How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Your System?

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

What is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin, commonly called Bupropion, functions as an NDRI – Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor that works as an antidepressant. However, unlike other antidepressant drugs, Wellbutrin still improves retention and cognition, boosts mood, energy, and libido, and fast-track weight loss.

Wellbutrin is sold as Contrave (for dieting) and Zyban (for smoking cessation).
How long does Wellbutrin stay in your system

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How Does Wellbutrin Work?

Wellbutrin works by spiking some parts of brain activity for improving mood and addictive disorders. It’s usually sold in tablets but comes in three different adaptations, which are:
  • Wellbutrin®
  • Wellbutrin (Extended-Release) ER®
  • Wellbutrin (Sustained-Release) SR®
Wellbutrin® dosage is 3 to 4 times daily. Also, the Wellbutrin ER® dosage is twice per day, while Wellbutrin SR® is taken just once a day.

While it’s relatively harder to get high off Wellbutrin, you must adhere to your doctor’s prescription and exercise caution while taking your medication. Of course, this also applies if you’re going off Wellbutrin.

Also, it would be best if you inform your doctor of other medications you’re taking before you start using Wellbutrin.

What Is Wellbutrin Used For?

Wellbutrin functions to reduce urges as well as withdrawal symptoms.

Some of its popular uses include treatment for the following:

  • Smoking: helps manage smoking urges by producing extra dopamine in the brain. However, this form of treatment takes some time to be fully effective.
  • Depression: is characterized by low dopamine and norepinephrine. Wellbutrin halts the brain from further reabsorption of both neurotransmitters, which increases mood and excitement.

    Although Wellbutrin may take several weeks to kick in, you gradually start to experience relief shortly after medication.

Other common uses of Wellbutrin include treatment for bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder.

Side Effects of Wellbutrin

However, Wellbutrin isn’t without adverse effects, like depression symptoms. Some of these are:

  • Sleep disturbances: Insomnia is a major side effect of Wellbutrin due to the excess dopamine that keeps the brain hyperactive.
  • Increased heart rate: Some people also experience heart palpitations due to increased brain and hormone activity.
  • Nausea: Irritation, constipation, and vomiting sensations are some observable side effects of Wellbutrin.2
  • Headaches: Also, some people experience recurrent headaches after using Bupropion.
  • Seizures: Abuse is largely subject to individual behavioral traits despite a low Wellbutrin abuse risk. So, the drug still poses a high risk of seizures.
  • Severe allergic reactions: This reaction is largely subjective and varies between individuals and their pre-existing health conditions.

Although most of its side effects are mild, they can be aggravated by combining them with alcohol and other antidepressants.



However, there are also other side effects of stopping Wellbutrin. So, you should also know that abruptly stopping the drug intake can cause severe Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms. It would be best to consult your doctor for guidance before tapering off Wellbutrin.



Also, Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms are like depression symptoms such as insomnia, dizziness, and constipation, among other things.

How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Your System?

Wellbutrin’s half-life is roughly 20 hours. So, Wellbutrin can take effect for up to 4 days before its clearance. The following indicate Wellbutrin’s half-life in your system as thus:
  • Blood: Wellbutrin stays in the blood for about 4 to 9 days.
  • Urine: Wellbutrin detectable in urine ranges from 4 to 5 days after use.
  • Saliva: The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that Wellbutrin drug test detection in the saliva can be detectable for about 4.4 hours.
  • Hair: Although Wellbutrin is not considered a drug with a high risk of abuse, it may remain in the hair for about 3 months.
However, it may still take weeks to get Wellbutrin out of your system due to other relevant factors below.

Factors That Influence How Long Wellbutrin (Bupropion) Stays in Your System

  • Age: Unlike younger people, older people will take longer to process Bupropion due to the slower metabolism rate and organ functioning.
  • Sex: Some scientists suspect that gender-based hormones may play a crucial role in getting Wellbutrin out of the system. There may be different reactions from women during pregnancy, so you may want to take a Wellbutrin drug test if you’re pregnant.
  • Body Mass: Large body weight or excess fat can reduce the dissipation of drug effects. So, it will naturally store longer in someone with a larger body mass.
  • Genetics: Bupropion absorption and emission from the system varies among different individuals, and this is sometimes due to the different genetic modifications that make drug processing faster or slower.
  • Hepatic Function: Healthy kidney and liver would mean that one can digest ingested substances faster, and the same applies to ingested antidepressants like Wellbutrin.
  • Metabolic Rate: Similarly, liver diseases would naturally slow the rate of drug metabolism. A fast metabolism will speed up the body’s rate of getting Wellbutrin out of the system.
Other factors that affect how long a person can get Wellbutrin out of the system include a combination of Wellbutrin with alcohol and other antidepressants.

How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay in Lab Tests?

Wellbutrin lab test results often depend on the type of test and the additional factors that affect its detection time, as earlier mentioned.

However, here are some of the tests conducted to test Wellbutrin for addiction or use:
  • Urine tests: Wellbutrin urine drug screen can detect intake for 4 days after use. However, there is the risk of a Wellbutrin false positive drug test result, so you should notify the doctor about your prescribed medication.
  • Hair tests: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported that Wellbutrin urine drug screen can indicate false positives for Amphetamine stimulants. So even if you haven’t taken the drug recently, you should still notify the doctor in charge of your previous medication. This single act may help avoid getting a Wellbutrin false positive drug test result.4
  • Blood tests: Blood tests have proven to be the most reliable source of testing Wellbutrin for addiction or active intake in the body system. After all, Wellbutrin lasts longer in the blood, unlike other drugs, due to its prolonged half-life.
  • Saliva tests: Wellbutrin drug tests usually involve hair and urine tests, and it’s not common to see saliva tests as it mainly targets a 24-hour time span. It’s rare to see accurate results of Wellbutrin half-life in the saliva.

Get Help Getting Off Wellbutrin at Concise Recovery

How long does Wellbutrin stay in your system

Detoxification Off Wellbutrin

It’s important to seek professional medical assistance before tapering off Wellbutrin. There are severe side effects of stopping Wellbutrin that can be managed appropriately with the proper care and support.



At Concise Recovery, we offer your best opportunity for a seamless experience even after testing Wellbutrin for addiction. We have the best facilities and staff to provide you with a wholesome detox treatment experience.

Inpatient Care

Though this may seem like a huge commitment, it will help you rehabilitate under intensive care within a few months.



Our inpatient program offers one of the best rehab treatment services designed to guide you to attain full recovery at Concise Recovery.

Outpatient Care

Signing up for a counseling session for a few hours per week or a group therapy session is a strong first step towards treatment.

Get Help Now

If you’re going off Wellbutrin, you have come to the right place. Concise Recovery offers you the best opportunities for Recovery today through any of our comprehensive treatment programs.