, pharmacists and patients about the differences between the three formulations of bupropion (immediate release IR, sustained release SR, and extended release ER or XL). Although the XL form was approved for once a day dosing, this does NOT mean that medication is released steadily throughout a 24 hour period.
Bupropion for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults (2017)
Bupropion StatPearls
Correlating family nurse practitioners' perspectives of adult ADD/ADHD with employed pharmacotherapy: a pilot study (2010)
A comparison of the efficacy of medications for adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder using meta-analysis of effect sizes. (2010)
15 Years of Clinical Experience With Bupropion HCl: From Bupropion to Bupropion SR to Bupropion XL (2005)
Bupropion Hydrochloride in Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (1996)
Psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and author John Kruse, MD, PhD presents practical, actionable, well-researched information about treatment options that scientists and clinicians recommend for adult ADHD and other mental health conditions. Subscribe if you're curious about how neuro-atypical brains can optimize their functioning in our shared, and somewhat strange, world.
Dr. Kruse has posted talks in both the "live" and the "video" sections of this channel. Thumbnails on ADHD topics have a pink background, and those on more general mental health topics have a purple background. A small collection of ADHD-Trump videos have an orange background.
You're welcome to email him with topics you want discussed, people you think he should interview, or if you would prefer a time for the weekly ITvid Live option other than Tuesdays at 3:00 pm Hawaii Time.

Pubblicato il


11 set 2023




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Commenti : 114   
@drauc 16 giorni fa
Gotta admire his dedication, even when his house could've been burning down he was ready to give us the facts.
@B_L_88 2 mesi fa
I’ve struggled with crippling depression and anxiety since about 10 years old. Now 35yo, recently diagnosed with adhd inattentive type. The magic cocktail for me appears to be trintellix, Wellbutrin and buspar. I cannot remember ever feeling so present yet content ever in my life. Now to try not to mourn the years of unnecessary suffering✌️ Never give up!! ❤
I'm glad that you found what works for you. I hope that you're aware that the Wellbutrin boosts Trintellix levels significantly. Not necessarily a reason to avoid the combination, but it means you are effectively getting a larger dose of the Trintellix than one would expect from however many milligrams you are taking.
@hayley2740 3 mesi fa
Hahaha a lot of us here have ADHD. The beeping was so distracting and I bet I am not the only one! Thank you for taking the time to share all this knowledge with us. Very helpful! Very helpful and informative, thank you.
@angiek7667 Mese fa
Your fire alarm is a like a simulation of what having tinnitus is like...LOL! This was helpful...thank you.
@aliciamarana 4 mesi fa
I had been using Adderall for my ADD and it definitely helped my executive functioning but I had gotten into a real funk and finally asked my doctor about Wellbutrin because my sister was having really great results with her depression from it. I’ve been taking both Bupropion and Adderall for a week now and it has really helped me. I finally feel like participating in life again beyond just minimal functioning. I am feeling like myself again ❤
I'm glad that the combination is working for you, and I appreciate you sharing your experience.
@dmitriyk.4991 4 mesi fa
Pretty scary mindset to say you feel like yourself using these meds. I hope you don’t find your identity in them because that would be dangerous
@@dmitriyk.4991 is it more dangerous, or just different than saying that your job or your relationship or your children make you feel like yourself? There can be many pathways to self actualization.
@@dmitriyk.4991 I used to think that way, but "totally wasting your life" is far worse that taking some needed medication. And look, I get it, there might be alternative low probability and often very expensive more holistic ways to get improvements... But meds for ADHD have a high probability of success and decent to high efficacy. And ADHD is extremely debilitating. So if it makes you life 1000% better, why not? Note that these meds can grow brain matter, it can reduce damage from brain injuries (neuroprotective). And reduces the oh so many terrible features of ADHD which are incredibly unhealthy and dangerous and destructive. Reluctance to even ty these meds has essentially wasted the first 45 years of my life.
@iangash853 Mese fa
Be very careful, the combination made me fall into a weird manic state for 2 months before realizing how strange I was acting. I was writing this comment and realized I actually had a very bad interaction with the dextromorohan. I also experienced a seizure while drinking on bupropion. I took adderall for 6 years I switch to concerta and it modafinil. The modafinil is good for weekends when I’m not working and want to make sure I don’t daydream while driving
Thank you for always making amazing, informative content!
