on 25. Feb, 2014
in Prescription Drugs
Have you experienced increased acne after taking Wellbutrin? Please tell us your thoughts.
Are you kidding? Do you have acne? Serious cystic, long-term and/or hereditary? How can you say depression CAUSES acne and not visa versa? Sure because 90% of Americans do not follow these dietary guidelines and many also have depression. But for the 10% who do, this is really hard to listen to.
I have been on Wellbutrin for a couple months and I’ve never had acne this bad. My entire back is covered with pimples. I also have been getting deep red pimples on my face, mostly my chin and forehead. I have also been through a breakup so that may be the cause, but I’ve been feeling better lately, and the acne doesn’t seem to be clearing up. Wellbutrin can cause anxiety in some, so maybe that can increase acne.
You and I are in the exact same boat then. I am glad I saw your post because it has confirmed it for me. I need to get off this medicine before it scars my face!!!!
I have had mild acne my whole life. I have been on Wellbutrin for almost 5 weeks now and my acne is so severe I could cry for how much my face hurts and has been taken over by clusters of very painful deep cysts. I couldnt stop thinking and going through everything I’ve done in the last month that was different than I normally do. I couldnt think of anything out of the usual. Then I remembered I started taking this anti-depressant. I immediately saught out for answers to find if this is in fact what has been causing it. Now I have come the logical conclusion that it has. This is very unfortunate because this is the first anti-depressant out of 6 others that has actually worked for my depression. I guess I will have to find some other alternative because I can’t live like this anymore. I want my face back, not one that has been taken over by this horrible acne
I’ve been on zoloft/wellbutrin for the past few months, and the skin on my face (but nowhere else) has erupted into huge cysts that I’d never had problems with before. I wouldn’t say that acne and depression are related in my case. When I was depressed, my skin was clearer than it had ever been. Now that I’m stress-free and stable, it’s worse than ever (though I’ve learned to not let it destroy my self-esteem).
For the record, I also eat healthy (I log everything onto caloriecount.com to check my nutrition levels, since I’m a vegetarian and on a budget), try to eat organic and pesticide-free produce as often as possible, exercise daily, drink the recommended 8 cups of water a day, sleep regularly at night, wash my face twice daily with gentle cetaphil facewash, wear spf 100 sunscreen and lotion every time I go out, practice yoga and meditate, wash/change my sheets and pillowcases every week, vacuum and dust every week, take a daily mutivitamin supplement along with fish oil and cranberry powder, and keep my hair out of my face as much as possible.
The only thing that’s change within the past few months (during which my skin broke out) has been the addition of Zoloft (50 mg) and Wellbutrin (150 mg) into my daily life.
All evidence in my mind points to one of the two being the cause of this otherwise random outbreak, but of course I’m always open to other suggestions (especially since the medication has worked amazingly well for my depression).
I have also experienced breakouts since I’ve been on Wellbutrin. It’s not severe, life altering acne but it’s pimples that have been popping up way more than before and the ONLY thing that has changed is the fact that I’ve been on this medication. It seems to be working fairly well except for the fact that I get horrible stomach cramps from it, my anxiety is through the roof around large groups of people and I just ramble on out of nervousness. However, I haven’t been feeling so hopeless in life like I was before. Hoping that the anxiety and mild acne will get better in time because I really have high hopes for this medicine.
most of my face has broken out within about a week of starting wellbutrin. i’ve been taking paroxatine for depression for years, and had well-managed acne until now. sigh.
My acne is so bad on the 1st week of using 150 mg of Wellbutrin XL..and I am 60 yrs old!!! How is your acne condition now, please?
My husband started Wellbutrin recently, and he just upped the dose to 300 mg a day a couple of days ago. Today we saw that he is breaking out like crazy all over, especially on his legs. Definitely think it’s the Wellbutrin as nothing else has really changed.
Will watch out for hair loss too..
I have been taking Wellbutrin for only 2 weeks and have started getting cystic acne, mostly on my chin and jawline. I eat properly, get enough rest, etc and wellbutrin is the only change I’ve made. As of today I quit taking it. Sometimes the “cure” is worse than the problem.
PS – I would stress to any who read my comment, don’t stop any medication without checking with your doctor.
