Wednesday March 4th 2015

Mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol

Mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol

Are you considering mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol? Know what can happen.

Here, we review the real risks and dangers of mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol here. Learn what happens in your body when you mix Wellbutrin with alcohol and know what can go wrong.  Although Wellbutrin high is uncommon and it’s not likely that Wellbutrin show up on a urine test, taking Wellbutrin can provoke side effects.  We invite you to ask questions about mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol in the comments section at the end.

Wellbutrin and alcohol effects

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant medication which is taken each day to help combat the symptoms of a mood disorder. In most cases, people don’t mix bupropion with alcohol in order to try to achieve any kind of high, but simply because they don’t want to have to abstain completely from alcohol while being treated for depression. Some effects from mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol which we have found in self-stated reports by users on the internet include:

  • blacking out
  • confusion
  • lowered alcohol tolerance
  • nausea and vomiting
  • seizures

Dangers of mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol

Wellbutrin has a high risk of seizures when it’s not taken as directed. Wellbutrin also chemically reacts with alcohol, having an additive effect in the body and brain when combined. So when alcohol is taken with Wellbutrin, dangerous side effects can occur. This is mainly because mixing alcohol and Wellbutrin can intensify the effects of both alcohol and Wellbutrin. Some potentially dangerous effects of mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • impaired motor control
  • impaired judgment and thinking
  • memory problems
  • paranoia or other unusual thoughts
  • suicidal thoughts or feelings
  • overdose

This additive effect goes both ways – Wellbutrin can enhance the effects of the alcohol itself. In other words, taking bupropion while drinking can lower your alcohol tolerance and cause you to become severely intoxicated with comparatively small amounts of alcohol. Alcohol is a sedative, meaning it makes you sleepy, drowsy, and lightheaded. It makes sense, then, that drinking while taking Wellbutrin can cause trouble concentrating and difficulty with coordination, putting you at risk of accidents. Plus, you are at risk of falls or serious injuries when mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol. And because mixing the two can cause alcohol poisoning or overdose, it might even be deadly.

Wellbutrin and alcohol overdose

Doctors recommend never mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol for very good reason. First, the risk of overdose on Wellbutrin does increase when used with alcohol. These drugs enhance one another to cause much more serious side effects than normally experienced separately. Second, even if you don’t OD on Wellbutrin, you’re at a high risk of experiencing seizures when you mix Wellbutrin and alcohol.

Wellbutrin and alcohol deaths

Alcohol is one of the most prevalent drugs used in combination with Wellbutrin that can cause death. Because of the way Wellbutrin lowers your tolerance to alcohol in unpredictable ways, it’s not safe to mix the two. NOT DRINKING ALCOHOL is the only way to stay safe while taking Wellbutrin.

Is it safe to drink on Wellbutrin?

Not really. Mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol just enhances the dangerous effects of both drugs. Paradoxically, if you drink regularly and then stop abruptly when you begin Wellbutrin, this can also cause side effects. So always ask your prescribing doctor for more information on taking Wellbutrin safely.

Mixing Wellbutrin alcohol questions

Do you still have questions about mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol or other substances?  Or maybe you are interested in snorting Wellbutrin effects.  Please leave your Wellbutrin questions here. We try our best to answer all questions personally, and promptly. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who can help. Your experiences with mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol are also welcome.

Reference Sources: NIAAA pamphlet: Harmful Interactions, Mixing Alcohol with Medicines
PubMed: Bupropion and alcohol fatal intoxication: case report
MedlinePlus: Bupropion

Leave a Reply

30 Responses to “Mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol
8:06 am April 12th, 2012

i take Alcohol twice a week.
should i go in for Wellbutrin or not ?
i can ignore Wellbutrin the day,I want to drink pls recommend

8:53 am April 12th, 2012

Hello sandeep. Thanks for your question. On the medication guide for Wellbutrin, the manufacturer has warned:

Do not drink a lot of alcohol while taking WELLBUTRIN. If you usually drink a lot of alcohol, talk with your doctor before suddenly stopping. If you suddenly stop drinking alcohol, you may increase your risk of having seizures.

Although you may be able to drink small amounts of alcohol only occasionally while taking Wellbutrin, check with your doctor before considering this medication for long term use, if you know that you will be drinking while taking it.

2:02 am March 22nd, 2013

I started Wellbutrin 1 week ago and I have decided not to take it anymore. Because it’s only been a week,is it safe for me to just stop?

6:51 am March 24th, 2013

Hello Patty. This is a great question, but one that a qualified medical professional needs to answer. Please seek counsel from your prescribing doctor or a pharmacist.

7:03 pm April 28th, 2013

Hi, I have been taking Bupropion XL since December and I haven’t drank since before getting on the medication. I have an event this coming weekend that I will most likely be drinking at. I was wondering what the chances of a seizure are if I was to drink? And if I just simply don’t take my pill the day of the event, would that lessen the possible side effects?

3:04 am May 8th, 2013

I am currently taking Wellbutrin and have found no negative side effects while intoxicated or afterwards. I drink only occasionally, usually out at bars, taking shots of liquor. I have always had a low tolerance to alcohol, and I have not noticed a lowering of my tolerance. Blackouts can happen, along with loss of motor control, just like any time when you are drinking heavily. I have never had concern of a seizure, and I rarely get bad hangovers while on Wellbutrin.

5:59 am June 13th, 2013

I’m not much of a drinker. I’ve always had a very low tolerance, and I didn’t really notice any sort of relationship between wellbutrin and alcohol. I’ve been taking the antidepressant for about eight months now and am finally starting to notice an effect. It used to take me three drinks to feel drunk, now I only have to drink one.

hangovers are definitely harder to get rid of, but never severe.

Sandra Gagnon
5:59 pm August 16th, 2013

Hi i have been on Wellbutrin for the last 7 months now and i am doing much better. I am on Wellbutrin to help me with a cronique mentrual syndrome.
I take alchool regularly and i always have.
I have never had any problems taking the two together . The only thing that bothers me is when i take a lot of alchool during a week-end and then get back to my weekly routine of not taking any alchool , Then for the first few nights after when i go to bed at night i am very tierd and want to fall asleep right away but then as soon as i fall asleep i go right into weird and lucid dreams . Almost like hallucinations. i Then wake up and fall right back to sleep and it starts all over again. this can go on for the whole night . The next day it gets a little better and by the third night i can manage a pretty good night of sleep. I would like to know if this is possible? that if it is the mixture of the alchool and wellbutrin that can cause this.
I also read that it is not a good idea to stop drinking while on wellbutrin? I am going on a diet and want to help myself by not drinking for a few months . «Is this possible ?
Thank you for your attention
Sandra Gagnon

5:12 am August 19th, 2013

Hello Sandra. These are all great questions but should really be addressed to your prescribing physician or a pharmacist. These experts have more experience in side effects of Wellbutrin taken when drinking and can point you in the right direction. Good luck!

Don't Drink
5:28 pm December 27th, 2013

I was just googling drinking and wellbutrin and came across your site. I feel I must share my horrific story. I’ve been on Wellbutrin for about 2 1/2 months. I have a few drinks a couple times a month and have had no ill effects of being on Wellbutrin. However, on Christmas Eve, just a few days ago I drank a lot more than normal, was having a great time, noticed I was a lot drunker than I should of been. My family hosted Christmas and after everyone left a simple conversation with my husband turned into complete hysteria for no reason. He’s a police officer and after he went to bed I went into his safe and took out his gun and contemplated my life. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING I’VE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT. I’m not a suicidal person, the thought never crossed my mind. After sitting in fetal position on the floor for an hour I put his gun back and went and told him I was suicidal and put his gun in my mouth as our family might be better off without me. I can’t stress enough that this is just not me. It was like an out of body experience. I’m so freaked out as is he on my safety and the safety of our children. I didn’t realize how dangerous it can be to drink. In addition I completely blacked out putting gifts under tree from Santa, etc. I wasn’t even that depressed when I went on them, I heard good things that Wellbutrin was a good pick me up and you can loose weight with it. I threw out my pills, so done with that. Going to go a holistic route with diet and meditation. Just be aware. I think I seriously damaged my marriage with this. I keep telling him it was the wellbutrin booze combo, but not sure he believes me. What a nightmare. Please heed my warning and be careful combining the two. We’ve been together for 15 years and this type of hysteria has never happened, ever.

5:57 pm December 31st, 2013

@ Don’t Drink

Wow. Thanks for your comment.

Blackout drunk does happen with welbutrin; I’ve had it happen a few times. All I can say is that it’s really good that you’re safe. I can’t believe what you went through. You’re very lucky that you are still here today. I have heard of suicidal thoughts being a side-effect of antidepressants but never considered how that could be if compounded with alcohol.