You're welcome!
@giusax89 3 mesi fa
Thank you so much dr. Kruse, I'm schedule to start on Wellbutrin soon, and thanks to your comprehensive explanation I feel much more relaxed taking on this journey. Greetings from the Netherlands!
I hope that it works well for you.
Hoe gaat het nu?
@giusax89 14 ore fa
@@mennovanhaaster4769 Na 3 weken mee gestopt. Maar bij anderen helpt het wel dus moet je sws zelf proberen (onder advies en begeleiding van huisarts of psychiater tuurlijk)
agreed. The interruption is very distracting. beeping stops <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="1311">21:51</a>
@rach1530 18 giorni fa
Thank you
I wish I found a doctor like you when I was a kid as I lived 20min from your practice. At that time my doctor retired and my dad took me off meds as he was a victim of the 09 layoffs. Took me 5 years to get an A.S. With a 125 IQ, member of the national honor society, and a college reading level in 5th grade. Gotta Love serve combined type adhd and dyspraxia. I just got on Wellbutrin and it saved my job. Thank Dr. Kruse for giving a in depth explanation of the medication.
Thanks for the kind words, and I'm sorry it took a long journey to find something that was helpful for you.
Very interesting, thank you! I've noticed Wellbutrin still helping my ADHD a bit after over a month on it. However, the first week I was on IR, I noticed a profound difference in my ability to focus for an hour or two after taking it. I couldn't believe how quiet my brain could be; I was thinking about one thing at a time in a sustained way. This effect faded after that first week, however. Caffeine + Wellbutrin seems to help the most now. Both help my brain slow down and feel calmer (though nowhere near that first week). It's quite puzzling.
At least some neurochemical systems in the brain can adapt pretty quickly. I have another video on this channel about the honeymoon period with stimulants: itvid.net/video/video-3mA_K-kTocY.html Probably half of patients never recapture the best results ever that they get in the first week or so of treatment, which likely has both physiologic and psychologic reasons.
I took Wellbutrin for about a year some 5 years before I was diagnosed with ADHD. It made me more anxious, but I felt different from just depressed, so my doctor upped my dosage until I was taking 450 mg. I weighted about 125 lbs. Then I got a lingering cold and took cold meds for weeks. Then started having these almost manic episodes, but not really manic in my limited understanding. I am not bipolar. Felt very floaty. High. Chatty. It was terrible. And I would drink a bit of alcohol. It was like I had been slipped something. I'm glad Wellbutrin hekps some people who have ADHD. It just isn't for me. Dr. Kruse, have you heard of any experiences like mine?
Cold medications, particularly those containing decongestants, can add to the stimulant burden, so that may have been part of what happened to you. Alcohol can help make almost any condition worse. So yes, your experiences don't sound that strange or unusual. All of our medications work for some and not for others.
Thank you! This is extremely helpful for those of us who like to know what we are taking before starting.
@detim01 28 giorni fa
At <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="900">15:00</a>. I have ADHD and Wellbutrin worked very fast. Within 4 days already i felt so much better . Thank you for this very thorough video it helped me understand it so much better what i am taking now. And its the best i never felt so good in 40 years. Finally i feel neutral.
@dr.johnkruse6708 25 giorni fa
Thanks for sharing your good results.
@detim01 24 giorni fa
It is a life changer for me!
@dr.johnkruse6708 24 giorni fa
@@detim01 wonderful!
7 years ago I tried Wellbutrin for treating depression/anxiety, smoking cessation, and adhd. It was absolute hell. My anxiety went through the roof, to the point I could barely function. My doctor had told me to continue talking it for 2 weeks, after 10 days I saw him again and he told me to stop immediately and start smoking again.
@dmitriyk.4991 4 mesi fa
You’re doctor literally told you to start smoking again? 😐 you should change doctors lmao
@homelessrobot 3 mesi fa
@@dmitriyk.4991 im sure in 7 years he's move on
@leth2753 Mese fa
@@dmitriyk.4991 Sounds like this physician wanted a malpractice law suit? lol I cannot imagine *any* situation where any US physician would advise someone to start smoking. That is the antithesis of "First, do no harm."
Thank you very much Dr. Kruse for the informative information! Would you be able to tell me if it’s ok to take Lithium Orotate 2 MG twice a day or as needed with the Wellbutrin XL 150 MG. Thank you!!
