Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on
March 30, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on:

Do you feel like you can’t think clearly when you’re taking Wellbutrin? Well, you’re not alone.

Many people report experiencing brain fog while taking Wellbutrin. But does it really cause a foggy brain?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the possible causes of Wellbutrin brain fog, some Wellbutrin side effects, and Wellbutrin brain fog cure options that you might want to try.

Let’s get started.

What exactly is brain fog?

Brain fog or mental fog is a term used to describe feelings of mental confusion or forgetfulness. People with a foggy brain may feel like they can’t think clearly, have trouble focusing, or find it hard to remember things. 

The term “brain fog” isn’t a medical diagnosis, but it’s a common symptom of several conditions. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s disease

While the exact cause of mental fog is unknown, there are some theories about what might contribute to it. These include:

  • Dehydration
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Gut inflammation
  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Certain medications

Now that we’ve discussed some of the possible causes of mental fog, let’s talk about Wellbutrin.

What is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is the brand name of the prescription medication, the generic bupropion SR.

It belongs to a type of antidepressant medication, namely norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), which helps enhance noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters.

It’s used to treat major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder (i.e, bipolar depression), and seasonal affective disorder.

Wellbutrin can also help people to quit smoking by reducing withdrawal symptoms, such as nicotine cravings and depression.

The medication also works as a mood stabilizer by increasing levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.

Now that we know a little bit more about Wellbutrin bupropion, let’s talk about the potential link between Wellbutrin and brain fog.

Can Wellbutrin cause brain fog?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people may experience brain fog while taking Wellbutrin, while others may not.

Some studies suggest that up to 1 in 100 people may experience Wellbutrin side effects that include confusion, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, which can all be identified as symptoms of mental fog.

Also, a small study shows that Wellbutrin XL may cause memory loss and difficulty focusing as well as an overactive bladder.

Another thing that can cause a foggy brain is Wellbutrin withdrawal. Studies show that quitting an antidepressant, especially abruptly, could cause mental fog as a side effect, among many others.

It’s essential to keep in mind that generic Wellbutrin bupropion, like all the drugs for depression and anxiety, is a medication that affects the brain.

As such, it’s not surprising that some people may experience side effects from such prescription drugs, like a foggy brain.

If you’re concerned about Wellbutrin-induced mental fog, it’s essential to talk to your doctor.

A medical professional can help you weigh the risks and benefits of taking the medicine, and all the medications for that matter, and may also be able to suggest Wellbutrin brain fog cure options. 

In some cases, your primary care physician may suggest changing the dosage of Wellbutrin XL or switching to a different medication altogether.

Common Symptoms of Wellbutrin Fog

There are a few Wellbutrin side effects that can lead to a foggy brain. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxious thoughts and feelings 
  • Irritability  
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s vital to talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or suggest a different treatment option.

Wellbutrin Brain Fog Cure Options

There are a few things you can do to try and reduce Wellbutrin-induced mental fog, improve your cognitive function and overall brain health. These include:

Drinking plenty of water

Dry mouth is one of the side effects of Wellbutrin and dehydration is one of the leading triggers of mental fog. So, it’s vital that you drink plenty of water throughout your day. 

Eating a healthy diet

A nutritious diet provides your body and brain with the nutrients they need to function properly.

A healthy diet will also prevent the increased risk of high blood pressure thereby improving the function of the blood-brain barrier in your central nervous system.

Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to improve your brain function and reduce mental fog.

Exercising regularly

Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also good for your cognitive health.

Aerobic exercise has been shown to improve mental function and reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by decreasing chronic inflammation in your brain.

So, if you’re looking for an effective Wellbutrin mental fog cure for the long term, exercising regularly may be one of the best things you can do.

Getting enough sleep

Sleep is essential for brain function. A lack of sleep can lead to mental fog, so it’s crucial that you get enough shut-eye each night.

Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can do to promote better sleep, such as:

  • Establishing a regular sleep schedule
  • Avoiding caffeine before bed
  • Creating a relaxing bedtime routine

Reducing stress

Chronic stress can lead to mental fog and other health problems. So, it’s important to find ways to reduce stress in your life.

There are a few things you can do to reduce stress, such as:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Spending time outside
  • Meditating
  • Practicing yoga or Tai Chi
  • Talking to a therapist 

If you’re still struggling with Wellbutrin-induced mental fog even after making some healthy lifestyle changes, talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or suggest a different treatment option.

