Does Wellbutrin cause acne?

Have you experienced increased acne after taking Wellbutrin? Please tell us your thoughts.

Wellbutrin is a smoking cessation aid and antidepressant. There are several studies that link nicotine to improved skin, so a correlation between Wellbutrin and acne could be linked to the elimination of nictoine consumption rather Wellbutrin itself.

However, there is no publicly available research testing a correlation between Wellbutrin and acne.

96 Replies to “Does Wellbutrin cause acne?”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. Lila-

      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!!!!

      1. 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 🙁

      2. I am so glad I found this post! I started taking Zyban to quit smoking and I have the worst acne I have ever had in my life! It is worse than when I was a teenager going through puberty!

        1. I had the same problem, and I started using Cetaphil for normal to oily skin, and the problem cleared up in about two weeks.

      3. Me Too I’m Breaking Out Real Bad In My Face An Its Bad Its To The Point That I’m ready to go to the hospital I never had Acne This Bad in My Life An My Dermatologist appt Ain’t Till Nov. Like Really These Bumps Heart I’m Goin To My Dr Tomorrow An Let Her No I Need To Get Off This if This Is Really The Cause

  3. 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 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).

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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?

  5. 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..

  6. 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.

  7. PS – I would stress to any who read my comment, don’t stop any medication without checking with your doctor.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.


  10. 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.

    1. I have started Wellbutrin XL 150mg for a week and my cheeks are full of acne! Did your face ever clear up? Thanks!

    2. I’ve been on Wellbutrin for about 4 months now and I’m having the same issue. Never had acne in my life. Constant breakouts on my face, but my chest is the worst. I used to take Lexapro too, but it was making me too sleepy to where i couldn’t wake up in the mornings. I love Wellbutrin as it has helped my depression, but the side affect of not only acne, but severe & constant heartburn/acid reflux and weight gain, are just not working for me.. Not to mention I feel like I sometimes have hallucinations (hearing my music playing when I know it’s not, hearing the walkie talkies from work when i’m at home, etc.). I just want to find something exactly like wellbutrin but without the side affects 🙁

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. I see so many of you having the same experience as i have which is the occasional hormonal outbreaks until we started Wellbutrin and instant very painful acne taking over our faces and other body parts, in my case it’s the inside of my arms up and down both and even the back of my hands. And my face hurts so bad. They are so painful not normal pimples at all.
        So needless to say I stopped it and went back to Lexapro until Dr. appt. But it’s been 2weeks since I stopped and its only a little better. Can anyone please tell me how long it takes to get better?! Or if there’s anything else that will help speed it along?

  13. 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.

    1. I too have had this problem while taking Wellbutron, and I started using Cetaphil for normal to oily skin, and it took about two weeks, and the problem cleared ;up. Be sure to use the sun screen as well to protect any damage to your skin from the sun.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    1. 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?

  16. 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.

    1. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

    1. I also have been taking Welbutrin for several years without any problems, but recently have started to break out on my scalp and jawline. I wonder if the companies compounding Bupropion have changed something in their formulas or perhaps it’s related to diet or something? I have stopped taking it a few times since noticing the correlation between the acne and bupropion and have had the acne clear up within a few days. It’s a great drug, I hate to stop taking it all together but that may be the end result.

  19. 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).

  20. 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 !

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

    1. 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.

  24. 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.!!

  25. 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!).

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. Hi!
    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

  31. 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…

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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!

  41. I am very disappointed. I was prescribed wellbutrin150 mg over a month ago (6 weeks) , within a week of starting the medication I began getting painful pimples on my shoulders and back. I have never had any issues with acne in the past i now have these painful deep pimples on my forehead, nose, chin, back and breasts. I also was diagnosed many years ago with genital herpes since starting wellbutrin i have had 3 outbreaks in the 6 weeks. prior to starting the medication i haven’t had an outbreak in years. And never have i had so many outbreaks in such a short amount of time. It’s frustrating because i actually am beginning to feel better emotionally only to have this issue now.

  42. I racked my brain trying to figure out what is different in my life that would cause my skin to break out, I then realized that I had recently started a medicine called Bupropion. I have never had break outs like this before. I decided I was going to research it and there was my answers right on this website. I’m stopping this medicine. My face is in pain from the acne. This is a nightmare!!!

