Friday April 18th 2014

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

17 Responses to “Mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol
sandeep
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
sandeep

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.

Kevin S.
4:19 am March 12th, 2013

I don’t recommend taking welbutrin if you plan to drink alcohol. My tolerance is extremely low now, and I’ve been feeling an addiction towards alcohol developing. I’m 33 yrs old and have only experienced this feeling since taking welbutrin. It makes you feel extremely drunk; blackouts are common; it’s not an option or priority to stop drinking, once you’ve began for the day/night. And hangovers last a minimum of 3 days now.

This cannot be good. I’ve also read stories of others experiencing this and later not being able to be a non-alcoholic. It affects them for the rest of their life.

I will most likely stop taking welbutrin and stick to and SSRI cor the depression.

Patty
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.

Valerie
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?

Isabelle
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.

Kevin S.
3:38 pm May 14th, 2013

Hi Sandeep,

Unfortunately not taking welbutrin the day you decide to drink doesn’t really help, it’s still in your system. Because it takes a couple weeks before the welbutrin works properly, it also takes a few weeks before it’s not in your system.

My comment above explains my experience. There may be other reasons I’ve experienced what I have in regards to the addictive feeling towards alcohol, like it may be due to the depression I was experiencing, but I do blackout now from alcohol and get extremely drunk and don’t want to stop drinking once I’ve started. I become incoherent to things around me.

It is at your own risk to drink but what I’ve experienced seems to be quite common with welbutrin/bupropion. I personally wish I either didn’t start taking the medication or abstained from alcohol while on it. I’m now stopping the medication while simultaneously working on no longer drinking. It has really affected my life, for the worse.

Good luck on your decision, but honestly take this decision seriously. The drug company that makes it has serious warnings about it, for a reason.

Rosie
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.

Me
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.

Thanks
Terry

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.

danny
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

S.
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

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