I’m very happy that you’re safe, and I’m very happy that you decided to share your experience here. I understand how you say you weren’t that bad before deciding to take welbutrin. I was the same. I was depressed but in no way suicidal; so it doesn’t mean that just because you took antidepressants, were you dangerously depressed. People take them for various reasons.

In regards to the holistic route, one of the best ways to address depression is physical activity. Exercising by going to the gym or playing sports a few times a week plus being relatively active on your off days is by far the best way to naturally beat depression – better than antidepressants.

Well, good to hear that you are safe, and I’m sorry to hear about the effects on your marriage. Good luck figuring that out. Maybe your husband will realize that he should be happy that you are still with us. If your relationship is strong you guys will overcome this.

Take care

Terry Hart
2:15 am January 2nd, 2014

When you say to not mix Wellbutrin with alcohol does it mean taking them at the same time, or that you should not consume alcohol at all while on the drug, regardless of the time that you take it?
I have noticed that I have, what as best be described as head shudders, and was wondering if this could be a result of having an occasional glass of wine. I am on a very low dosage of welbutrin.


8:48 pm January 2nd, 2014

Hi Terry. It’s best to avoid alcohol totally when on Wellbutrin, but you can consult your prescribing doctor or pharmacist to learn more about dosing timing if alcohol cannot be avoided. Also, record the symptoms you’ve experienced, date, time, frequency, duration, severity, etc. and report these symptoms to your doctor and/or pharmacist for feedback.

7:42 pm January 26th, 2014

I have been taking Wellbutrin for a year now.Last week i forgot to take my 300mg pill in the morning so i took at supper.Then i started drinking vodka.That night I cheated on my wife and had no i idea the next day at all.i would never cheat on anybody.It was like everything as normal and then i must of blacked out got caught red headed,,,,I said i was going to go jump in the freezing cold lake to kill my self and i am so not suicidal at all i love life and can’t wait to wake up in the morning.So my wife put me to bed and I have no memory of it happening and i didn’t even drink a lot just a pint or maybe less.Now my wife and i are splitting up because of the vivid seen she saw that night.Now i feel so bad I have never even cheated before and my wit is my best friend.Now i am losing here forever….So be very carful when drinking on this pill…I personally will not ever drink while I’m taking this pill…

Sorry Angela
I Love you

8:55 pm April 5th, 2014

Hello, having awful side effect from taking this medicine and wondering is it because of drinking alcohol (while socializing, not abusing it) or maybe smoking weed? Please if any expert or someone who had expeciened also smoking weed while being on this medicine can provide me an answer, I’d be more than appriciated.

Thank you very much

11:59 pm April 23rd, 2014

I took this medication for quitting smoking and noticed some adverse reactions with alcohol. I would not recommend drinking while on it. It makes you more sensitive to alcohol. There are warnings for a reason.

6:41 am June 13th, 2014

I take 75mg of bupropion hcl 3 times a day and I also drink at least 2 to 6 beers a day and smoke weed 4 days a week and I have never ever got any negative side effects from mixing all three. I’m not saying that I condone this behavior, just saying that it doesn’t seem to effect me any different.

e mueller
1:41 am June 22nd, 2014

can ibuprofen be mixed with Paxil?

1:55 pm June 23rd, 2014

Friday at about 6pm I took one of my wellbutrin pills, and half an hour later I took two more, then a couple of hours later I took two and twenty minutes later I took another totaling six. At 2 am the next morning, I threw up three times and couldn’t sleep. At 4pm the following same day I drank 2 glasses of sangrea and a half an hour later I projectile vomited. Since that friday, I’ve had this constant queasy feeling, headaches, sensitivity to light, constant confusion, and some memory loss. I called poison control and they highly recommended I go see a doctor, but my insurance doesn’t start til next week. What I’m feeling is definitely not normal. Also this was the first time I’ve taken my medication in about 2 months.

9:23 pm June 23rd, 2014

Hi, I take 100 mg of Wellbutrin once a day
I started doing this on June 23 but before that I was on it twice a day; one in the morning, one at night. I didn’t take it for like two weeks ‘cuz I couldn’t sleep ‘cuz of it so that’s when my doctor changed it to once a day-100 mg. I started taking the new one on the 23 of June and I’m going to a party on Saturday and I really do want to drink what do I do?

