Wellbutrin and Alcohol: Can You Drink on Wellbutrin?

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You might assume it’s OK to consume alcohol sometimes while also taking antidepressants or anxiety pills. However, it’s crucial to note that alcohol use might alter the effectiveness of certain drugs and increase the risk of adverse reactions. Can you drink on Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin and Alcohol

The widely prescribed antidepressant Wellbutrin is effective against severe depression and seasonal affective disorder. The manufacturer recommends that you avoid alcohol or significantly reduce your intake while using this medicine.

It might help you to understand why alcohol and Wellbutrin shouldn’t be combined. We’ll also discuss the usual applications of Wellbutrin, its prevalent adverse effects, and the recommended dosage and administration schedule.

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Can You Drink On Wellbutrin?

A combination of bupropion and alcohol can cause many harmful side effects, some of which could be life-threatening.

Alcohol naturally makes people feel sleepy and calm, especially when they drink a lot. When these effects are added to Wellbutrin, they worsen because both drugs can slow down the central nervous system (CNS).

This increased feeling of tiredness, dizziness, and sleepiness can be dangerous and even deadly in some situations, like driving, using large machinery, or doing physical exercise. This mix can also make it hard to do well at school or work.

Taking Wellbutrin with alcohol might alter your mental state or lower your tolerance for alcohol, making it take a lot less to get you drunk than usual. Seizures are also more likely to occur in those using Wellbutrin who have drank heavily and subsequently quit.

When can you drink on Wellbutrin?

It’s not safe to combine Wellbutrin with alcohol. Some of the neurological and mental health problems that might result from this mix are:

  • Anxiety
  • Delusions
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood or behavioral changes
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures

Some users of Wellbutrin have also noted decreased alcoholic tolerance. Because of these risks, people on Wellbutrin should not drink alcohol.

Common Wellbutrin Side Effects

The common side effects of taking Wellbutrin are less severe than the side effects of mixing alcohol with Wellbutrin. Side effects include sore throat, high heart rate, dizziness, weight reduction, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Over the course of the first week or two of treatment, these side effects often subside.

Risk factors of Wellbutrin

Studies of children and teens with Major Depressive Disorder showed increased suicidal thoughts. The risks and benefits of taking Wellbutrin should be weighed carefully for young people. People under the age of 24 who take Wellbutrin should be monitored carefully.

Alcohol withdrawal and Wellbutrin

Combining alcohol use with Wellbutrin may further enhance your already elevated seizure risk.

Seizures are a possible side effect of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, possibly occurring if you abruptly quit drinking.

Seizures are another possible side effect of Wellbutrin use, and the risk increases with increasing doses. Bupropion is thought to have this effect because it activates the hypothalamus, which may reduce the brain’s seizure threshold. Because of this, Wellbutrin shouldn’t be used by anybody who has ever had a seizure.

Alcohol and Wellbutrin are a lethal combination. There is evidence that mixing these two drugs increases the risk of seizures for certain persons.

Wellbutrin And Alcohol Side Effects

Wellbutrin and alcohol both make the side effects of the other worse. The liver may be unable to process each drug as well as it should, so it will process less. This slower working time can cause more side effects and make it more likely that someone will suffer from an overdose or more intense intoxication.

Wellbutrin Alcohol Seizure

When Wellbutrin is taken with alcohol, the chance of side effects, like seizures, goes up. Wellbutrin may not work as well if you drink alcohol.

Wellbutrin is given by doctors to treat depression and to help people quit smoking.

Seizures happen when rapid electrical discharges in the brain occur. When someone is taking Wellbutrin, alcohol can make them more likely to have seizures.

People who take a lot of Wellbutrin or have a history of seizures may also have seizures when they drink.

NAMI says that people who are taking Wellbutrin should not take alcohol. It can make seizures more likely and make the medicine less effective.

Read Also: Can You Drink Alcohol on Zoloft?

Wellbutrin And Alcohol Mental Health Effects

Most drugs advise you not to take alcohol, especially if you drink a lot. The reason for this is that drinking slows down the brain.

It can make antidepressants less effective or make the side effects of antidepressants worse.

What To Do If You’ve Had A Drink Already

Don’t freak out if you’re taking Wellbutrin and have drunk alcohol. Remember that drinking alcohol while on Wellbutrin makes you more likely to have problems. However, it’s not a foregone conclusion.

Still, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for in the next 24 hours.

For example, signs of depression may get worse. Wellbutrin’s side effects, especially confusion, dizziness, and lack of balance, may worsen. The drug also can make people shake or tremble more, which can be a sign that a seizure is coming.

You should immediately call your doctor if you have any of these signs. Your doctor would recommend effective treatment programs to help you.

Go to the emergency room or quick care if you have:

  • Thoughts of suicide,
  • Extreme shaking or tremors,
  • Worsening depression symptoms.

Depression and drinking are so often found together that they are called a “dual diagnosis.”

