Compare Zoloft vs. Wellbutrin

Zoloft (Sertraline) and Wellbutrin (Bupropion) are both antidepressants for treating depression. Zoloft is a Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that affects chemicals in the brain; it is also good for treating anxiety, and is more likely to insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants. Wellbutrin has a different mechanism on your brain chemistry; it has fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants but may cause seizures if you drink a lot of alcohol.

Zoloft
(Sertraline)

Wellbutrin
(Bupropion)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Zoloft (Sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more likely to cause insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants.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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4.690531177829099Zoloft
Reviews for Zoloft (Sertraline)
59%
of people say Zoloft (Sertraline) is worth it
40%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
58%
1% vs. Zoloft (Sertraline)
38%
2% vs. Zoloft (Sertraline)
13%
+2% vs. Zoloft (Sertraline)
Side effects
ZoloftWellbutrin
  • Nausea 19%
  • Ejaculation failure 18%
  • Sleep difficulty 16%
  • Diarrhea/loose stools 14%
  • Fatigue 9%
  • Loss of appetite 9%
  • Lower sex drive 9%
  • Sweating increased 9%
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Indigestion 8%
More Zoloft 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
ZoloftWellbutrin
Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases the activity of serotonin 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
ZoloftWellbutrin
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
ZoloftWellbutrin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
ZoloftWellbutrin
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 Zoloft (Sertraline), 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
ZoloftWellbutrin
  • Under 24 years old
  • Interactions with other medications
      • Stopping Zoloft (Sertraline) suddenly
      • Taking with blood-thinning drugs
      • Elderly
      • Taking with diuretic medications
      Detailed Zoloft (Sertraline) 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
        ZoloftWellbutrin
        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
        No specific food-related info.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.
        • 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
        • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
        • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) makes you energized, so take it in the morning to avoid difficulty sleeping later that night.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.
        • 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
        ZoloftWellbutrin
        • Effective at lowering symptoms and relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders.
        • Causes less drowsiness than 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
        ZoloftWellbutrin
        • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
        • More likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants.
        • 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.
        • 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.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        ZoloftWellbutrin
        • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
        • 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 ZoloftSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about WellbutrinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert