Compare Lexapro vs. Wellbutrin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Lexapro
(Escitalopram)

Wellbutrin
(Bupropion)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Lexapro (Escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.Improves mood. Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is good for treating depression and has fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants, but you need to be okay with avoiding alcohol.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.832985386221294Lexapro
Reviews for Lexapro (Escitalopram)
59%
of people say Lexapro (Escitalopram) is worth it
46%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
58%
1% vs. Lexapro (Escitalopram)
38%
8% vs. Lexapro (Escitalopram)
13%
+2% vs. Lexapro (Escitalopram)
Side effects
LexaproWellbutrin
  • Ejaculation disorder 12%
  • Ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculatory delay) 11%
  • Sleep difficulty 10%
  • Nausea 10%
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Headache 7%
  • Drowsiness 6%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Lower sex drive 5%
More Lexapro side effects »
  • Tremor 13%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Agitation 10%
  • Constipation 9%
  • Excessive sweating 7%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Blurred vision 5%
  • Nausea/vomiting 4%
  • Headache/migraine 4%
  • Menstrual complaints 4%
More Wellbutrin side effects »
How it works
LexaproWellbutrin
Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to change dopamine and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
LexaproWellbutrin
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
LexaproWellbutrin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
LexaproWellbutrin
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.

After 4 weeks using Start and Lexapro (Escitalopram), here’s how much better people feel.

After 4 weeks using Start and Wellbutrin (Bupropion), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
LexaproWellbutrin
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Lexapro (Escitalopram) suddenly
  • Higher dose
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Lexapro (Escitalopram) risks & warnings »
    • Age 24 years or younger
    • History of depression
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    • Withdrawing from nicotine
    • History of seizures
    • Alcoholism
    • Eating disorder
    • Higher dose
    • Drug interactions
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    • Current kidney problems
    • Current liver problems
      Detailed Wellbutrin (Bupropion) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      LexaproWellbutrin
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • Has a higher risk of causing seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder, eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol. So, it's not a good medication if you drink a lot.
      Food
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is processed by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, you may need a different dose to prevent increased risk for side effects.
      Sex
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • Lexapro (Escitalopram) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
      • Causes fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants. Can actually boost sex drive for some people.
      • Can be taken with other antidepressants to counteract their sexual side effects.
      • There are no sexual side effects from this medication.
      Sleep
      • Stopping Lexapro (Escitalopram) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) makes you energized, so take it in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping later that night.
      Weight
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
      • It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antidepressants.
      • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) may cause weight loss. Talk to your doctor if weight loss is not desirable.
      Upsides and benefits
      LexaproWellbutrin
      • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
      • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
      • Causes less sleepiness than some other antidepressants.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      • Effective at relieving depression symptoms.
      • Causes fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants. Can actually boost sex drive for some people.
      • Can be taken with other antidepressants to counteract their sexual side effects.
      • Has some stimulant effects, so it can be energizing.
      • Can help with ADHD symptoms.
      • Also used to suppress appetite and help you quit smoking.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      Downsides and risks
      LexaproWellbutrin
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
      • Can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (20 mg a day, or more).
      • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
      • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work, and might have side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
      • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
      • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) can be stimulating, so it can cause anxiety or insomnia the first few days you're taking it.
      • Generally not as good as other antidepressants for people who have anxiety.
      • It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antidepressants.
      • Has a higher risk of causing seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder, eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol. So, it's not a good medication if you drink a lot.
      • It contains the same ingredient as a medication that helps you to stop smoking, (Zyban), so these two meds can't be used together.
      • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
      • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      LexaproWellbutrin
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
      • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) makes you energized, so take it in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping later that night.
      • There are no sexual side effects from this medication.
      • The extended-release tablet shell can show up unchanged in your stool, but don't worry since the medication was still absorbed by your body.
      • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
      • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      Learn more
      More about LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about WellbutrinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert