Saturday February 28th 2015

How long does Wellbutrin stay in your system?

How long does Wellbutrin stay in your system?

Wellbutrin is a popular antidepressant medication. So if you’re taking it, how long does Wellbutrin stay in your body? And can Wellbutrin on drug test be detected? We review the Wellbutrin detection here and invite your questions about Wellbutrin in the system at the end.

Main Wellbutrin uses

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant medication that works by increasing some types of brain activity. Wellbutrin is also used to treat seasonal affective disorder and help people quit smoking. Getting high off Wellbutrin is unlikely, but you should always use caution while drinking and taking Wellbutrin.  And be sure to report all other prescription medication use to your prescribing doctors.

How do you take Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin comes in three different formulations: it is available as a tablet taken 3-4 times a day, but also as a sustained-release and extended-release tablet. The sustained-released version is only taken twice a day. The extended-release is taken once daily.  Some people try snorting Wellbutrin XL or SR for euphoric effect.  But this kind of administration is less effective and more risk than oral doses and taking Wellbutrin as prescribed.

Peak levels and half life of Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin hits its peak levels about 7 hours after taking the medication. The medication has a very long half-life, about 33 to 37 hours.

Wellbutrin drug testing: How long does Wellbutrin stay in the body?

Because of Wellbutrin’s long half-life and slow rate of absorption, it’s possible that Wellbutrin could remain in the body for weeks. However, Wellbutrin is not a controlled substance and is not considered a high risk for abuse, so it’s not included in normal drug screens. Still, Wellbutrin is sometimes tested for using a toxicology screen in a medical setting.

It is important to note also that Wellbutrin can create a false positive for amphetamines. Because Wellbutrin can be mistaken for a stimulant drug, if you’re doing a drug test for legal or employment purposes, inform the Medical Officer in charge of test results of Wellbutrin use by presenting your doctor’s note or prescription.

How long does Wellbutrin stay in blood?

Wellbutrin can stay in the blood for several days. A blood test will likely only be done in the case of a medical emergency – perhaps to see what medications were taken if you experience overdose or a serious adverse effect of Wellbutrin.

How long does Wellbutrin stay in hair?

Wellbutrin isn’t normally tested for in hair, since it’s not a drug of abuse and it can’t be used to facilitate criminal activity. However, most medications stay in the hair up to 90 days.

How long does Wellbutrin stay in urine?

It’s unclear how long Wellbutrin stays in the urine, but, according to the FDA, it is well-known that Wellbutrin can cause false positives for amphetamines and other controlled substances on urine screens. So if you’ve taken Wellbutrin within a month or so of a urine drug test, you need to let the person administering the test know. They’ll have to use an alternate test.

Wellbutrin and addiction

Wellbutrin is not addictive in normal amounts. It does have a mild stimulant activity that might tempt some people to abuse the drug, but this comes with a very high risk of seizures. Still, Wellbutrin is not a medication which can be stopped abruptly due to the risk of adverse effects. So always seek medical advice when starting or stopping Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin in your system questions

Do you still have questions about Wellbutrin in your system? Please leave your questions below. We will be happy to try to answer them with a personal and prompt reply ASAP.

Reference Sources: DailyMed: Wellbutrin XL
PubMed Health: Bupropion
FDA Medication Guide: Wellbutrin XL

Photo credit: Lett

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47 Responses to “How long does Wellbutrin stay in your system?
4:42 pm May 25th, 2012

Can a drug panel test specifically determine if Wellbutrin is in your system?

11:46 am May 28th, 2012

Hi Jessica. No. Wellbutrin won’t show up on a standard urine screen, such as a DOT 5 panel screen, that are used by many employers. It takes a specific blood test that is looking for antidepressants to detect Wellbutrin.

4:30 pm May 29th, 2012

I am coming up positive for thc for three months now could it be the wellbutrin I called FDA and rhey said it does happen with wellbutrin.

5:45 pm May 29th, 2012

Hi Laurie. From what I’ve read, therapeutic use of bupropion (Wellbutrin) appears to more commonly cause false positive urine drug screens for amphetamines, but false positives for THC are also possible. I’d suggest that you take your Wellbutrin prescription to the drug testing center and ask for more information from the Medical Review Officer.

