Bupropion (Wellbutrin) versus ...

Bupropion vs Escitalopram (Lexapro)


Results of 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of bupropion extended release versus escitalopram 2. Bupropion XL Escitalopram
Orgasm dysfunction, % of patients in study 1 13% 32%
Orgasm dysfunction, % of patients in study 2 16% 29%
17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression remission rates and Hospital Anxiety and Depression total scores in patients with MDD

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Results of pilot controlled trial of bupropion XL versus escitalopram in generalized anxiety disorder 3. Bupropion XL Escitalopram
Anxiolytic efficacy

Internet gaming disorder

Both bupropion and escitalopram are effective in managing symptoms of Internet gaming disorder7. Bupropion improves attention and impulsivity better than escitalopram.

Bupropion vs Paroxetine (Paxil)


Results of randomized, double-blind study comparing bupropion versus paroxetine for depression in the elderly. 1. Bupropion SR Paroxetine
Measurements of efficacy
Headache, insomnia, dry mouth, agitation, dizziness, and nausea, % of patients > 10% > 10%
Somnolence, diarrhea, constipation, and anorexia, % of patients   > 10%

Bupropion vs Trazodone


Results of comparison of bupropion and trazodone for severe major depression 10. Bupropion Trazodone
Percentage of patients much or very much improved
Weight measurements at the time of discontinuation 2.5-lb mean weight loss 1.2-lb mean weight gain
Edverse effects anorexia and anxiety somnolence, appetite increase, and edema

Bupropion vs Naltrexone (ReVia)

Pathological gambling

Results of preliminary blind-rater study sustained-release bupropion versus naltrexone for pathological gambling11 Bupropion Naltrexone
Full responders, number of patients (%) 9 of 12 patients
10 of 13 patients
Partial responders, number of patients (%) 3 of 12 patients
3 of 13 patients
Conclusion Bupropion SR may be effective as naltrexone in the treatment of pathological gambling.

Further reading
  • 1. Weihs KL, Settle EC Jr, Batey SR, Houser TL, Donahue RM, Ascher JA. Bupropion sustained release versus paroxetine for the treatment of depression in the elderly. J Clin Psychiatry 2000 Mar; 61(3):196-202 PubMed
  • 2. Clayton AH, Croft HA, Horrigan JP, Wightman DS, Krishen A, Richard NE, Modell JG. Bupropion extended release compared with escitalopram: effects on sexual functioning and antidepressant efficacy in 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. J Clin Psychiatry. 2006 May;67(5):736-46. PubMed
  • 3. Bystritsky A, Kerwin L, Feusner JD, Vapnik T.A pilot controlled trial of bupropion XL versus escitalopram in generalized anxiety disorder. Psychopharmacol Bull. 2008;41(1):46-51.
  • 6. Feighner JP, Gardner EA, Johnston JA, Batey SR, Khayrallah MA, Ascher JA, Lineberry CG. Double-blind comparison of bupropion and fluoxetine in depressed outpatients. J Clin Psychiatry. 1991 Aug;52(8):329-35. PubMed
  • 7. Song J, Park JH, Han DH, et al. Comparative study of the effects of bupropion and escitalopram on Internet gaming disorder. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2016 Nov;70(11):527-535 PubMed
  • 10. Weisler RH, Johnston JA, Lineberry CG, Samara B, Branconnier RJ, Billow AA. Comparison of bupropion and trazodone for the treatment of major depression. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1994 Jun;14(3):170-9. PubMed
  • 11. Dannon PN, Lowengrub K, Musin E, Gonopolski Y, Kotler M. Sustained-release bupropion versus naltrexone in the treatment of pathological gambling: a preliminary blind-rater study. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2005 Dec;25(6):593-6. PubMed

Published: March 31, 2008
Last updated: February 14, 2017


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