1:11 pm June 25th, 2014

Erica, mixing alcohol and anti-depressants is a very bad idea. The side effects and dangers listed in the text above are real and can lead to serious consequences.

3:47 am July 5th, 2014

I told my doctor that I drank too much and she still prescribed Wellbutrin…have been on it a year and it’s def better than Citalopram if you drink that would make me black out bad…still once in awhile if I drink too much taking Wellbutrin it makes me crazy.. I can relate with “don’t drink” ‘s comment def scary..

9:33 am July 18th, 2014

Mixing alcohol (in reasonable amounts) and wellbutrin could cause permanent brain damage? (eg. permanent memory damage, etc). I take one pill of wellbutrin XL 150mg at 10am every day. Should I skip one morning so I can drink 12 hours later? Thank you

12:50 am August 22nd, 2014

If i take welliburtin I am more inclined to want a drink or two. If I dont take it I have more control to say no to having a drink. Doess bellbutrin make you want to drink.

3:57 am August 26th, 2014

I have been taking this medication for over a year. I have quit drinking because my tolerance has been drastically lowered since taking Wellbutrin. I would have three beers, feel completely out of control and drunk, then I would black out. I began to black out every time I drank, no matter the quantity. It was scary and not worth the risk to continue drinking.
That being said, I recently changed my dose from 150 mg to 300 mg. The change has dramatically increased my energy, I know longer feel the need to take a nap everyday, I get up for work with no problem, I’m less irritated, and overall so much happier.

10:38 pm September 3rd, 2014

I take 100mg. everyday and lately I notice that if I drink a few beers that over the next couple I start to really lose it. I start having thoughts and start imaging things that are not real just today it hit me again. On Monday I had a few beers in the afternoon and a couple more in the evening and on Wednesday I was convinced that my wife was having a affair. So if anyone wants my opinion don’t mix anything with these pills.

4:45 pm January 11th, 2015

I have been on Wellbutrin XL 150mg for over four years (I did go off at one point but lasted three months). My interest in bupropion is that it elevates dopamine (apparently low dopamine runs in my family – addiction is present). My pharmacy just recently added a large red label on my prescription bottle to not drink alcohol while on medication. Understandably anyone who suffers from clinical depression should refrain from drinking alcohol for obvious reasons however a glass of wine or two is something I have always enjoyed and was’t quite willing to give up. Long story short, i have noticed that my ‘self-medicating’ has increased from one to two glasses of wine, and from 2-3 days per week to 4-6 days in the last two years. I don’t want to drink (it messes with my sleep) but I enjoy a drink – notice the torment here – I have no willpower. Robbie’s question below struck a nerve – does wellbutrin increase the craving for alcohol? I am wondering the same thing. Wish someone could answer that. For all those who don’t see/feel side effects of combining alcohol with this drug – looking back on four years, my tolerance to alcohol continues to diminish, I have had memory problems, I have acted out of character and lashed out or picked fights while drinking, and I have blacked out more than once. These effects are only getting worse and I finally realized that it’s likely from mixing the two. Thankfully I have not done anything that has gotten me in big trouble however, my point is – if it’s not happening to you yet, it creeps up slowly and it will. BE CAREFUL. You’re on this drug for a reason!

6:29 pm January 11th, 2015

In addition to my last message – I found this in my research: Some dopamine agonists have been shown to increase impulsive and addictive behaviors (Kolla BP, Mansukhani MP, Barraza R, Bostwick JM. (2010). Impact of dopamine agonists on compulsive behaviors: a case series of pramipexole-induced pathological gambling. Psychosomatics. 51(3):271-3.). This was quoted in an article discussing Alcohol and Dopamine from this very site. Wellbutrin is a dopamine agonist. So YES for those of us that want to control our drinking, wellbutrin may work against us. Clearly refraining from alcohol while on the drug is key.

12:36 am January 29th, 2015

Will taking Wellbutrin with alcohol cause a false positive on a breathalyzer? Any information will be helpful. Thank you.

3:43 am February 26th, 2015

Thanks for explaining! Every time I drink (I have been taking Wellbutrin for a long time) I get violently ill, and hang overs are intolerable, and last at least two days. The last time I had a night out, and consumed 5 oz of alcohol, the hangover was hospital worthy. Needless to say, I no longer enjoy social drinking. Remaining on the Wellbutrin is of more value to me than the occasional party. Thanks for confirming that my alcohol intolerance is the by product of a drug interaction.

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