11:06 pm August 18th, 2012

What happens if I mix a very very small amount of marihuana while taking wellbutrin xl 150g once a day ? Is the risk of seizures too serious?

6:51 pm September 5th, 2012

Hi Lara. There is really limited research into the effects of mixing bupropion with marijuana. Most is centered around bupropion as a treatment for marijuana dependence. In fact, buproprion might be helpful in patients who smoke weed to help treat depression and assist with smoking cessation. Here are some studies and consulsions I found related to this topic:

Bupropion has been evaluated in studies with marijuana-dependent participants who were not seeking treatment or planning to quit, but had no outcome on their marijuana dependence.

Reference Source:

Likewise, bupropion does not show promise as a potential treatment medication for marijuana dependence, as it worsens mood during marijuana withdrawal.

Reference Source:

While this doesn’t really answer your question, it does point to the fact that scientists are not too worried about triggering seizures as people use marijuana and Wellbutrin simultaneously. Do you have a history of seizures?

8:03 pm September 14th, 2012

I took 150mg of wellbutrin xl for 3 days and i had to stop because it made me extreemly sick. I was horribly nausous very lethargic but couldnt sleep at all. I had double vision and constant dizzyness. Well how long after i stop the med will i start feeling normal?? I still feel weak, tired, and lots of heartburn with a sore throat. All symptoms mentioned are ines listed for wellbutrin but i would have hoped it would be gone by now?!? Any info would be great.

1:06 pm September 16th, 2012

Hi Sarah. It may take a day, or two, for these symptoms to clear up. If you don’t start feeling better within 48 hours after your last dose, I’d suggest that you contact your prescribing doctor or schedule an office visit ASAP.

6:12 pm October 24th, 2012

I have been taking 450mg of bupropion once a day for a couple months now. I dont notice much of a difference besides the headaches I am getting in the afternoon. I want to stop taking it but dont want to have to make an appointment and pay for them to tell me something simple. What is your suggestion as far as weining myself off.

1:34 pm October 30th, 2012

Hi Alesha. Thanks for your message. We are not qualified to provide medical advice on tapering Wellbutrin dosage. However, perhaps you can go to a walk-in appointment with a nurse practitioner, or talk to your pharmacist about this option? You can also enter the following search terms into your web browser for trust worthy government websites on this topic:” taper bupropion” There are cost-effective ways to seek medical advice!

Julian Marley
12:50 am November 22nd, 2012

Hello my name is Julian and I have 17 years my psychiatrist prescribed me wellbutrin 150mgr every day in the morning to treat mild depression and anxiety, I smoke marijuana about 1 or 2 times a week my concern is that this drug can interact with the MJ?

Thanks for your answer

Bill Garlock
6:24 pm February 8th, 2013

how long does one have to be off of wellbutrin before starting adderall?
thanks in advance for your reply.

Bill Garlock

7:58 am February 9th, 2013

Hello Bill. Thanks for your question. This question, however, would be best answered by a pharmacist. Call your local pharmacy or stop in for a consultation.

9:56 pm April 3rd, 2013

Hi, I just recently started taking Wellbutrin about a week ago. My dose is 150 mg once a day. This morning I accidently took my pill twice because I was unsure if I had already taken it so I took it again then realized my mistake. So thats 300mg that I took all at once. I’ve been feeling more side effects all day including nausea, dizziness, anxiety etc… Is what I took considered to be a harmful dose? and has anyone every had this happen to them before? if so what did you do? thanks.

6:52 am April 4th, 2013

Hi Janelle. You can call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for a professional consultation and direction on what to do. Or, call a pharmacist for a professional opinion on duration of effect and what you can do to prevent double dosing again in the future.

9:20 pm April 10th, 2013

I have only taken wellbutrin 5 days and I feel like I have a hole in my stomach…and i can’t sleep..can I just stop since it has been a short time

Laura G.
2:39 am April 12th, 2013

I took wellbutrin 150mg for two days then went for a drug screen on that second day. Will my drug sceen come out as false positive?