Without knowing your medical history and other medications I can't offer specific recommendations, but from a general information perspective this is a very tiny dose of lithium (for bipolar disorder 600-1500 mg a day is common) and is unlikely to ccause problems with Wellbutrin.
@Al.531 5 mesi fa
Are there any studies on Sudafed? I was really sick a few months ago and I took it. My mental chatter calmed down (no music playing in my head) and I was able to focus and fixate on a report I was writing. Curious to know what’s in Sudafed. Thank you, Alice
Sudafed is a brand name and it covers several different products, all of which are combinations of over the counter medications. Most of them contain the decongestant pseudoephedrine, which is a mild stimulant. I'm not familiar with studies of it for ADHD, but most of the decongestants would be expected to be helpful for ADHD and also to potentially interact with prescription stimulants (making someone more focused, or at too high a dose, too agitated and revved up).
@Al.531 5 mesi fa
So interesting. I'm yet to try medication for ADHD. I found my focus was improved while sick which makes me feel like I am on the right track with my diagnosis. I was diagnosed with ADHD by a clinical psychologist this year, and I have a psychiatric assessment coming up soon. I will wait and see. Thank you for your reply@@dr.johnkruse6708
@lagomorphia9 5 mesi fa
I tried buproprion first for adhd before moving to methylphenidate but, in the short time I took it, I lost all interest in alcohol. It just tasted awful and the effect was unpleasant so Ive never gone back to it short of a drink with a meal if going out to a restaurant, but that is very rare.
@leth2753 Mese fa
I don't think I understand, perhaps because I've not much of a drinker (maybe 1 oz/year?), but why is it a problem that it makes alcohol taste bad? From what I understand from neurologists, alcohol...even in the smallest amounts...is terrible for neurological health. I would think that, unless someone is an alcoholic who needs the alcohol to self-medicate and not feel the feelings they don't want to address, it's hard to imagine why that is a bad thing. Heck, it sounds to me like that is a desirable effect but, then again, I can go years and never have one drink and never miss it. I'm so grateful that I don't need to drink and that I don't ever *want* alcohol.
@KatiTheButcher 13 giorni fa
​@@leth2753it is a good thing. I quit drinking alcohol almost three weeks ago and started buproprion xl 4 days ago. Granted Im not trying to drink but thinking that it will taste bad helps.
The irony of a siren blazing over a speaker talking about ADHD 🤌🤌🤌
Thank goodness it's only happened once in the first 150+ videos.
Lol ​@@dr.johnkruse6708
@therabbithat 5 mesi fa
What about for reactivity and emotional regulation, honestly I can live without focus. Stimulant prescription made me so calm at the start but I feel like they don't work for that anymore and they just stop me sleeping Strattera? (all answers welcome, not just from our good Doctor 😊 (who is not our doctor) )
Either Wellbutrin or Strattera could be of help with emotional regulation. I use duloxetine (Cymbalta) more often than Strattera, because it seems to have fewer side effects in most people, and they can get to an effective dose more quickly. Many of the experts these days would try guanfacine in this situation, and if that alone didn't help (and that is one drug that probably does work slowly for ADHD) they would add on stimulants next.
@therabbithat 4 mesi fa
​@@dr.johnkruse6708thank you so so so much for responding, this is really helpful
Funny I did not notice Wellbutrin helping with my ADHD. I took it as a add-on to Paxil for depression, which I was being treated for instead of being treated ADHD, supposedly because that was the priority. But it really elevated my mood. Like to an surprising degree.
@asia89572 5 mesi fa
It only works on mild cases from understand …
I've worked with some individuals who reported experiences similar to yours, and it was only when they went back and retried Wellbutrin, and specifically focused on how well they were focusing or not, that they noticed it had helped with their ADHD. Of course, it is certainly possible it didn't help you in that way. But even our most effective agents for ADHD (amphetamine based products) don't help everyone.
@@asia89572 I'm not aware of any evidence that it only helps with mild cases, and can't think of any reason why that would be the case. I've seen people with a broad range of ADHD severity who improved with Wellbutrin, along with many who didn't notice any, or sufficient, improvement.
@stephanyley701 3 mesi fa
Would love to hear your input about Aplenzin, Dr. Kruse!