  43. Not only does this sh#t give you cystic acne but it can also totally rot your teeth! I’m telling you guys, switch to the SR version of wellbutrin (or the generic; it doesn’t really matter) and it might make a huge difference.

  44. My 19 year old son started taking 150 mg Bupropion because of depression three months ago. He developed severe jaw line cystic acne that was never discussed as a potential side effect. He has low self esteem to begin with so this, on top of his condition was a major let down. The good news is he elected to drop the Bupropion for another antidepressant about 3 weeks ago and his face is clearing up, but it does look like he has residual scaring. What a let down.

  45. I’ve always had some acne but during the year I was on Wellbutrin and Adderall, I had horrible acne. There wasn’t one day where I wouldn’t get a cyst on my cheek, forehead, or jaw. I thought that Adderall alone was to blame.
    I’ve been thinking about trying Wellbutrin again but I was afraid it would cause acne… Guess I won’t be getting back on it.

  46. Omg thank you all for sharing. I’ve been so stumped! I’m 40 and have always had amazing skin! Went on wellbutrin (reluctantly) and stopped after 3 months a week ago. For the past few months I’ve been battling acne! Freaking me out. So glad I stopped. So I was sitting here thinking hmm the only thing I was doing differently was the medication. Did a quick search and I’m hoping this is what caused it and that my face will go back to normal! I sure hope there’s hope for my face!

  47. Thank you to everyone for your posts. Like many of you I have been acne free since my teens. I’ve been on Wellbutrin 300 XL for nearly two years and have noticed a tremendous improvement in my mood and anxiety.

    That said, I have been getting scalp acne for nearly two years and until recently I thought it was due to the hair products I use. My wife is a stylist so she has brought me home hundreds of dollars of different shampoo and styling gel / cream and I still have these painful zits all over my head. I also thought it was soft water from the hotels I stay in when I travel for work, or I sweat too much during my workouts or the climate I happen to visit etc…. I never made the connection between my medication and the zits…Until now.

    The big question for many of us is…what’s worse; Cystic acne or Depression /Anxiety?????

  48. I’m a male 30 something,been taking antidepressant for
    More than a Decade and switch to wellbutrin for like a month or two
    I don’t have acne problem before,but lately its going crazy especially on the
    Scalp.i find like 5-10 new pimple everyday and it hurt ,some on the face
    Like one gone and there’s another popping out,I took 150 daily only

  49. I consider myself an expert because I have had SEVERE acne on my back, butt, chest, arms, neck, and face since I was 12. I am now 26. I started taking WB about a month ago and you’re damn right the oil production has sped up and whereas I was having less acne as the years went on, it’s like the Wellbutrin brought me back to high school. HOWEVER, this medication works really well for treating my depression. Since my youth I have gone to the DERMATOLOGIST for help with my acne. I use differin as a topical gel, amoxicillin each day, and wash myself (obviously) every day. There is a way to control the acne without having to give up an anti-depressant that works. So try treating the skin issue also. Maybe I’m just okay with it because I’ve had acne my whole life and I’d rather deal with that than sexual dysfunction and weight gain that most other anti depressants cause.

    1. Dude staying on antibiotics indefinitely is NOT the answer. That will just end up causing you all sorts of problems in the long run (killing off all the bacteria in your stomach everyday for years can end up making you fat, among other things). If you ever go off of the antibiotics watch out cause your acne will likely be worse than ever! Differin gel wont do much without the antibiotics though. Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess (even if it means you gotta ruin your body).

  50. I am so relieved to have found this website. I am 62 years and I started using retinae in my thirties and switched to tazarac cream in my fifties to prevent clogged pores and blackheads. The problem had been under control for years thanks to these topical medications until I started taking wellbutrin 6 weeks ago. My skin has not been this bad since I was a teenager. The skin on my cheeks is red and my pores are clogged with blackheads. I have also noticed fine blonde hairs on my cheeks. I have never had facial hair on my cheeks before now. I have been racking my brain to figure out what I had done differently to cause these changes and questioning whether the worsening of my skin was in my mind or real. Thanks to this website I now know that i am not imagining things. My skin is definitely worse, and I can do something about this problem. Time to get off Wellbutrin.

  51. I started taking Wellbutrin XL (150 mg) 30 days ago, and I have never had acne breakouts this bad ever. It seems that the cystic acne on my chin won’t go away no matter what I try, it also seems that my acne is just staying in the exact same place (not shrinking or going away at all) The only thing I could think of that has been causing this is the Wellbutrin because it is the only thing that’s been different in the past month. I am 17 years old and I suffer from panic attacks and mild depression. I haven’t found this pill to be helping me at all so far, so for that reason (and also for how bad my skin has gotten in the past three weeks) I have decided that I won’t be taking this medication anymore as the acne on my face is so embarrassing and makes me want to stay inside and not see anybody at all.

  52. I have been on Wellbutrin 300 xl for 8 years. The last two years I have had major hormonal changes/problems. Including cystic acne, painful periods, mood swings, weight gain, dry, wiry hair, and depression coming back. I’ve been to dermatologists and several doctors. My hormonal levels came back normal (did all the special thyroid tests as well). I was also put on acne cream. The only thing that helped with the acne was reducing my caffeine intake. I recently began to taper off wellbutrin because i strongly believe that all of the above are related. Ive been on 150xl now for a couple weeks and my skin has been much clearer and I have been drinking coffee. Today I am having a bad breakout, but I attribute it to drinking three cups yesterday and my period is due. I’ll update in a couple weeks. Hopefully I continue to see progress with clear skin. I wish I had gotten off Wellbutrin much sooner. Better late than never.

  53. I’m a 32 year old female who has never suffered from acne. I eat clean, exercises and don’t smoke or drink. I was diagnosed with MS 18 months ago and became very depressed so I was prescribed 300mg of Wellbutrin. Around the same time, I saw massive cystic acne forming all along my jawline and little oil bumps on my forehead. I also have huge red/inflamed cystic acne on my back and shoulders and neck. It’s so painful that lying in bed hurts. Or turning my head hurts!

    I can’t believe it took me so long to discover that the Wellbutrin and my painful, relentless, consistent acne were related. I saw 4 different dermatologists and took a combination of 6 prescription skin/hormone pills and skin creams, nothing worked. Thousands of dollars on facials and products, eliminating dairy and gluten from my diet, drinking only water and I still wince when I lay my cheek on my pillow at night. The softest pillow ever hurts my face.

    I’m quitting Wellbutrin today. It’s like Chris Rock said about the side effects of cold medication causing diarrhea… “Do you wanna have a runny nose or a runny ass?” I’ll take the runny nose please.

  54. ^^^^ haha yes.
    UPDATE: so it’s been over a month and my acne has cleared significantly since reducing my dosage. I still have breakouts but the big painful cystic ones I would get on my neck and lower jawline have not returned, which is nothing short of a miracle. While the cystic acne isn’t an everyday thing- I have noticed a lot more clogged pores. However, I attribute that to me experimenting with different skin care products/makeup (i now have the confidence to do that!). Also, my period was a month late- but for first time in years I had hardly any cramping. I have also been drinking coffee regularly without consequence. I am looking forward to further improvements as I continue to taper. Will update with next dosage reduction.

  55. Hello, I’m a 21 year old female who has taken 150 mg Bupropion and the 300 mg XL. I have been taking Bupropion for about three years now. I have always had somewhat difficult skin, but it was only this bad during puberty. This acne popped up around the same time I started taking the Bupropion and hasn’t stopped. It’s AWFUL, sometimes cystic, always painful, and while it’s concentrated on my chin and jawline it has spread all over my face, too. I initially stopped taking the Bupropion (two weeks ago) due to the hair loss side effect. I lost crazy amounts of hair on this medicine. But only reading your comments do I now understand where the acne came from. It HAD to be the Bupropion. As this medicine is getting out of my system, the acne IS reducing. However, it had gotten so bad that I sought a dermatologist’s treatment, so I’m on medication and cream for the acne now. It’s a terrible cycle; it has truly been just a horrible, painful experience (as far as the acne and hair goes) and it’s so humiliating. I definitely think the Bupropion was to blame. It should be noted, though, that my best friend takes this medication and has had none of these side effects – so I do believe they are rare, but NO DOUBT they are there!