Wellbutrin caused me serious complications with scalp acne and random cysts. I thought it was related to bacteria or something else, but I stopped taking it for a few days because of the way my paychecks/prescription coincided and the acne/cysts cleared up. I’d been taking it for almost a year and been battling with the acne for about 3 months. One time I’m glad I ran out of my meds!
I have been taking wellbutrin for about two and a half months now, and my skin has never been clearer. I have dealt with acne for as long as I can remember (I’m 23 now). For those of us who have dealt with it, you know it can be a real confidence buster. Sure I’ve gone through phases of harsh acne and light acne… but seriously, it’s never been clear for this long, and the only thing I can think of as the reason is the wellbutrin. I suppose depression and/or anxiety were my major causes for acne. I’m sure it is different for everyone though. I have never been happier with my skin.
AS SOON AS I STOPPED TAKING MY BUPROPION MY FOREHEAD AND JAW LINE HAVE BAD ACNE. I AM TAKING IT AGAIN, I HOPE THAT WILL DO THE TRICK.
I have been taking Wellbutrin for about 6 months now and my skin has totally erupted on my face and around my bikini area. The worst part is that once the pimples/inflammation starts, they don’t go away. I have had the same outbreaks on my face for almost a month! That is definitely not normal. I used to take Lexapro and never had this problem. Ive struggled with depression my whole life, I am 27 years old now, and before now, my skin was always clear. I definitely attribute these outbreaks to the Wellbutrin.
I have started Wellbutrin XL 150mg for a week and my cheeks are full of acne! Did your face ever clear up? Thanks!
I’ve been on Wellbutrin for about two years. I’ve had worsened acne since taking Wellbutrin. The past several months have been really bad. Large cystic acne that doesn’t go away and very painful. With help from my doctor, I am weaning off of Wellbutrin. I have noticed a positive difference in a week, but I have gotten a few new zits. I will post an update when more time passes.
I was using Proactiv for my acne. It worked wonderfully in the past, but since on Wellburtin, it hasn’t worked at all. I am currently ending Proactiv as well.
I am in my 40’s, and have been taking Wellbutrin for 3 months to quit smoking. I did quit, 2 weeks after I started the medication. My skin has been clear for decades, aside from a random small spot or two during my menstrual cycle, and they were barely visible.
About 6 weeks in to taking the medication, I started breaking out. My face, neck, and chest are covered with literally thousands of breakouts. There isn’t one inch not covered. It is just getting worse every day, and I have been using every medication on the market to control it.
This is definitely casual in my case. I am not taking anything else new. I am weaning off the medication now. It has made me depressed and embarrassed to even go out in public. Stopping smoking was worth it, but that habit is gone forever. Wellbutrin will now be gone forever as well.
I’ve always suffered from hormonal cystic acne, if not taking testosterone blockers, birth control, and antibiotics. I also suffer from major depressive disorder. Needless to say, bad breakouts worsen my depression. My skin is always under control if I have a dermatologist taking care of me with medications and topical retinoids. I’m in my thirties, and am a licensed esthetician.
My psychiatrist put me on 150 Wellbutrin XL for 7 days to increase to 300. Within 24 hours, I got cysts, blackheads, and papules in places I’ve only broken out at my very worst. (Depo-provera birth control shot was the last known medication that triggered my acne.) If a medication affects your adrenals and hormones, it will stimulate acne in chronic hormonal acne sufferers. Wellbutrin affects the hair follicles. Thinning skin, dry skin, and thinning hair are also reported side effects.
Needless to say, my psychiatrist said to stop after 5 days when the condition continued.
I started taking Wellbutrin a few months ago and recently I’ve started breaking out like crazy. My cheeks are completely covered with acne and so are my shoulders. I’ve never had this problem before. I’m sure this is caused by the medication. I’m starting to withdraw.
I started taking Wellbutrin recently and noticed a wonderful change in my mood. Unfortunately I also noticed that I have random, spontaneous and very painful cystic pimples coming up around my face. I am stopping this.
My entire back broke out in horrible acne after being on Wellbutrin for only 2 weeks. I am no longer taking it…..still working on/waiting for back to clear up. makes me more depressed.
