October 24, 2023

Can You Mix Wellbutrin and Alcohol?

An image of a woman thinking about wellbutrin and alcohol.
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Combining Wellbutrin and alcohol increases the risk of adverse effects, including seizures. Drinking alcohol on Wellbutrin can also potentially diminish the effectiveness of the medication.

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Wellbutrin is commonly prescribed for the treatment of depression and smoking cessation. The active ingredient in Wellbutrin is bupropion, categorized as an aminoketone antidepressant. While the medication’s precise mechanism of action is not fully understood, it is believed to influence the reuptake of chemical messengers like dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Wellbutrin is available under various brand names, including Zyban, Aplenzin, and Forfivo XL. It is often recommended by healthcare professionals due to its generally well-tolerated nature and its association with few side effects. Read on to learn more about the following issues:

  • Can you drink alcohol on Wellbutrin?
  • What happens if I drink on Wellbutrin?
  • Is skipping a day of Wellbutrin to drink okay?
  • Can you drink on Wellbutrin on special occasions?
  • How to connect with treatment for bupropion and alcohol abuse.

Can I Drink Alcohol with Wellbutrin?

Combining alcohol and Wellbutrin is unsafe. Alcohol, a depressant of the CNS (central nervous system), disrupts brain communication pathways and increases the risk of injuries and adverse effects on its own. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) advises against using alcohol or illegal drugs while on Wellbutrin.

Drinking on Wellbutrin can reduce the effectiveness of the medication and amplify drug interactions, leading to more severe side effects. Even one or two drinks pose a risk when taking this medication. Researchers have linked Wellbutrin to a dose-dependent risk of seizures, particularly at doses exceeding 450mg per day.

To minimize these risks, abstain from alcohol while on Wellbutrin. If someone has stopped taking Wellbutrin, they should consult a doctor to determine when it is safe to consume alcohol.

Anyone who is struggling to control their alcohol consumption and is prescribed Wellbutrin should seek guidance from a medical professional to obtain advice tailored to individual needs.

An image of a man who is experiencing the adverse effects of mixing Wellbutrin with alcohol

Wellbutrin and Alcohol Side Effects

Mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol can have serious side effects. Wellbutrin side effects with alcohol may include:

  • Seizures: Combining Wellbutrin alcohol increases the risk of seizures. Alcohol withdrawal during Wellbutrin use can lead to life-threatening seizures, as can high doses of Wellbutrin on its own.
  • Depression worsening: The interaction between Wellbutrin and alcohol may worsen symptoms of depression and even lead to anxiety symptoms.
  • Lack of coordination: The combination of bupropion – the active ingredient in Wellbutrin – and alcohol affects the CNS and motor skills. This can result in impaired coordination and motor function.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness: Alcohol can intensify the dizziness and drowsiness side effects associated with Wellbutrin, rendering it dangerous to operate machinery or drive.
  • Hallucinations and paranoia: Some people may experience hallucinations and paranoia when combining Wellbutrin and alcohol.

Avoid alcohol when taking Wellbutrin to prevent these potentially harmful interactions and side effects. If you have concerns about alcohol use while on Wellbutrin, consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

FAQs

How long after taking Wellbutrin can you drink alcohol?

It is advisable to avoid alcohol while taking Wellbutrin due to the risk of seizures and potential interactions. 

What pain reliever can I take with alcohol?

It is recommended to avoid alcohol when taking pain relievers, as combining these substances can increase the risk of side effects and liver damage. Follow the dosing instructions on the pain reliever’s label and consult with a healthcare provider if you have concerns about alcohol interactions.

Why can I not mix alcohol with Wellbutrin?

Combining Wellbutrin and alcohol is discouraged because it can heighten the risk of seizures and other severe side effects, including Wellbutrin and alcohol death. Additionally, alcohol consumption may counteract the benefits of Wellbutrin, potentially making the treatment less effective. Consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice regarding alcohol use while taking Wellbutrin.

An image of the Gratitude lodge facility, where treatment is available for those who abuse alcohol and Wellbutrin

Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

We treat alcohol addiction and mental health conditions at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. Our treatment centers located in Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA, are welcoming and inclusive environments where you can withdraw from alcohol safely and engage with ongoing residential treatment.

For anyone who is alcohol-dependent on alcohol, our supervised medical detoxification program offers access to medications and continuous care to mitigate Wellbutrin and alcohol cravings and discomfort during withdrawal. After 7 to 10 days, you will be ready to move into our inpatient treatment program.

All alcohol addictions are unique, so we personalized treatment accordingly. Treatment modalities may include:

When you feel ready to live alcohol-free, call 888-861-1658 for immediate and ongoing assistance.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Russe MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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