3:46 pm April 30th, 2013

I’ve been taking wellbrutrin for 15 days and it has left me feeling very sick. I can’t handle the side effects so I stopped taking it today. How long will it remain in my system and is there a way to flush it out?

john polt
3:22 am May 23rd, 2013

My mom is 88. She was on Wellbutrin for 3 months. 3 weeks ago we weaned her off on a half dose for 1 week. Next we stopped the med completely. That was 2 weeks ago. She continues to have very explicit hallucinations involving intimacy to the point where she wants to divorce her 90 year old husband due to her seeing him with multiple other women in intimate situations. She kicks him and badgers him on this subject constantly. Other than the above accusations her mind seem normal for her age. We don’t know what to do…She is stressing her 90 year old husband to the point where we are very concerned for his health. Is this normal for being off of Wellbutrin for 2 full weeks? Please help…..

5:53 am May 28th, 2013

Hello John. This is very concerning, indeed. Report the symptoms to her prescribing doctor and a pharmacist. Check on whether this is typical of Wellbutrin withdrawal, or related to aging issues.

6:49 pm July 23rd, 2013

I keep coming up positive for amphatamines I take 150 mg wellbutrin twice a day would this be the reason

6:22 pm October 26th, 2013

Hi, I have been on Wellbutrin 150 mg SR (generic form of it) for about 6 weeks. My husband and I want to try for a baby. When will it be safe enough for us to try. By that I mean, when will Wellbutrin be out of my system?

5:04 am December 13th, 2013

Everyone reacts different to drugs!!!!!! i took many including Zoloft, prozac, Effexor and they all made me feel like shit! Amazingly with Wellbutrin i had NO SIDE EFFECTS and after a week i felt it helped me a lot, i was able to concentrate and think clearly! this is like my MIRACLE DRUG!

3:42 am July 7th, 2014

If I want to get pregnant. How long dose it take to be out of your system for a healthy baby …. 150 once a day?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:53 am July 7th, 2014

Hello katrina. You can see your doctor for help with this question. He can advise you what’s best for you and for your future baby. Best of luck!

2:28 pm July 7th, 2014

I have been taking 300 mg of Bupropion with 75 mg of Effexor for 2 weeks and I am feeling more depressed. Should I stop taking the Bupropion? Thank you

9:38 am July 12th, 2014

My daughter had sz from wellbutrin how long does this drug or any metabolites stay in her system.

Lisa R Ross
5:17 am July 17th, 2014

I think I’m having an allergic reaction to Wellbutrin. I started taking it 3 weeks ago and am now itching all over. Nothing else has changed on my life. How long should I expect the itching to last? I stopped taking it 4 days ago and am still itching.

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
1:05 pm July 17th, 2014

Hello Lee. Wellbutrins half-life is 20 hours. This means that after a single administered dose, the medication will be present in the system for more than a day. If your daughter has been taking it regularly, it may take several weeks for it to get completely out of the system. Hope she gets well soon!

6:38 pm July 19th, 2014

I just started taking bupropion 100 mg yesterday and felt dizzy today a few hours after taking it and now almost 4 hours later am slightly nauseous, is this normal and how long does this medication stay in my system as far as affecting how I feel? I guess what I’m trying to say is like if a person gets high on some type of drug they feel it for X amount of hours then come down what is the X amount of hours after taking this that I will feel weird?

2:21 pm August 3rd, 2014

How many doses of IC bupropion HCL XL 150 mg tablets does it take to begin to build up in your system? I’ve taken 4 doses so far.
I’ve been weaned off of prisique 50mg for a week. My doc recommended taking Wellbutrin, temporarily to boost dopamine levels to minimize the pristique discontinuance symptoms.I don’t want to experience discontinuance symptoms ( w Wellbutrin) so I’d rather not continue w Wellbutrin. What can you tell me? Since I’ve already taken 4 doses of Wellbutrin , is it too late to stop taking Wellbutrin without experiencing discontinuance symptoms?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:56 am August 4th, 2014

Hi Sue. It’s probably too small amount you took to have any withdrawal symptoms at all from the Wellbutrin. Just to be sure, you can talk to a pharmacist.

8:20 pm August 11th, 2014

I was on wellbutrin for 22 days for migraine treatment. After a severe panic attic i discontinued the medication. My Dr, one week later prescribed Prozac. The panic attacks continued. I took Prozac for 2 days before realizing the symptoms I was experiencing were withdrawals from the Wellbutrin. I discontinued the Prozac because I didn’t want to get deep into taking this medication if the first one was causing such severe withdrawals. The panic attacks are frequent at times 3 a day, lasting as long as 2 hours. I am on week 3 of no Wellbutrin and am now experiencing panic attacks , crying spells, headache and body aches as well as sleeplessness coupled with RLS.
How long will this last? I can’t do anything as I never know when the attacks will come.

