Different antidepressants work a little differently. One advantage with NDRIs is that they usually don’t cause side effects that can be common to antidepressants. Those include weight gain or lowered sex drive.
All antidepressants generally work by targeting brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that control your mood. But each medication may work on different neurotransmitters or in different ways. That means the antidepressants may come with different side effects.
Bupropion (Aplenzin, Wellbutrin,) is the only NDRI sold on the market. Your doctor may prescribe it or add it to your therapy if you haven’t felt better with other treatments. Doctors also prescribe bupropion under a different brand name, Zyban, to help people quit smoking.
Most NDRI side effects are mild and usually get better after you’ve taken it for a few weeks. Common ones include:
Nausea. It may help to take your medication with food.
Headache. These usually stop a few days after you start taking NDRIs.
Some side effects are less common with NDRIs:
Dizziness. This can happen if you stand too quickly. Rise up slowly and drink lots of water.
NDRIs can also cause:
Serious Side Effects
High blood pressure. Your doctor may check your levels regularly, especially if you use nicotine patches to help you quit smoking.
Suicidal thoughts. NDRIs and other antidepressants can make some people more depressed or think about killing themselves. Call your doctor right away if you feel very angry, confused, sad, fearful, or other strong negative emotions.
Tell your doctor about all the vitamins, supplements, and prescription and over-the-counter medications that you take. Some can raise your risk of seizures. Others can make NDRIs work less well.
Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to also take or use:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants taken within 2 weeks of an NDRI
- Other antidepressants
- Alcohol and other drugs
- Medications used to ward off seizures
- Insulin and other diabetes medications
- Some antibiotics
- Medications for irregular heartbeat
- Sleeping pills
- Nicotine patches
You should never take more than one bupropion medication at a time. If you take too much, it can make your side effects worse, raise your risk for a seizure, or cause an overdose.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
Let your doctor know if you have any side effects, even if they’re mild. They may adjust your dose or prescribe other medications to ease the side effects.
You should call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care if you have any of these symptoms of an NDRI overdose: