Provigil vs. Wellbutrin

Reviewed on 4/19/2021

Are Provigil and Wellbutrin the Same Thing?

Provigil (modafinil) and Wellbutrin (bupropion) are used to treat seasonal affective disorder.

Provigil is primarily prescribed to increase wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness related to narcolepsy, shiftwork sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome.

Wellbutrin is also used for the management of major depression and seasonal affective disorder.

Provigil and Wellbutrin belong to different drug classes. Provigil is a stimulant and Wellbutrin is an antidepressant.

Side effects of Provigil and Wellbutrin that are similar include headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, agitation, dry mouth, and trouble sleeping (insomnia).

Side effects of Provigil that are different from Wellbutrin include upper respiratory tract infection, nervousness, and anxiety.

Side effects of Wellbutrin that are different from Provigil include vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, ringing in the ears, vision problems or blurred vision, loss of interest in sex, sore throat, muscle pain, itching or skin rash, increased sweating, increased urination, tremor, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain, joint aches, strange taste in mouth, and seizures (especially at higher doses).

Both Provigil and Wellbutrin may interact with theophylline, hormonal contraceptives, medications used to prevent blood clots, and seizure medications.

Provigil may also interact with cyclosporine, diazepam, propranolol, imipramine, desipramine, rifampin, ketoconazole, and itraconazole.

Wellbutrin may also interact with heart or blood pressure medications, HIV or AIDS medications, other antidepressants, medicines to treat a psychiatric disorder, antibiotics, antihistamines that make you sleepy, asthma medications or bronchodilators, bladder or urinary medications, diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medications, insulin or oral diabetes medication, medicines for nausea/vomiting/motion sickness, medications to treat or prevent malaria, medicines to treat Parkinson's disease, medication for restless leg syndrome, medication for pituitary gland tumor, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, narcotics, numbing medicines, steroids, street drugs such as "speed" or cocaine, and ulcer or irritable bowel medications.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Provigil?

Common side effects of Provigil include:

  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • upper respiratory tract infection,
  • nausea,
  • diarrhea,
  • nervousness,
  • anxiety,
  • agitation,
  • dry mouth, and
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia).

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Provigil including:

  • fever,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • hallucinations,
  • depression,
  • chest pain,
  • fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, or
  • mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression, hallucinations, rare thoughts of suicide).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Wellbutrin?

Common side effects of Wellbutrin include:

  • agitation,
  • dry mouth,
  • insomnia,
  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • stomach pain,
  • dizziness,
  • ringing in the ears,
  • vision problems or blurred vision,
  • loss of interest in sex,
  • sore throat,
  • muscle pain,
  • itching or skin rash,
  • increased sweating,
  • increased urination,
  • tremor,
  • changes in appetite,
  • weight loss or gain,
  • joint aches,
  • strange taste in the mouth,
  • diarrhea, and
  • seizures (especially at higher doses).

QUESTION

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What Is Provigil?

Provigil (modafinil) is a stimulant prescribed to increase wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness related to narcolepsy, shiftwork sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome.

What Is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with a certain type of depression called major depressive disorder.

What Drugs Interact With Provigil?

Provigil drug interactions include cyclosporine (Sandimmune), theophylline (Theo-24), hormonal contraceptives (for example, Micronor), warfarin (Coumadin), diazepam (Valium), propranolol (Inderal), imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramin), phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), rifampin (Rifadin), Ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox). Provigil has not been adequately studied in pregnant women and it is unknown if it is excreted in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What Drugs Interact With Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin may interact with insulin, blood thinners, and asthma medications. Wellbutrin may also interact with many medications including heart or blood pressure medications, HIV or AIDS medications, seizure medications, other antidepressants, medicines to treat a psychiatric disorder, antibiotics, antihistamines that make you sleepy, bronchodilators, birth control pills or hormone replacement estrogens, bladder or urinary medications, diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medications, oral diabetes medication, medicines for nausea/vomiting/motion sickness, medications to treat or prevent malaria, medicines to treat Parkinson's disease, medication for restless leg syndrome, medication for pituitary gland tumor, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, narcotics, numbing medicines, steroids, theophylline, or ulcer or irritable bowel medications.

How Should Provigil be Taken?

Provigil dosage is 200 or 400 mg daily.

How Should Wellbutrin be Taken?

  • Take Wellbutrin exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Wellbutrin without talking with your healthcare provider first.
  • Swallow Wellbutrin tablets whole. Do not chew, cut, or crush Wellbutrin tablets.
  • Take Wellbutrin at the same time each day.
  • Take your doses of Wellbutrin at least 6 hours apart.
  • You may take Wellbutrin with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose, do not take an extra dose to make up for the dose you missed. Wait and take your next dose at the regular time. This is very important. Too much Wellbutrin can increase your chance of having a seizure.
  • If you take too much Wellbutrin, or overdose, call your local emergency room or poison control center right away.
  • Do not take any other medicines while taking Wellbutrin unless your healthcare provider has told you it is okay.
  • If you are taking Wellbutrin for the treatment of major depressive disorder, it may take several weeks for you to feel that Wellbutrin is working. Once you feel better, it is important to keep taking Wellbutrin exactly as directed by your healthcare provider. Call your healthcare provider if you do not feel Wellbutrin is working for you.

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References
FDA. Provigil Product Information.

https://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/drugsafety/ucm231722.pdf

Bausch Health. Wellbutrin Product Information.

https://www.wellbutrinxl.com

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