8:21 pm August 11th, 2014

sorry, I didn’t say my dosage. I was on 150 mg the first week and a half then my dr upped my dosage to 300

12:40 am August 14th, 2014

I took Wellbutrin for 2 weeks to help quit using chewing tobacco and quit drinking, because of all the bad things I read about mixing with alcohol. My question is how long after I stopped taking Wellbutrin should I wait to have a few drinks again and it be safe?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
8:35 am August 19th, 2014

Hello Jeff. Wellbutrin has a half-life of ~21 hours, so it will be mostly cleared from your body in 2 or 3 days. So, it should be safe to drink after a couple of days pass.

Tammi Matthews
8:41 pm September 12th, 2014

I cannot taste anything, everything tastes terrible… I’m trying to ween off of taking it. When will my taste come back. I’m have another week of taking one pill a day…. I’ve been on it for about 2 months

12:28 pm September 22nd, 2014

Hi I stopped taking Wellbutrin about a month ago. Once I start taking it again will the side effects comeback like the weight loss? thanks for your time.

6:48 am November 6th, 2014

I have been taken bupropion xl150 once daily for 9 days. Can I just stop taken it or how do I taper off ?

2:54 am November 21st, 2014

I’m in a lot of pain & want to take tramadol but is that safe while taking bupropian? If so when will it be safe?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
3:10 pm November 24th, 2014

Hi Cynthia. Medical professionals list the risk of unwanted effects upon mixing the two as ‘moderate’. Which means these medicines may cause some risk when taken together. Bupropion can actually decrease the pain relieving effects of tramadol by interfering with how the body activates tramadol. Let your healthcare professionals, doctor, or pharmacist know that you are thinking of taking these medicines together.

How long before this pain goes away.
3:01 am December 7th, 2014

I only took Wellbutrin 150 for four days. My legs and back have hurt so bad. Legs just feeling like they are cramp at any minute. Really bad muscle pain. How long before this goes away

7:09 pm January 8th, 2015

Ive taken Zoloft and paxil for my depression, neither worked I don’t want the do anything.I just want to stay in bed and sleep my life away, but I have a husband and grown children I do want to get better so I can be with them. I was wondering can I be prescribed bupropion hcl 150 mg or 300 mg for my depression. I don’t want to sound stupid when I ask my doctor. I am 90 years old please help

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
5:52 pm January 15th, 2015

Hello Jane. Initial doses for depression treatment with Wellbutrin begin at 100/150/175mg dependent on how its released. Later, your maintenance dose can be bigger amount of the medication.

4:06 pm January 19th, 2015

Hello .I have a question for u. One of my close friends had asked the dr for something when she felt a little down do to many reasons her mom has cancer. Her relationship her finances her house was hit by sandy. However she never took them and her other freinds have told her it don’t really do anything. She was so upset this past Saturday she took 11 pills 300mg cause she thought it would be ok and she would just be relaxed. She refuses to go to the hospital its been two days now she feels ok and she just has minor cramps we think from her nerves and the pills. I also read in another blog that weight may also help and she also gained 100 pounds in one year and is weighing over 300. In ur opinion she has been reading bout seizures etc. She feels fine. How long do u think it wil take to leave her system? & do u think her weight helped her tolerate more pills. She totally didnt think these had any affects and.unfortunately when ur plate is that full its hard. Theres no way she will go to a hospital so any advice will help. Ty

7:08 pm February 26th, 2015

Had to.take slot of xanex to sleep last night after about 2,000 mg up my nose I said no more it makes me anxiuose and irritable but I did another one dam it. Im glad I only have three left then ill get angry frustrated and withdrawl ive been reading doctor statements I cant believe how wrong doctors can be the drug gets you very high for very short period of time

6:32 am February 27th, 2015

A little confused about how long it takes for Wellbutrin to be sufficiently out of your system to take a drug test and not test positive for amphetamines. Assuming you were using it for smoking cessation, 300mg/day, how long would you think it would take for be 95% confident of passing and not testing positive for amphetamines? Disclosure to the tester, as suggested above, is not an option with these people.

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