Bupropion (Wellbutrin) & Dreams

Posted to the Blog by Jordyn on October 9, 2018 under Case Studies

Tallier Reed (a pseudonym) had been taking the anti-depressant bupropion (generic Wellbutrin) for many years to manage his depression. While the treatment was largely successful, it was not without side effects.

One of those side effects, Reed suspected, was that the higher the dose of buproprion, the fewer dreams he remembered upon waking in the morning.

Setting up the Tallies

Reed first created a Bupropion tally, which he set up to prompt him for a numeric value (milligrams) with each new count.

Bupropion tally

He also set up a basic tally which he added to whenever he remembered a dream.

Remembered Dream tally

Halfway through his tracking period, Reed lowered his dose of bupropion from 300mg to 150mg.

Bupropion chart showing lowered dose


Reed tracked bupropion and dreams for the better part of a year. Since TallyLab allows you to add notes to any count, Reed also used the voice-to-text feature on his phone to record the content of each of his dreams – in effect keeping a dream journal. That way, he could later analyze not just how often he remembered his dreams, but also how much detail he remembered each time (via the word count of the note).

Correlator for full year

For the first half of the tracking period, when he was taking a 300mg dose of bupropion, he averaged 2.3 dreams a week with 55.74 words recounted per dream:

Correlator for first half

For the second half of the tracking period, when Reed was taking a 150mg dose of bupropion, he averaged 1.7 dreams a week with 38.74 words recounted per dream:

Correlator for second half

Given that halving his dose of bupropion reduced Reed's number of remembered dreams by about 25% and his remembered dream word count by about 30%, it's quite possible that the opposite of Reed's hypothesis is true: More bupropion seems to correlate with more dreams rather than fewer.

Bonus Intel

By default, TallyLab shows a word cloud on the Stats view of any tally that has more than a couple of notes. Reed was therefore able to get a thematic overview of his dreamlife:

Dream Journal Word Cloud

We can't draw any conclusions here, but we are intrigued by the idea of a "weird party mall".