Stabilizing Medications: Risperidone and Wellbutrin

Risperidone, Wellbutrin, and a prenatal vitamin. © Cassandra Stout and The Bipolar Parent under a Creative Commons License.

I’ve covered lithium, Depakote, and Lamictal in the past, because that’s what I was taking. But I’ve since switched gears to Risperidone, an antipsychotic, and Wellbutrin, an antidepressant.

RisperiDAL (Risperidone)

Risperidone is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as irritability in people with autism. It is an antitypical psychotic which can be taken orally or injected into a muscle, and no one knows exactly how it works. Common side effects include weight gain, headache and dizziness, feeling hot or cold, and stomach pain. There are quite a few side effects, most of which I didn’t have to deal with, thankfully. Serious side effects include tardive dyskinesia, which is a slow-onset movement disorder involving the involuntary jerking around of the head or body as well as grimacing, rapid blinking, or lip smacking. The increased risk of suicide is also a concern. Risperidone costs between 100 US dollars and 200 per month.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant known as a norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). This means that it blocks the reabsorption of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, leading to more of them present in the cells, which contributes to more stable moods. The most concerning side effect is an increase in risk for epileptic seizures. Because it’s an NDRI, Wellbutrin does not contribute as much to sexual dysfunction or weight gain as much as other antidepressants. Wellbutrin also reduces cravings for cigarettes.

Taking these medications has helped me maintain a stable lifestyle. A more “normal” lifestyle. I took them while I was pregnant, and avoided serious depressive or manic episodes during my pregnancy.

Author: Cassandra Stout

Freelance writer Cassandra Stout blogs weekly at the award-winning Bipolar Parent, a comprehensive resource for parents with mental illnesses. She also blogs monthly at the International Bipolar Foundation website ( Her work has been published in the anthology, How the Light Gets In. Cassandra holds degrees from the University of Arizona in Creative Writing and Journalism. She has been a judge for the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association literary contest for nine years, where her memoir, Committed, recently placed as a finalist. She balances her literary work with raising her children, feeding her cat, and managing her bipolar disorder.

13 thoughts on “Stabilizing Medications: Risperidone and Wellbutrin”

  1. I’ve taken both these meds, but unfortunately they didn’t work for me; I know they help a lot of other people.

    Now I take lithium & tranylcypromine. (Say that 10 times fast – I dare you!) It’s an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) also known as Parnate. I’ll definitely read your lithium post & tweet it!

    Hope your Friday is going well, Cass! :)))

    1. Hi, Dyane,
      I’m so sorry Risperidone and Wellbutrin didn’t work out for you. They’re great when they work, but not so much otherwise. I hope your current medication regimen works well for you!

      Thanks so much for your tweets and support here at the Bipolar Parent! I really appreciate it. Have a great Friday!


      1. Hi Cass! I tried the link for the lithium and nothing came you mind double-checking it when you get a chance? PS you rock!!!

  2. I’ve taken Risperidone. I experienced significant weight gain and couldn’t lose it until I’d ceased. It also is a milk supply increaser (cant’t remember the term). Thanks for sharing x

    1. Oh, that’s unlucky. I haven’t experienced much weight gain on Risperidone, but I’m already overweight, so I don’t know if it has contributed to that. I don’t know what the term is either.

      Thanks for commenting! Have a great Friday.


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