I haven't seen anything to suggest that results will differ from other forms of bupropion. However, given that buproprion generics have been plagued with problems, there may well be an advantage to knowing that you are getting the exact same product each time with this branded generic.
@dashagudym3938 19 giorni fa
I just got a prescription for Wellbutrin and I’m worried about how it’s going to react with the clomipramine I’m currently taking. My psychiatrist didn’t elaborate on that. Should I stop clomipramine? Btw I love your channel and your vibe. 😅
@dr.johnkruse6708 14 giorni fa
Clomipramine is a strong serotonin reuptake inhibitor, so there is less biochemical overlap with that than with many other antidepressants and Wellbutrin. If you are unsure, I recommend trying to check with your prescribing doctor before making any changes.
@dashagudym3938 13 giorni fa
@@dr.johnkruse6708 thank you.
Ive been on Vyvanse for about 6 years. I was on as high as 60 mg. Last year i cut my dose in half after going off suboxone for good. Ive been on 30 mg and I'm now considering switching to Wellbutrin. I tried 150 mg XL while still taking vyvanse. It seemes ro help my anxiety and lifted my mood. I dont want to be on stimulants anymore. Dont like the side effects and I dont want to take several meds. Less is more for me. Perhpas none is best but i cant just go off vyvanse and function. I feel that wellbutrin could help me get off stimulants and then i could get off wellbutrin.
I can't give you medical advice without a doctor patient relationship, but what you wrote sounds like a logical plan to me.
@homelessrobot 3 mesi fa
i definitely noticed an improvement in some of my symptoms on day 1, but i'm also definitely nowhere near where I want to be with distractability. I feel like I may even be more distractible, but there are other factors probably interfering
Maybe you will find a dose that is more effective. It's also important to remember that even with amphetamine, our most effective ADHD medication, that most people with ADHD continue to experience some degree of ADHD symptoms.
@homelessrobot 3 mesi fa
@@dr.johnkruse6708 I don't think I will, unfortunately. I hadn't thought of this on a lower dose because the effect wasn't so pronounced, but if you use tobacco (i use oral snuff) at higher doses instead of softening things it completely blocks out the nicotine. Your brain doesn't quite connect the dots so you just feel hyper emotional and distracted constantly, and i think this explains the suspicion i had in the original comment. Like having an itch on the tip of your nose that scratching does not relieve. You'll probably just end up scratching your whole face off. I am definitely not using tobacco less like this. I know i should probably quit but I think I need to do most of the quitting before i start using a nicotine antagonist.
@vivid.worker 3 mesi fa
thats goated bro, thanks for the call and clinical point of view. thats fire by the way thanks goat 🔥
@leth2753 Mese fa
translation for those who don't speak bro-talk: "That's the greatest information of all time, Dr. Kruse! Thanks for the call and clinical point of view. That's really great, by the way! Thanks! You're the greatest!
@marydolores11 28 giorni fa
I found Wellbutrin to be amazing- but I had a serum-sickness like reaction - twice. Have you heard of that before?
@dr.johnkruse6708 25 giorni fa
I've had people on generic forms of bupropion who developed allergic rashes on their torso (but tolerated brand name). That would be the closest I can think of.
@marydolores11 24 giorni fa
@@dr.johnkruse6708 thank you- I have heard that too, regarding generic. Maybe I will give it one more try! I appreciate your response!
@Grind24hours 3 mesi fa
Many people believe that having adhd is fun. They're wrong. Adhd is hell for the people suffering from it, partly because of dyslexia, a co- morbid disease. But why do hyperactive children and grown-ups have so little, or no dopamine in their brain? I have myself started taking wellbutrin a week ago(I don't have adhd myself), but the drug hasn't started working yet😢Thanks for a very entertaining and informative video!
Thank you 🙏🏻
You're welcome!
@kimbari9972 20 giorni fa
I was prescribed Wellbutrin for depression and it turned me into an angry dis-regulated mess. I was later told that my bad response was due to my co-morbid anxiety.
@dr.johnkruse6708 14 giorni fa
Yes, there are many doctors who will never prescribe Wellbutrin if they detect any anxiety present. I think that is too restrictive, particularly if ADHD Is present.