I know this post was a few years ago but I just started taking Wellbutrin two months ago and now am breaking out on my chest which has never happened before and on my back as well. I’ve had problems with acne on my back but not this bad before. It’s only getting worse. I called my doctor to see if I can stop taking it. It’s just making me want to hide my body and I hate the feeling. I was wondering if you remember how long it took for your back to clear up when you stopped taking the medication?
I was using paxil which worked very well for my depression, but made me very tiered. I had no pimples before while I was depressed or on paxil. I starting taking wellbutrin instead of paxil and I had breakouts, and it didnt work for my depression. Then later on I went back on paxil, and added wellbutrin to even out the tieredness, thankful this has worked well and I am happy and not tiered. Unfortunately as soon as I added wellbutrin, I started to break out again. I have never had breakouts this bad, and I am 25. I don’t know what to do now. I am assuming it has something to do with the hormones it effects because it can increase your want for sex, etc. Or maybe because it is so stimulating it somehow increases oil production. I have no idea..but I want to be happy, awake and acne free. Maybe I will find something else, or look into getting my hormone levels checked.
How is your acne now pease? My cheeks are red w/acne after over a week on Wellbutrin XL 150mg…this is embarrassing but I don’t want to give up yet as I am feeling much better mood-wise? Thanks!
I’m in the same boat as the majority that have left a comment. I started Wellbutrin a few months ago and ever since my back and chest is COVERED with acne. I’ve never had a problem with this before. I may have 1 or 2 pimples pop up during my cycle, but that’s the extent of it. It’s so embarrassing; I’m skipping my high school dance because my adorable, backless dress will not accommodate my scarred back. Now I’m depressed AND have nasty skin.
I have tried everything from frequently changing sheets, to Noxema, to natural homeopathic remedies– NOTHING WORKS.
I don’t know if it is my medication because I started on Buprprion in 2009 and I never have had acne on my face my entire life up until last year and I have tried all kinds of acne treatments to help get rid of it and nothing has worked. I don’t know what else to do to help get a clear face again. Just wouldn’t make sense that it would be my medication if it took this long to start bothering my skin?
Hi from Holland, I used Wellbutrin for ADHD/depression, and I must admit I was very pleased with the effects. Felt very good, strong and secure. But my god, I got more pimples than I had during puberty. Big cystic acne, just like someone else mentioned, for a month on the same spot. So of course I got scars, I still have a small ‘hole’ in my cheek… I stopped Wellbutrin and acne cleared very soon. I tried some othe medicine, didn’t work very good, and also I started smoking again and wanted to stop that. So I decided to give Wellbutrin another try. Exactly the same happened: my skin broke out again, same pattern of acne too. Big cystic acne on my chin, cheeks and next to my nose. Too bad, but I’ll never use it again. Unless the pharmacological company does some research into this acne thing and presents a solution. My guess? It’s the rise in dopamin, because dopamin has an interaction thing going on with testosteron. And it’s the testosteron that’s giving you pimples (look at bodybuilders).
I have been on wellbutrin for almost 3 weeks now. I have dealt with acne since I was 12 years old. But getting older I have seemed to get it under control. Aferer these 3 weeks my face has broken out horribly! Pimples all over my cheeks, forehead, chin, everywhere. I’m seeing my doctor next week, and definitely getting off of this medecine. I don’t recommend wellbrutrin to anyone !
How did you make out?
I started taking it about two weeks ago and haven’t had acne like this in years and I used to have bad acne ! What sucks is , it’s the first antidepressant to actually work for me and now I think I need to stop it. Instead of being depressed I am obsessing over my face and it is really effecting my self esteem! It’s a lose lose!
I’ve been on Wellbutrin for 9 weeks . At 7 weeks I went up from 150 mg to 300 mg. 10 days later,I have 2 big pimples on my face. I’m 58, and haven’t had a pimple since I was in my 20’s. I immediately suspected Wellbutrin because it was the only thing new that I’ve added.
Also I’ve been wondering why my hair has felt so flat and thin. I already had thin hair. Now I’m afraid what my hair and face are going to look like.
But, I’ve lost some weight and am starting to feel better. It would have to get really bad for me to quit the Wellbutrin if it continues to work. My mental health is just way too important.
Thx for your post, sure helped validate this!! Hair and skin
Glad I found this site. I started taking Welbutrin 300mg about 5 months ago and absolutely love it. The pulls I take are white and round and look like they are made of plastic. Express Scripts (idiots by the way) “accidently” sent me the 150mg pills instead. The 150’s are oval shaped and sort of pink in color. As soon as I stated taking two of the oval 150 mg pills my face went berserk. I didn’t suspect it was the pills because I had been taking the 300mg version for months with no problems, but I am now 98% convinced it is something in the 150mg version of the med that is breaking me out. I’m thinking they must have something in perhaps the binder or other inert ingredients that my body can’t tolerate. Anyone else have a similar experience?
Maybe. I’ve gotten acne from both 150mgs and 300mgs but I recently noticed that the XL version seems to break me out WAY worse than the SR version. Was the one that doesn’t break you out name-brand or generic? I think I’ve always had generic.
All this aside, wellbutrin stimulates the adrenals so cystic acne can be a side effect no matter what version you’re taking.
I am 17 and i has severe acne since i was about 11 and i couldent go outside the house without wearing make up. my acne acually started clearing up when i was about 16. i still had breakouts now and then but i had pimples for so long i was used to it and didnt bother me anymore. Now on top of that i had clinical depression and anxiety. My doctor perscribed me Wellbutrin xl and i notice a lot of pimples on my back and chest, as well as painful pimples on my neck and cheeks. i have only been taking it for a week, now the thing is i was also on my period when i first started taking it and i know for a fact i breakout during my period. so im praying that its just left over breakout from my period.!!
I have been on and off various doses of Wellbutrin for more than a few years now for both quitting smoking and depression augmentation of other SSRis or add treatments etc. For the last couple years I’ve been on it more than not (for depression) and all I can say is this drug causes cystic acne FOR SURE. Took me forever to narrow it down but apparently wellbutrin stimulates the adrenals so especially for those who are prone to acne watch out!
I have used every acne treatment ever and gained an impeccable diet over the years. No joke, I even ended up going on accutane and everything cause I just had no idea it was the wellbutrin. I actually did quit wellbutrin while on the tane and my skin was freaking gorgeous the entire time. It wasn’t even just the absence of cystic acne it was the tone texture firmness etc (old looking pitted skin is another SE welly gives me).
I couldn’t figure out why I suddenly didn’t have such weathered looking skin anymore (i thought maybe this was a side effect of aging but NO it wasn’t) but soon as I got off tane and went back on wellbutrin: BAM cystic acne just as bad as before and old saggy dried out yet still oily looking skin just like before! That was when I began to suspect…
The worst part is the longer you’re on the welly the worse it is getting off it. I keep quitting it only to come back cause it seems to be the only antidepressant that doesn’t cause me major side effects–EXCEPTf or the skin issues and let me tell you the skin issues this crap gives me never feel worth it in the end. This stuff makes me feel motivated to get up and go out all ready to conquer the world until I look in the mirror and decide wtf hell no I can’t go anywhere looking like this! That’s why I keep trying to quit it.
FYI if you suspect welly gives you acne try tapering off and you should get results pretty quick (the zits you already have wont magically go away but you should notice a big difference in how many new ones you get!).
Well, you all just confirmed it. Wellbutrin is the cause of my painful breakouts. Mostly around my mouth and chin area. I’m 57 and was on Escitalopram, an anti-depressant, along with Clonazepam for the anxiety the Escitalopram caused and was doing well until the Escitalopram caused some sexual dysfunction (couldn’t orgasm) Doc put me on Wellbutrin (generic) and in two weeks the breakouts started.
Getting off Wellbutrin as fast as I can. I already have severe scars from cystic acne as a young adult.
I would encourage all to seek your doctors advice on getting off the Wellbutrin and on something else, I know I am.
I have been on Paxil for 10+ years. I quit smoking 4 mos ago and just tried adding in a tiny amount of buprion with the hopes of dopamine stimulation because after quitting smoking my depression has worsened. I am glad i finally decided to google buprion and acne and found these posts because the acne has been horrible! I’m 47 and premenopausal and I’ve only been taking this small amount of buprion for 2 weeks. One quarter of a 75 mg pill! I’m super sensitive to meds so we started tiny. The cyst like pimples are all along my jawline, chin, forehead, etc. it’s horrible! I even got a period 14 days into my cycle and this was the only new variable. My facial skin feels dry and bumpy. There are a ton of mini pimples on my shoulders and chest. I hate this!! I skipped taking it today and will see if my skin clears up over the next few days. I sure hope so. I feel ugly!