  56. Hi, just wanted to share my experience in case it helps anyone. I took bupropion for a year from age 30-31. After a year I noticed that my skin became markedly thin, saggy and grey looking. It was terrible. I chalked it up to aging and panicked. I got facials, chemical peels, and spent tons of money on products for this. I started to suspect it was the bupropion but feared the damage could not be reversed. I stopped taking wellbutrin a few months ago and my skin is already better. My skin has gotten thicker again and looks healthier. I’m really happy to be off of it for other reasons, but the skin changes are undeniable. One thing I’ve thought about and read about is that maybe the skin changes were not directly from the wellbutrin but because wellbutrin affected my sleep. I had insomnia (even after a year of being on wellbutrin, I had insomnia the whole time). Lack of sleep can really damage your skin so maybe it was that. But either way, quitting the wellbutrin let me sleep at night again and my skin is actually improving at age 32.

    1. Hi there,

      I have had a very much the same almost exact experience. I am going through it right now and feel very much hopeless and devasted on a daily basis over my skin. I came off bupropion 4 weeks ago exact, my skin is still extremely thin, (you can see right through it), saggy (like watery or mushy, was firm now soggy like) and my skin is very pale. I had great skin before, thicker, pliant and firm etc…my question is, when you say you stopped taking it a “few months” ago. How many months or time exactly was it when your skin became thicker? Also did the sagginess get better? I am very anxious and would deeply appreciate your quick reply, thank you. :))

  57. My acne has worsened considerably since I started taking Wellbutrin. I went on a stronger acne medication (Tazorac) after a few months and was not able to gain control of my acne. I get small whiteheads and cystic acne regularly. I watch my diet by juicing and avoiding excessive dairy and sugar to try to keep my acne under control. I’m hoping the acne will lessen when I taper off of the medication.

  58. Wellbutrin gave me horrible acne. It had nothing to do with stress, diet or anything since i am 21 and I am used to my lifestyle. However, as soon as I started on wellbutrin, suddenly mye face slowly got more and more pimples. I didn’t know what i did wrong to cause these, an after a few weeks I realized that Wellbutrin was causing this. At this point my face looked like I had a horrible rash, but it was only horrible amounts of irritated pimples. Wellbutrin made me extremely nauseous as well so i couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. So since the treatment didn’t work, i took half the dose for a while before I wuit completely. My face went back to it’s normal acne-free state in short time.

    Before this I went on Escitalopram/cirpalex and Brintellix. Neither of these gave me acne. Now, a few months after I quit Wellbutrin. I am trying Lamictal at the moment, and also these seem to bring back the acne. But at least it’s not closely as bad as with wellbutrin. I had no problem with acne without the meds

    PS: sorry about the bad english, it is not mye first language

  59. I have not had skin problems in MANY years.
    Started noticing some “hurty” spots.. mostly chin, nose & around nose.
    Asked my general practioner.. he said I needed antibiotics. Wasn’t sure what it was, maybe even rosacea (but it doesn’t look like most of the rosacea pics I’ve seen).
    they are kind of like pimples but hurt.. I did squeeze one & it looks like it will leave a mark.
    I cannot figure out what is going on, but Its not looking pretty.

  60. I’ve been on 300 MG of Bupropion XL for almost two years now. I had some minor cystic acne that I thought was just hormonal…until I recently upped my dosage to 450 MG. I’ve had exactly what everyone has been describing since then. Huge, painful clusters of cystic acne all along my chin and jaw line. And a couple single ones around my face. I’m torn because I feel great on Wellbutrin. My mood is amazing and my energy level is wonderful. I’m always in a great mood. So my question is…has anyone maybe gone to a dermatologist and found a medication to counteract the cystic acne side effect?


  61. I started Generic Wellbutrin in September as an add on to 5 mg Lexapro. For the first time in years I felt energized and motivated. I’m 69, have been on 10 mg Lex for 13 years and within the past two years weaned down to 5. It was a rough road and I finally stopped and stabilized at 5 mg but have lost zero weight (gained 50 lbs while on Lex) and have no energy. The Bupriprion has made a huge improvement in my life but has also caused acne and a couple of cystic bumps. Acne at my age is just not something I’m willing to tolerate so I reduced my dosage which was so low to begin with some found it incredible I realized any benefit. I purchased a product I used awhile ago (P50 1970), spot treat with Mupiricin and cleanse with Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser. The old spots are healing up nicely and no new spots have appeared for 5 days. I’m thinking about reinstating my higher dose to see if the break out happens again or if my new product will keep the breakouts at bay. If I break out again I’ll reduce and maybe stop but it’s worth a try because I felt so good.

    Wondering has anyone found a way to take the Wellbutrin and successfully treat the acne?

  62. I have always had perfect skin, maybe got a pimple once a year at best but since being on Wellbutrin my Skin has become a mess around my forehead and my mouth, at first I thought it was hormones as I am only 21 but after reading all these comments I have realized that this could be a side effect to the medication. I have only been using it for about a month as I was on ciprelex prior to that, I have also always been a social butterfly but lately I find it hard to even walk in that mall

  63. I’ve always suffered with some acne since my teens as well as depression. When I found Wellbutrin, I was so happy! It’s effective and not at all like the SSRIs I was continuously trying. Well, I’m gonna have to miss it because I hate what it’s doing to my face! Cystic acne and more hair all along my jawline/cheek area. I did some research…it can be know to cause hirsutism in females. Why? Because it increases the reuptake of androgens (ie testosterone and stress hormones

  64. Ive had some acne issues since I was a teen as well as depression. I’ve been through the wringer with SSRIs and I never liked them. When I found wellbutrin (WB), I was so happy! Well, Im going to have to miss it because Im willing to do just about anything to get rid of this painful, embarrassing cystic acne. My SO mentioned that ever since I started birth control, my acne flared up. I knew it was the WB but I quit the birth control. It helped a little but not really. I think my face was clear for like…a day. Another thing I researched about WB is that hirsutism can be a side effect. That’s male pattern hair growth on females and I’ve got much more fuzz/hair along my jawline and cheeks. Right where a beard would grow. That is also where my acne plagues me the most.
    WB increases testosterone and other androgens (ever feel the rage or extra libido?). I think that wherever your hormones are when you start taking it might give you an idea of how this drug will effect you. Mine are all out of whack as it is! Plus stress…
    Anyways, I am off my meds now for about 4-5 days, cold turkey. My insurance dropped and its a pain in the ass to get it back right away so I just said to hell with paying out of pocket for this. No real results just yet, however I’m also recovering what a post-threading breakout (never again!!)

  65. I been on this for only 5 days and i notice my skin and acne appearing i even see a cyst tryna pop out lucky i found this forum. Im only taking it to stop smoking so not worth it ill try anothee method. I been tryna clear my skin for years its not bad but i also have eczema and stopped eating wheat and dairy it cleared my eczema and my acne was clearing up until i started this pill. Im stoppinh it today

  66. I know the last comment was 2 years ago but I wanted to share my experience as well. Been taking Bupropion for 3 weeks now and my skin looks like it did in puberty! It’s definitely because it effects the androgens and messes with testosterone levels. My hormones are fucked since i stopped taking Birth Control a year ago and Bupropion made all of my symptoms worse. Sadls its the only anti depressant that worked for me, but I have to drop it before I face worse consequences

  67. This works well for depression…. also increased my libido, and made me have a short temper. I’m a woman who in my 30’s is breaking out like a teenager and raging like a steroid user at a gym. I’d rather be depressed then pimply and raging. Coming off this stuff ASAP.

  68. Have been on wellbutrin for 2 months now, and have noticed sever cystic acne in one spot on my chin, and tons of acne on my neck, shoulders, and back. I’ve gone thru accutane and been acne free for the past 3 years.

    1. ARE YOU USING ACCUTANE ALONG WITH THE WELLBUTRIN?I am having sane issue with Constant breakouts below the chin. They are deep painful pimples that seem to have nothing inside them at all. Please let me know what you find out!

  69. Like all of you, I have developed the WORST cystic acne on my chin and along my jawline. Like it’s so painful that laying on a PILLOW hurts. This stuff is pure hell and I’m stopping it tomorrow. Would NOT recommend to anyone!!!

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