Substance Use

Wellbutrin and Alcohol: Understanding The Risks

wellbutrin and alcohol

The Risks of Combining Wellbutrin and Alcohol

Wellbutrin can induce a feeling of well-being in individuals suffering from conditions like depression, but mixing it with alcohol can contribute to a range of negative and potentially dangerous side effects. Due to their combined effects on the central nervous system, when you mix alcohol and Wellbutrin, you don’t even have to drink much alcohol to be at risk of overdose.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental health condition like depression, they may be prescribed a medication like Wellbutrin. While FDA-approved to treat a variety of disorders, Wellbutrin can become dangerous when mixed with alcohol.

Here’s what you need to know about Wellbutrin and the side effects of taking bupropion and alcohol together.

If you or someone you love is taking serious risks with Wellbutrin, Zinnia Healing can help. We offer treatment for alcohol abuse to help individuals overcome addiction and get on the path to living a long, fulfilling life. Ready to learn more? Call our drug abuse hotline at (855) 430-9439 and get answers to your questions.

What Is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is the brand name of the generic drug bupropion, which is used to treat conditions like major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and other forms of depression.

Wellbutrin can also be used to help people quit smoking, as it reduces nicotine cravings and common withdrawal symptoms.

Bupropion is known as an atypical antidepressant, which means it works differently from most antidepressants. While typical antidepressants act as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), bupropion works by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Chemicals like dopamine are responsible for regulating mood and behavior. By increasing dopamine levels, Wellbutrin is able to alleviate various symptoms of depression and create an overall mood-lifting effect.

Common Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Although it is FDA-approved, medications like Wellbutrin shouldn’t be taken without medical advice and regular checkups. Your healthcare provider should monitor your mental health and take note of changes in your condition so that they can adjust your Wellbutrin dose accordingly.

However, even in someone who is responding well to Wellbutrin, there are likely going to be some side effects. These side effects will likely go away after you have been on the medication for a while. They might include:

  • Stomach upset, including nausea and vomiting
  • Moderate to severe headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight loss or, in some cases, weight gain
  • Uncontrollable shaking

Worsening depression while taking Wellbutrin may mean that you need to switch medications. However, your drinking habits could have a lot to do with it.

Can You Mix Wellbutrin and Alcohol?

Antidepressants like Wellbutrin depress the central nervous system. This is how the medication is able to regulate mood, but it also means that it can slow your breathing and heart rate. If you combine a depressant like Wellbutrin with a depressant like alcohol, the effects can be life-threatening.

Some of the serious side effects you could suffer from when combining Wellbutrin with alcohol include an increased risk of seizures along with feelings of confusion and impaired judgment.

Alcohol can also interfere with how well Wellbutrin is able to regulate your depression, which means mixing the two could lead to harmful side effects, like thoughts of suicide.

In general, alcohol is also known to worsen the symptoms of anxiety and depression, so it’s best to limit your intake or stop drinking altogether if you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition like depression.

Are you worried about alcohol addiction? Zinnia Healing can help. Our team of addiction specialists can answer your questions on substance abuse and alcohol use. If you’re ready to take the next step, call our helpline at (855) 430-9439 for more information.

What Are the Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Wellbutrin?

Because both alcohol and Wellbutrin act as central nervous system depressants, some people intentionally start drinking alcohol after taking antidepressant medications like Wellbutrin.

The idea is that taking both together will amplify the effects of the alcohol, but dangerous drug interactions can occur.

The side effects of Wellbutrin and alcohol together can include:

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Being fatigued or drowsy
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • More intense alcohol side effects
  • Higher risk of seizures
  • Higher risk of Wellbutrin side effects

Due to their combined effects on the central nervous system, when you mix alcohol and Wellbutrin, you don’t even have to drink a lot of alcohol to be at risk of overdose.

This means that drinking the same amount of alcohol that you typically drink could be toxic when you drink it with bupropion.

Signs of Alcohol Misuse

Regular alcohol intake can negatively impact your health, and those negative effects may be amplified when you are mixing alcohol with a medication like Wellbutrin.

Some of the risks of consuming alcohol in large quantities include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Liver disease
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety

Mixing medications and alcohol is a type of drug abuse and one characteristic of alcohol use disorder, better known as alcohol addiction.

Alcohol addiction comes in many forms, and it doesn’t always involve drinking every day.

People who consume eight or more drinks per week are considered heavy alcohol users, whereas people who consume more than five drinks in a single sitting are considered binge drinkers. Both instances can be a sign of addiction.

If you’re drinking in excess and mixing alcohol with bupropion or another medication that you aren’t supposed to drink with, it’s important to seek treatment.

Treatment for Alcohol Dependence

If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol addiction, there are programs that can help them recover safely. Quitting cold turkey can lead to alcohol withdrawal, which is why getting a trusted team on your side is so beneficial.

At Zinnia Healing, we’re committed to offering every individual personalized, confidential treatment in a supportive environment. Some of the things you can expect to find in our facility include:

  • A team of recovery specialists who are skilled at guiding individuals through the detox and recovery process
  • Inpatient and outpatient programs that are designed to conform to your unique needs and preferences
  • A focus on your overall health and well-being, including treatment for co-occurring disorders like depression
  • Extensive aftercare to support you even once you have completed your treatment program

Ready to take the next step? Zinnia Healing is standing by to help. Our team is available 24/7 to answer your questions. Just dial (855) 430-9439 to get started.

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