No more Wellbutrin !!! I wash my sheets every week , I don’t touch my face , I went vegan,I’ve done so many detoxes while purchasing expensive products… All of this and it’s this freaking medication. I’d rather be sad and pretty than bumpy and upset lol these things hurt and there coming around my cheek and mouth area. I’m so clad I read this post… Thank you all
I’ve been having the same experience and feel exactly like you do. Today is my last day taking it.
I’ve tried Bupropion (Wellbutrin XL) a couple of times, and after only a couple of doses can notice my skin is a lot more oily. It’s manageable at 150 mg but just gets out of control at 300 mg. I think it is also worse with instant release, which should give a higher peak level of the drug. I also suspect dopamine is involved. After all, SSRI drugs seem to make my skin less oily and less prone to breakouts, and serotonin has an inhibitory effect on dopamine. An old drug called Amineptine was a potent dopamine booster, and guess what, severe acne was a recorded side effect.
I’m 53 and this is my second round with Welly. I had horrid cystic acne the first time, which cleared up when I stopped. I have severe depression due to taking accutane (one of a myriad of serious illnesses I suffer from that drug). Unfortunately Well.. is the only anti D that works.
My doctor now has me on minocycline 100 MG.2x per day. Its helped a bit, I no longer get the giant cysts but I do still get pimples and a ton of blackheads on my nose daily(just like high school).
My face too is dull and just doesn’t look the same. Until I took W I was known for having beautiful skin, those days are over. Anyone know of a anti D that works for depression that doesn’t ruin skin? Send me an email. Prrivate at aol
I have been diagnosed PTSD, and as a result, I have frequent panic attacks that causes severe chest pains. I was hesitant about taking Wellbutrin due to the many side effects I read about, but decided to try it to see if it would ease my anxiety. After about 2 weeks of taking them, I did find that it ceased my panic attacks and chest pains, and I have had a much needed 12-lbs weight loss. This is probable my 4th week on the medication. I’m 42 years old and have never had skin problems in my life! But within the past 2 weeks I’ve been noticing bumps on my face and I’m seriously beginning to look like an adolescent going thru puberty. I’ve decided to stop taking the Wellbutrin for a while just to see if my skin clears back up. Hopefully my panic attacks won’t start up again any time soon. We’ll see…
I used Wellbutrin for 3 months, it helped me so much but my skin became COVERED in such bad deep cystic acne that I had to stop working for a while because i was too embarrassed to leave the house. Now that Ive stopped WB my skin is finally clear. Since then ive been on prozac which caused nasty side effects I couldn’t deal with and am now wondering what to do because I am right back to being depressed. To everyone who found wellbutrin worked but had to stop due to painful acne, what med did you find to work as a replacement? I’ve tried working out daily and eating healthy and still I am depressed.
Holy Cow!! I’m almost embarrassed that it has taken me this long to realize that my acne is caused by Wellbutrin. I have been on Wellbutrin for a little over a year. I have always been proud of my clear skin and now that I look back, I developed bad acne around the time I started Wellbutrin. It has been bad all year and I just figured I had adult acne caused by hormone changes. I have done everything under the sun; bought ridiculously expensive skincare products, got microdermabrasions, facials, expensive makeup and none of it helped. I just upped my dose from 100mg to 175mg and the acne has definitely gotten worse. I’m going to stop taking it right now!! having acne this bad is totally bring my self esteem down, which makes me kind of depressed. It is such a bummer because this medicine has totally saved my life. I went from getting C’s to getting A’s in college, and i’m like really happy all the time. Ever since i upped the dose it’s been so bad that I have been re-evaluating everything in my life trying to pinpoint the cause. It literally just hit me that the Wellbutrin could be the cause.
I do have a question though. When I was younger I took ortho-tricyclene to help my acne and it did wonders. Does anyone take ortho-tricyclene and wellbutrin? does it help with the acne? I am wondering if that will cure the acne while taking Wellbutrin. Then it would be a win win. But really, I think i’m just going to discontinue the Wellbutrin.
