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Lexapro vs Wellbutrin for Severe Depression

Lexapro vs Wellbutrin for Severe Depression

Mental health is important for the good health of a person. Mood disorders are often seen in many people. It occurs due to disparity in the chemicals that are released in the brain.

Among the various mental health disorders, depression is very common in persons. It causes the feeling of extreme sadness and elevates and decreases an individual’s mood. There are two antidepressant drugs that are quite effective in treating depression in patients.

In today’s blog, you will have an overview of these medications named Lexapro and Wellbutrin in detail. For instance, their brief introduction, function, similarities, Lexapro vs Wellbutrin differences, dosage strengths, uses, and precautions.

What is Lexapro?

It is a branded medication which comprises Escitalopram. It acts as an active substance in this drug. Lexapro medicine is categorized as SSRIs. It is sanctioned by the FDA to treat mood disorders, like depression and anxiety in adults and children (above 12 years). According to the Controlled Substance Act, it is not categorized as a controlled substance.

How Does It Work?

The sodium-dependent serotonin transporter protein causes the reabsorption of the serotonin. However, this medicine are the SSRI blocker which inactivates the function of the SERT and increases the amount of serotonin. It is a chemical messenger that helps to control mood in a person. This is how the medicine helps to treat depression and anxiety.

What is Wellbutrin?

It is a US FDA-approved medicine to treat depression in adults only. Bupropion acts as an active component in this as well as other branded medications.

It belongs to the group of medications, norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors. It is not considered a controlled substance by the Controlled Substance Act.

How Does it Work?

The mechanism of action of this anti-anxiety medication is not known exactly. Both hormones such as norepinephrine and dopamine help to increase focus, alertness, etc.

The medicine is the NDRI blocker which weakly blocks the reabsorption of these catecholamines by binding with the NET (norepinephrine transporter) and the DAT (dopamine transporter).

This is how it helps to treat depression disorder as well as aid to discontinuation of smoking.

Similarities Between Lexapro vs Wellbutrin:

  1. Both drugs are antidepressants and help to treat depression.
  2. These medicines are prescription-only drugs.
  3. Lexapro and Wellbutrin are branded and prescribed medications.
  4. Both are not classified as a controlled substance.
  5. Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Both Drugs-

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Involuntary shaking or tremors
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Extremely worried or anxious

Severe Side Effects of Both Medications-

  • Recklessness
  • Painful swelling in the eyes
  • Mood swings
  • Euphoria or exhilarating joy
  • Allergic reactions

Differences Between Lexapro and Wellbutrin:

1) Active Substance

These two consist of different active medicinal ingredients:-

Wellbutrin- Bupropion

Lexapro- Escitalopram

2) Dose & Dosage Strength: Lexapro vs Wellbutrin


It is available in the form of an oral tablet with the following dosage strengths:-

Administration of Medicine

A nominal dose starts with 10 mg and there are different dosage strengths for GAD and MDD disorders. The medicinal strength is determined after examining the patient’s medical condition, age, etc.


This drug comes in an oral tablet form. The medicinal strengths are as follows:

Wellbutrin XL (Extended-Release Form)

  • 150 mg
  • 300 mg

Wellbutrin SR (Sustained-Released Form)

  • 100 mg
  • 150 mg
  • 200 mg

The drug strength is decided by a healthcare expert which depends on an individual’s health condition, severity and age.

3) Uses: Lexapro and Wellbutrin

a) Wellbutrin

Approved Use
  • It is permitted to treat the following health problems:-
  • Depression (major depressive disorder):- It is a mental condition that is related to the fluctuation in the mood of a person. This medicine helps to maintain such conditions.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder:- As its name suggests, this is a kind of mood disorder that happens at the same time every year.
  • Discontinuation or cessation of smoking:- The drug helps to reduce the dependency on nicotine.
Unapproved Uses

Other than its approval use, it is used as off-label in treating other disorders such as:-

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Obesity
  • Sexual Dysfunction

b) Lexapro

Approved Use

It is approved to treat the following disorders:-

  • Major Depressive Disorder: In this a person experiences continuous feeling of sadness and it also decreases the interest in daily activities.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder:- It is extensively worrying condition which affects the daily activities.
Unapproved Uses
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Disorder
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Side Effects:

Lexapro & Wellbutrin have some other uncommon side effects. These are as follows:-

Common Side Effects of Lexapro

  • Nose bleeding
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lose interest in sex
  • Nausea
  • Heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • Strong desire for sleep

Serious Side Effects of Lexapro

  • Lack of coordination
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Spontaneous contraction in the muscles or twitching
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hallucination
  • Blurry vision
  • Restlessness
  • Shivering
  • Tightness in the muscles
  • Painful swelling

Common Side Effects of Wellbutrin

  • Pain in joints and muscles
  • Buzzing noise in the ears

Adverse Side Effects

  • Seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attack
  • Hyperactive

Precautions for Both Drugs:

  • Always share you medical history with a doctor before starting any treatment.
  • Avoid Drinking alcohol. Because it may cause various fatal consequences such as drowsiness, fainting etc.
  • You should keep these medications out of reach of toddlers.
  • Never use such medications without consulting a healthcare professional.
  • Take the medicine as in the prescribed time duration.
  • It may cause serious health complications due to drug interaction, so avoid to take this with other drugs.
  • Patients who having seizure disorder then they should seek medical advise before starting Wellbutrin.


Depression affects our life in many ways and many persons are dealing with this disorder. Both are prescribed medications for treating depression in patients. In some ways, they (Lexapro vs Wellbutrin) are similar as well as different from each other.

Lexapro treats anxiety and depression whereas Wellbutrin treats depression disorder and helps in quitting smoking. You should always consult a medical expert before using any drugs. Healthcare experts prescribe these drugs after examining the patient’s medical condition.

As in today’s blog, we have discussed two efficacious antidepressant medications. It is the only informative blog to share the differences and similarities between these two medicinal products.

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