Other Treatment Options for Wellbutrin Mental Fog

There are a few other things you can do to try and reduce Wellbutrin-induced mental fog, improve your mental function and overall brain health. These include:

Limiting refined carbohydrates intake 

Refined carbohydrates can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, which can trigger mental fog. So, it’s important to limit your intake of refined carbs.

Instead, opt for complex carbs, such as:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds 

Avoiding foods that trigger inflammation

Certain foods can trigger inflammation, which has been linked to mental fog. So, it’s essential to avoid inflammatory foods, such as:

  • Sugar
  • Processed meats
  • Junk foods
  • Trans fats
  • Refined carbs
  • Artificial additives

Instead, opt for anti-inflammatory foods, such as:

  • Omega-three rich foods (e.g., salmon, walnuts, chia seeds)
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Bone broth 

Taking brain-boosting supplements

There are a few supplements that have been shown to improve your cognitive process and reduce mental fog. These include:

  • Omega-three fatty acids 
  • B-vitamins, especially vitamin B12
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Ashwagandha
  • Gotu kola

Supporting methylation

Methylation is a process that’s essential for many biochemical reactions in the body, including the production of neurotransmitters.

There are a few things you can do to support methylation, such as:

  • Eating foods rich in methyl donors (e.g., leafy greens, eggs, grass-fed beef)
  • Taking supplements that support methylation (e.g., methyl folate, vitamin B12) 

Increasing testosterone levels (for men)

Low testosterone levels have been linked to mental fog.

So, if you’re struggling with chronic mental fog, with or without Wellbutrin, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to increase your testosterone levels.

There are a few things you can do to increase your testosterone levels, such as:

  • Exercising regularly 
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Taking supplements (e.g., D-aspartic acid, zinc, magnesium)

Reducing exposure to toxins

Toxins can lead to inflammation and inhibit methylation. So, it’s crucial to reduce your exposure to toxins as much as possible.

There are a few things you can do to reduce your exposure to toxins, such as:

  • Eliminating processed foods from your diet
  • Avoiding plastic food containers
  • Using a water filter
  • Opting for natural cleaning products and personal care products 

Increasing good gut bacteria 

The gut-brain connection is well-established. So, it’s not surprising that gut health can impact mental fog.

There are a few things you can do to increase good gut bacteria, such as:

  • Eating probiotic-rich foods (e.g., yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi)
  • Taking a probiotic supplement
  • Eating prebiotic-rich foods (e.g., bananas, onions, garlic)

Considering intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has a number of benefits for brain health, including reducing inflammation and improving cognitive processes.

If you’re considering intermittent fasting, talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you. 

Other Wellbutrin Side Effects

In addition to mental fog, Wellbutrin can cause a number of other side effects. These include the following:

Feeling more anxious than usual

Wellbutrin is an activating antidepressant, which can worsen anxiety in some people. If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about other treatment options.

Sudden bursts of energy

Wellbutrin can cause sudden bursts of energy, which can be overwhelming for some people. This is because  Wellbutrin is a stimulant.

If you’re struggling with this side effect, it’s important to talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose.

Increasing heart rate 

Wellbutrin can increase heart rate and blood pressure. This is because it’s a noradrenergic medication, which means it affects the sympathetic nervous system.

If you have heart problems, Wellbutrin may not be the right medication for you—it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking Wellbutrin or about taking other treatment options.

Problem sleeping 

Wellbutrin can cause insomnia. This is because it’s an activating antidepressant, which can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

If you’re struggling with insomnia while taking Wellbutrin, it’s important to talk to your doctor about other treatment options.

Experiencing seizures

Seizures are a rare but serious side effect of Wellbutrin. If you experience a seizure while taking Wellbutrin, it’s important to stop taking the medication and seek medical help immediately.

Loss of appetite 

Wellbutrin can cause a sudden loss of appetite and weight loss.

This is due to the fact that it is a noradrenergic drug, which has an impact on the sympathetic nervous system.

If you have an eating disorder, Wellbutrin may not be the right medication for you—it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking Wellbutrin as an antidepressant.

The Bottom Line

Wellbutrin is a medication that can cause brain fog but rarely so. It is a noradrenergic medication and has a number of other side effects.

If you are struggling with any of the side effects, it is important to talk to your doctor about Wellbutrin and other possible treatment options.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to treat it effectively, check out these helpful articles here and feel free to join this online community of brain health advocates.

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