I have been taking bupropion xl 300 mg for a little over a year now. For the past 2 months ive noticed my face and chest breaking out and very itchy. I consulted with my pcp and was advised to stop taking the meds. Its been a week since I stop taking and im noticing my face clearing up. Still a bit itchy here and there im assuming will go away soon. Im happy my face is clearing up and i will never take any AD medications again
I took Bupropion XL 150mg and 300mg alone or with other medications. Every time I take it I have rage inside me and a lot of huge pimples.. When i stop my skin becomes clear. In my experience Bupropion XL causes acne.
At the time I was trying to be positive and motivated to fighting and beating my meth addiction. It’s nothing I am proud of, but I pray for the day it’s finally overcome. So, I was with my doctor one day sharing new, healthy ways that I can use to be sober & happy. Mind you, I was on depression before, but had gotten put of it, Thank God. As I was sharing with her, she cuts me off and introduces yet another drug that she thinks can help me to be sober. *sigh* she popped my bubble. My whole thing is that I want OFF drugs, not more! I believe and support hpllistic healing, we need more of it! Anyhow, she said Bupropion/Wellbutrin would help ease cravings. So, I told her hesitantly that I was on board. She wrote out another perscription..again. She didn’t even let me finish sharing the new methods and ways that I can use to fight my addiction…that kind of hurt I tried not getting too butt hurt and went with it. I was prescribed 150mg.
I noticed cravings started to decrease because I felt nauseated. I quit smoking cigarettes. Started gaining weight. Began getting bad acne around my mouth and cheeks. I’m using proactiv and its worked wonders in the past, but is having no effect now. I’m also feeling more agitated now. I’m aware of the damage Meth does and can do. But never throughout my run have I had this bad of acne. Also one day I had a really bad experience I had never been through before…my throat swelled and it literally felt like someone was choking me all day. I was going to go to the hospital, but didn’t because I don’t have health insurance.
I’m think Bupropio/Wellbutrin has something to do with it all. I’m getting off of this stuff. And I will keep my head up and keep fighting my addiction that I WILL overcome one day without other drugs serving as an “aid”. Wish me luck! Best Regards.
I posted here before about how wellbutrin xl always gives me cystic acne and gave the usual sob story about how it took me forever to figure it out blah blah blah etc. Well I was just updating to report that switching to Bupropion SR could possibly make a big difference for those of you suffering from welly induced cystic acne and unwilling (or unable) to switch to an SSR. I feel it doesn’t quite work as well as the XL version but whatever; it’s better than waking up everyday with a bunch of giant pulsing zits on your face. It’s worth looking into, at least. Honestly though, I really do rue the day I successfully quit smoking.
I have been taking Welbutrin xl 300 mg for about a month now and have the breakouts. I did not have them while on 150. This should be listed on the medication as a side effect. I am not taking this anymore.
I am 60+ yrs old and for years used budeprion, a generic of Wellbutrin that was pulled from the market by the FDA a couple of years ago. I tried bupropion (the still-available generic of Wellbutrin), and found it didn’t work as well for my depression. So my Dr prescribed brand-name Wellbutrin XL, which worked much better for the depression with no acne issues. After paying 3X as much for the name-brand for a couple of years, I decided to give the generic bupropion another try to save money. After 12 weeks, I felt my depression was getting worse AND I started having problems with deep cystic acne on my chin & cheekbones. I am returned to the brand-name Wellbutrin 2 weeks ago, and am hoping that the acne problem will go away soon. Bottom line: I experienced a big difference between the generic and brand-name versions of Wellbutrin, both in terms of effectiveness for depression and causing acne.
I have never used any type of prescription medication other than birth control. At 45 I felt mildly depressed, easily flying off the handle at my husband and kids. Needing to do something I saw my doctor and he prescribed Wellbutrin 150 XL. One month in I had the worst acne I’ve ever experienced. I have always had mild acne, 1 or 2 pimples a month. After starting Wellbutrin my acne was awful, painful, embarrassing! I did some research and found this site, was so glad to find that this must also be the cause of my acne. More research lead me to a natural supplement, 5-HTP. It is a miracle! No need for any prescriptions! I urge you to PLEASE research it for yourself, read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere. This is SOOOO much better than Wellbutrin!
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