Depression can be caused by many different things, like worry, pain, or even your genes. In these situations, drinking too much may be a way to try to treat or deal with the signs of sadness.

At the same time, because of how alcohol affects the brain, people who drink too much may also be more likely to feel depressed. Self-sabotage while drinking leads to substance abuse, physical, financial, and social problems, leading to depression.

The National Library of Medicine did a study and found that 68% of people who have alcohol addiction also have depression. It means that people who are dependent on drinking are likely to get depressed or are more likely to get depressed than other people.

Alcoholics could get stuck in a loop where drinking more leads to depression, which makes them want to drink more.

Alcohol and Wellbutrin Depression

When people take Wellbutrin, they must be actively guided and counseled to know what to expect from its effects. It might be hard to deal with the side effects of this drug. Also, it can take time and patience for Wellbutrin to work as an antidepressant.

People who take Wellbutrin might be tempted to think that taking alcohol will help them deal with the side effects of the drug and depression.

Both depressants and antidepressants are made of chemicals that affect the CNS. Antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors change the amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which changes how a person feels.

The CNS slows down when you take a depressant, which makes you feel calm and sleepy. Two chemicals that are changed by drinking are GABA and glutamate.

Wellbutrin and alcohol can be dangerous when taken together. Alcohol can make the depressive effects of Wellbutrin worse, leading to an increased risk of nasty side effects.

Drinking Alcohol with Wellbutrin Warning

The warning literature for Wellbutrin advises against using alcohol while taking Wellbutrin.

How Long After Taking Wellbutrin Can I Drink?

If you’re on Wellbutrin, don’t consume alcohol. If your doctor has given you the green light to stop taking Wellbutrin, however, you may be permitted to drink again after the drug has cleared your system.

Knowing how long this takes requires an understanding of the half-life concept. The time it takes for half of a substance to be eliminated from the body is known as its half-life. In most cases, your body will have cleared the medication from your system within five half-lives.

Wellbutrin has a half-life of around 21 hours if you’ve been taking it regularly for a while. This implies the drug might take less than five days to leave your system altogether.

Because Wellbutrin is often recommended to treat problems like depression, which may worsen with alcohol use, it is vital to speak with your doctor before beginning alcohol consumption, even if the drug has been cleared from your system. Therefore, it may not be wise to start drinking even after Wellbutrin has been removed from your system.

Does Wellbutrin Help With Alcohol Cravings?

Wellbutrin has been shown to aid drinking and smoking cessation. Even though there is no one-size-fits-all answer for alcoholism, some medicines can help with urges and withdrawal signs. Wellbutrin is one of these medicines.

Wellbutrin is a drug used to treat depression. It is also used to treat alcoholism. It stops the brain from breaking down dopamine, a chemical linked to feeling good and getting rewards. This can make it easier to deal with withdrawal effects and lessen the urge to drink.

If you want to use Wellbutrin to help you stop drinking, you should talk to a doctor first. This medicine can have dangerous side effects, so it’s important to be closely watched by a doctor while taking it. Wellbutrin is not a fix for alcoholism, but it can help people deal with the effects of the addiction.

When to See a Doctor

If a person mixes alcohol and Wellbutrin and has shakes, suicidal thoughts, or seizures, they should go to the hospital immediately. Your doctor will immediately recommend the appropriate treatment options for you.

Read Also: Is It Safe to Take Lexapro and Alcohol Together?

Frequently Asked Questions

It is best not to take alcohol while taking Wellbutrin because alcohol could make depression symptoms worse and make the drug less effective. When alcohol abuse and Wellbutrin are combined, the chance of seizures and other serious side effects increases significantly.

It is not recommended to drink any alcohol while Wellbutrin SR or Wellbutrin XL is in your system.

There is no proof that mixing Wellbutrin with coffee is terrible for you. In other words, it’s OK to take Wellbutrin with coffee (unless your doctor tells you not to). But this doesn’t always mean you should mix bupropion and coffee.

For example, if you are allergic to coffee, you may experience side effects that indirectly make your depression symptoms worse. This is not ideal if you are taking Wellbutrin to treat depression. Some of the caffeine’s side effects are similar to Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms. These side effects include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems

Alcohol is a depressant. It can lessen the antidepressant effects of your medication and make you feel worse. It is better not to consume alcohol when you are on an antidepressant.

You may experience some cognitive side effects the first few weeks you are prescribed Wellbutrin, but many patients report increased productivity and reduced feelings of depression and sadness.

Ask your doctor about this combination. Other patients have reported weight loss in this combination.

The maximum effect should be felt within two to three weeks. Some patients report feeling better in a matter of days on Wellbutrin.

Some people asked can you drink on Wellbutrin, even if it’s occasionally. Wellbutrin drug information literature and medical professionals advise against consuming any alcohol while taking Wellbutrin.

Every patient is different. There is no medical proof that coffee has interactions with Wellbutrin. However, alcohol and Wellbutrin should not be mixed.


The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.