Compare Wellbutrin vs. Effexor

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

Wellbutrin
(bupropion)

Effexor
(venlafaxine)

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.Improves mood and helps you relax. Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It may work when other antidepressants haven't, but it's more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.
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Coupons for Wellbutrin
Best available price for 60 (75mg) tablets of wellbutrin
Coupons for Effexor
Best available price for 60 (75mg) tablets of venlafaxine
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.66Wellbutrin
Reviews for Wellbutrin
60%
of people (All ages) say Wellbutrin is worth it
40%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
1164 reviews
Have you used Wellbutrin (bupropion)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Effexor
62%
-2% worse vs. Wellbutrin
51%
-11% worse vs. Wellbutrin
23%
+10% better vs. Wellbutrin
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
WellbutrinEffexor
  • Agitation 10%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Headache/migraine 4%
  • Constipation 9%
  • Nausea/vomiting 4%
  • Excessive sweating 7%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Tremor 13%
  • Sleep difficulty 3%
More Wellbutrin side effects »
  • Nausea 26%
  • Headache 1%
  • Drowsiness 14%
  • Dry mouth 11%
  • Dizziness 11%
  • Sleep difficulty 8%
  • Abnormal ejaculation 16%
  • Constipation 8%
  • Nervousness 17%
  • Muscle weakness 14%
More Effexor side effects »
How it works
WellbutrinEffexor
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.Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
WellbutrinEffexor
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
WellbutrinEffexor
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
WellbutrinEffexor
Risk factors for serious side effects
WellbutrinEffexor
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • History of depression
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawing from nicotine
Detailed Wellbutrin (bupropion) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Effexor (Venlafaxine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
Detailed Effexor (venlafaxine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Alcohol
WellbutrinEffexor
  • 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.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
WellbutrinEffexor
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sex
WellbutrinEffexor
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Weight
WellbutrinEffexor
  • It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antidepressants.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
WellbutrinEffexor
  • 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.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
  • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood. Many other antidepressants affect only serotonin, but not norepinephrine too.
Downsides and risks
WellbutrinEffexor
  • 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.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • 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.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • Overdosing on this medication could be fatal.
  • It's more likely to cause nausea and vomiting or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants. Also causes more sleepiness than others.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
WellbutrinEffexor
  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) makes you energized, so take it in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping later that night.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • There are no sexual side effects from this medication.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • 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.
  • You can take the extended-release form once a day with food either in the morning or in the evening at about the same time each day.
  • Extended-release capsules should be swallowed whole. If you can’t swallow pills, open the capsule, sprinkle it on a spoonful of applesauce and then swallow it without chewing.
  • 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 WellbutrinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Wellbutrin (bupropion)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it