Several medications cause variation in sexual function. These drugs contribute to sexual changes in men and women. Patients who develop drug-induced sexual issues are more likely to be non-adherent.
A sexual function consists of the phases of sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm. Both men and women can experience problems in any of these phases. Understanding the potential for drug-induced sexual effects and their impact on adherence to treatment is an important aspect of medication safety.
What is Wellbutrin?
Wellbutrin is a brand of bupropion, an antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. It comes as an immediate-release, sustained-release, or extended-release tablet that is taken orally.
Wellbutrin is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). It helps improve concentration and focus by keeping the neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine available to the brain’s neurons for a longer time.
How Long Does it Take for Wellbutrin to Work?
When used as a treatment for depression, Wellbutrin usually takes around six to eight weeks before it starts fully working as a treatment for depression. However, you may begin to experience improvements in your sleep habits, appetite, and energy levels as early as one to two weeks of treatment.
It may take four to six weeks to experience a significant improvement in your mood and level of interest in activities after starting bupropion.
Does Wellbutrin Make You Hornier?
Yes, according to studies, hypersexuality (high sex drive), has been reported among men and women using the drug. Wellbutrin Viagra-like effect also has the potential of increasing your desire to engage in sexual activity, frequency of engaging in sexual activity, and making you last longer in bed.
In fact, Wellbutrin is often prescribed along with other antidepressants to help counter the sexual side effects, like loss of desire, and experience with other antidepressant medications.
A Wellbutrin user wrote “My doctor prescribed 150 milligrams of Wellbutrin, or bupropion, twice a day, and a month later I had the libido of an 18-year-old boy. Everything changed—no more dryness, no more pain. An increased interest in sex. Not to mention that my mood was elevated and I was generally more upbeat. And not only haven’t I encountered the weight gain that people often complain of with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac but I feel as if my metabolism got a boost. Nothing dramatic; I just got a little trimmer without changing my diet or exercising more, though it isn’t clear whether or how Wellbutrin affects metabolism”.
The libido-boosting effects of Wellbutrin were previously exploited by the drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline who encouraged its reps—among them TV doc Drew Pinsky—to promote the drug as the “happy, horny, skinny pill,” although its uses in treating sexual dysfunction and managing weight are off-label. This action led to the filing of charges against the company.
On July 2, 2012, following a deal with the U.S Government, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion US in criminal and civil fines and plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges related to the sale and marketing of its antidepressants Wellbutrin and other drugs in the largest health-care fraud settlement in U.S. history at that time.
It is important to also note that Wellbutrin can also cause a decreased libido (decreased sex drive), a common side effect among those using Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL.