If you’re looking at treatment options for depression, you may want to learn more about Wellbutrin (bupropion).

It’s a prescription drug that comes in two forms:* a sustained-release (SR) tablet and an extended-release (XL) tablet, both of which you swallow. Both forms are long-acting and release the drug slowly into your system over time.

Both forms of Wellbutrin are used to treat major depressive disorder in adults. Only Wellbutrin XL is used in adults to help prevent seasonal affective disorder.

Keep reading for details on Wellbutrin and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.

Note: For more details on Wellbutrin, see this in-depth article.

* The term “Wellbutrin” is used throughout this article to describe both forms.

The price you pay for Wellbutrin can vary. It may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage (if you have it), and the pharmacy you use. To find out how much you’ll pay for Wellbutrin, talk with your pharmacist or insurance provider.

Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover Wellbutrin. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss the drug in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether it’s covered. If Wellbutrin requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug.

Be sure to ask your insurance company whether Wellbutrin requires prior authorization.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Wellbutrin and cost.

What does Wellbutrin cost per month without insurance?

The cost of Wellbutrin per month without insurance depends on several factors. If you have no insurance, you’ll pay the out-of-pocket cost for Wellbutrin. This means you’ll pay the cash price of the drug and any pharmacy fees.

The cost per month of Wellbutrin without insurance depends on:

  • the dose you’re taking, such as 150 milligrams (mg) or 300 mg
  • the quantity you’re prescribed, such as a 30-day or 90-day supply
  • the form of Wellbutrin you’re taking (sustained release or extended release)
  • your pharmacy’s fees

For more information about your Wellbutrin cost per month without insurance, talk with your pharmacist. To find out your cost per month with insurance, speak with your insurance provider. For information on how to save on the cost of this drug, see the “Can I get help paying for Wellbutrin” section below.

How does the cost of Wellbutrin XL compare with that of Wellbutrin SR?

The cost of Wellbutrin depends on the form you’re prescribed. To learn the price difference between Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR, talk with your pharmacist. If you have prescription insurance, your insurance provider can tell you which forms of Wellbutrin your plan covers.

If you’d like to take a different form of Wellbutrin due to cost, talk with your doctor. Both forms contain the same active ingredient* bupropion. But note that only Wellbutrin XL is used to help treat seasonal affective disorder. If you’re taking Wellbutrin to treat depression, your doctor can recommend the form that’s best for you.

* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

Does the price of Wellbutrin XL vary depending on which dose I’m prescribed (150 mg or 300 mg)?

Wellbutrin comes in several strengths. The XL (extended-release) form comes in 150-milligram (mg) and 300-mg tablets. The SR (sustained-release) form comes in 100-mg, 150-mg, and 200-mg tablets.

The price of both forms varies depending on the strength and quantity of tablets your doctor prescribes.

To learn the price you’d pay for Wellbutrin, talk with your pharmacist or insurance provider. They can calculate your cost based on your prescribed dose and the number of tablets you need.

Wellbutrin XL and Wellbutrin SR are both available in a generic form known as bupropion. A generic drug contains an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered just as safe and effective as the original, brand-name drug but generally costs less.

To find out how the costs of Wellbutrin and bupropion compare, talk with your pharmacist or insurance provider.

If you’ve been prescribed Wellbutrin and you’re interested in taking bupropion instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer that you take one version instead of the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider as your plan may only cover one drug or the other.

Why is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?

Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive. The maker of a brand-name drug can sell the drug for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.

Yes. The manufacturer of Wellbutrin XL offers a copay savings card to help those who are eligible with their medication costs. If you qualify, this program can save you money based on your copay cost. Your health insurance will pay part of the cost and the drugmaker will pay some or all of the copay your insurance charges.

The drugmaker also offers a program called PhilRx that can help you get free delivery of brand-name Wellbutrin XL. (See the website linked above for more information.)

You can also check out the following resources for more information on covering the cost of Wellbutrin or understanding your insurance:

On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.

If you have other questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take Wellbutrin long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:

Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of Wellbutrin if your insurance company approves it. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of the drug. If you’re interested in a 90-day supply of Wellbutrin, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for Wellbutrin. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. The drugmaker also offers a program called PhilRx that can help you get free delivery of brand-name Wellbutrin XL. If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.

If you still have questions about the cost of Wellbutrin, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for Wellbutrin.

Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:

  • How do the costs of other antidepressants compare with Wellbutrin?
  • If I need a higher dose of Wellbutrin XL, how will this affect my monthly drug costs?
  • What is the breakdown of fees included in the out-of-pocket price of Wellbutrin XL?

To learn more about Wellbutrin, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.