@AndreaSimone57 21 giorno fa
I was going to ask to be on wellbutrin once but I read all those side effects & got scared off. Idk
@dr.johnkruse6708 14 giorni fa
Lists of possible side effects can be intimidating. But what's important is how often those side effects usually occur, and how long they are likely to last.
I took it to help quit smoking, and another time for depression. on two separate occasions, via the VA system, about 4 years apart. It turns me into an extremely unregulated state, experiencing both sides of the spectrum of crying and crazy b*tch, at the same time 😮😢😮 Amphetamine has worked best for me. Along with ADHD, I have also been diagnosed with PTSD/CPTSD, Chronic Depression, and General Anxiety. Those could be factors why it didn’t work for me. It did help me quit smoking though🎉. I’ve been smoke free for 13 years. Still made me crazy though. I thought it was withdrawals from cigarettes, boy was I wrong. 😑
@MrRhetorikill 3 mesi fa
Wellbutrin worked great for about 90 days for me, then it stopped working completely.
I'm sorry that it didn't continue working for you. Most of the patients I have worked with who noticed benefit initially continued to feel that it kept working, often for many years.
My man's smoke alarm going off in the other room and he just keeps going. That's dedication. But My ADHD cringed.
@2brunhilda 19 giorni fa
I’m taking it so I’m interested
@jaydog8042 11 giorni fa
This medication seems very like venlafaxine,.does anyone get a huge drop at night on this,.like the medication has worn of and your all a suddenly severely mentally worn out affecting nerves etc,.currently getting a diagnosis for adhd after feeling this way on venlafaxine,.coming of this kind of med left me in a right bad nick
@dr.johnkruse6708 11 giorni fa
Venlafaxine (Effexor) is a much stronger serotonin reuptake inhibitor than a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and not any meaningful effect on dopamine. It also leaves receptors very quickly, which is why it is competition with paroxetine (Paxil) for the antidepressant most likely to cause withdrawal reactions. Most of the daily withdrawal problems with venlafaxine are serotonin withdrawal symptoms.
@bystandersarah 4 mesi fa
The smoke alarm noise is unbearable 😅 I find it really hard to concentrate on what you are saying . My adhd brain focuses on the rhythm of the beeps. And now I’m dancing 😅
Unbearable for both of us. I'll see if it can be removed from the video.
@cannon29 4 mesi fa
I just ran downstairs as I thought it was coming from my house! @@dr.johnkruse6708
@ExceptTin 3 mesi fa
I highly recommend not ignoring a smoke alarm. ❤
@@ExceptTin good advice. This building is almost all glass and concrete so I was pretty sure I was not in any danger.
@Nurse_mici83 11 giorni fa
Would you suggest this for a 17 year old?
@dr.johnkruse6708 9 giorni fa
It has less risks than Ritalin or Adderall for a 17 year old with ADHD.
@Pearlio 18 giorni fa
Did this hero burn while filming?
@janettemartel9643 10 giorni fa
Wellbutrin and Strattera didnt do anything...I don't really want a stimulate but serms to be helping my two sons
@dr.johnkruse6708 9 giorni fa
Family member responses to medications is useful information to consider, but individual results can vary.
@timskolnik3819 14 giorni fa
Great video till the alarm. I had to turn it off.
@brian-jv1nw 2 mesi fa
A transcript for those who have an easier time paying attention with closed captions: Beep, beep, beep... 🙃
@adila2442 3 mesi fa
Please redo this video. Beeping is ao distracting half way through.
@LightandLove22 17 giorni fa
I have been on bupropion for several years. I believe my depression has gotten worse. I completely disagree.
@dr.johnkruse6708 14 giorni fa
I'm sorry that you did not have a good experience. I'm not sure what you completely disagree with - that the medication helps others with depression and ADHD?
@amyl8450 Mese fa
It absolutely does not work for adhd !
Thank you for sharing your experience. While it doesn't work for everyone, it seems to work at least as often, and to at least a great extent, as Strattera, and is close to as effective as Ritalin.
@dreadsndogs4406 2 giorni fa
It works for me and I've been diagnosed with adhd - been on it for about a month now and I like the effect of bupropion way more than what I experienced with methylphenidate
@@dreadsndogs4406 thank you for speaking up and sharing your experience.
@elizagooler-5889 18 giorni fa
You got ADD too get help
@dr.johnkruse6708 17 giorni fa
Wow, nobody else has ever detected that I could have ADD.