Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Wellbutrin

What is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is a medication used to treat depression and bipolar disorder. It works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is known to help regulate moods, sleep patterns, appetite, sexual desire and many other functions. Bupropion helps reduce symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety and irritability. It may also improve concentration and memory.

How Does Wellbutrin Work?

Bupropion acts on specific receptors in the brain. These are called monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzymes which break down certain types of chemicals found naturally in the body. When these MAO enzymes are broken down, they release a chemical called noradrenaline into the bloodstream. Noradrenaline then increases levels of serotonin in your brain.

The MAO enzyme inhibitors include alcohol, nicotine, barbiturates, some tranquilizers and others. They all affect the same type of enzyme. The problem with using any one of them is that it will decrease the amount of serotonin in your brain.

However, when combined together they increase the effect.

Wellbutrin and Alcohol

Combining Wellbutrin and alcohol can have serious side effects. Both of them suppress the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of a network of nerves that control most functions in your body.

It is responsible for sending messages to different parts of your body, and receives messages back from them. It controls unconscious actions like breathing and balance.

This information is intended for the patients and residents of the state of Minnesota.

How Does Wellbutrin Affect You if You Drink Alcohol While Taking It?

Wellbutrin can cause Wellbutrin and alcohol to severely affect brain function.

Alcohol can disrupt your ability to learn and remember information. Wellbutrin may increase this effect. The risk of seizures may also be increased when taking both alcohol and Wellbutrin.

Drinking alcohol can also cause life-threatening reactions if you are taking Wellbutrin. These reactions include:

A rapid heartbeat

Difficulty breathing

Racing pulse

Severe restlessness

Swelling of the tongue, throat, or lips

If you experience these symptoms with either of the medications, seek immediate medical attention. Emergency medical services (EMS) should be called if these symptoms occur when you are taking Wellbutrin and alcohol.

Sources & references used in this article:

Sex differences in the effect of bupropion and naltrexone combination on alcohol drinking in mice by Y Zhou, F Leri, MJ Low, MJ Kreek – Pharmacology Biochemistry and …, 2019 – Elsevier

Bupropion SR worsens mood during marijuana withdrawal in humans by M Haney, AS Ward, SD Comer, CL Hart, RW Foltin… – …, 2001 – Springer

Co‐administration of low‐dose naltrexone and bupropion reduces alcohol drinking in alcohol‐preferring (P) rats by ER Nicholson, JE Dilley… – Alcoholism: Clinical and …, 2018 – Wiley Online Library

Unexpected aggressive behaviour: interaction of bupropion and alcohol by P Chandler, A Herxheimer – … Journal of Risk & Safety in …, 2011 –

Bupropion in the treatment of problematic online game play in patients with major depressive disorder by DH Han, PF Renshaw – Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2012 –

Alcohol history and smoking cessation in nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion sustained release and varenicline trials: a review by RF Leeman, CJ Huffman, SS O’Malley – Alcohol and alcoholism, 2007 –

Bupropion sustained release treatment decreases craving for video games and cue-induced brain activity in patients with Internet video game addiction. by DH Han, JW Hwang, PF Renshaw – 2011 –