Antidepressants and alcohol: What’s the concern?

Before taking Wellbutrin, talk with your doctor about your health history. This usually refers to drugs prescribed to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. With other antidepressants, combining them with Wellbutrin raises your risk of seizures or serotonin syndrome . If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Do not take more or less medication or take it more frequently than prescribed.

Improvement of psychological symptoms, such as those related to mood, may take a bit longer—or up to eight weeks. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health . Using alcohol to help you sleep may let you fall asleep quickly, but you tend to wake up more in the middle of the night. Individuals should contact a doctor if they think they may have depression and get immediate help if they have suicidal thoughts.

Interaction with other antidepressants

However, some patients experience allergic reactions such as itching, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, dizziness, trouble breathing, or skin rash. Doctors usually use bupropion for the treatment of depression. Sometimes, doctors prescribe it for seasonal affective disorder and to help stop smoking. People should not take alcohol and bupropion together as it can intensify the side effects of the drug and lead to serious complications.

wellbutrin and alcohol

It comes as an immediate-release, sustained-release, or extended-release tablet that is taken orally. Nancy Schimelpfening, MS is the administrator for the non-profit depression support group Depression Sanctuary. Nancy has a lifetime of experience with depression, experiencing firsthand how devastating this illness can be.

Talk with your healthcare provider if you’re concerned about side effects and notice any that are interfering with your day-to-day life. If you no longer need Wellbutrin, the dose should be gradually tapered to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Never stop taking Wellbutrin or change the dose without first speaking with your healthcare provider. Typically, a healthcare provider will start you off on a lower dose and increase as needed until the desired effect is achieved. It can take up to six weeks to feel the full benefit of treatment—this may vary depending on the person. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in how you experience emotions and moods.


Stopping abruptly can also lead to discontinuation syndrome, an array of flu-like symptoms such as stomach upset, headache, strange sensations, and muscle aches. If you need to stop taking Wellbutrin, your provider can guide you in gradually tapering off. You may notice positive effects, such as that you sleep better, have more energy, or your appetite has improved, for instance.

wellbutrin and alcohol

So it’s not uncommon for doctors to prescribe Wellbutrin and buspirone together. Xanax is prescribed to treat anxiety in certain situations. For example, doctors sometimes prescribe Xanax short term when people first begin taking an antidepressant such as Wellbutrin. This is because it can take several weeks before antidepressants begin working, and Xanax begins working right away to treat anxiety symptoms. Certain medical conditions or other health factors may raise the risk of interactions with Wellbutrin.

Interaction with certain diabetes drugs

The authors also note that the risk may differ from one person to another, depending on the alcohol intake level. People may develop AUD because the “high” feeling from alcohol may temporarily relieve anxiety. However, it can also make people dependent on alcohol as a form of self-medication to feel better. According to NAMI, alcohol reduces the beneficial effects of Welbutrin.

  • People taking bupropion should be monitored for the appearance of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
  • If you still have questions about Wellbutrin and its possible interactions, talk with your doctor.
  • You should not take Wellbutrin if you’ve had an eating disorder, including anorexia or bulimia.

If you feel uncomfortable talking about your drinking habits to your healthcare provider, try to remember that they’re there to help you stay healthy. They won’t be judgmental — instead, they’ll make sure that any medication you’re prescribed is safe for you to use. If you are mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol, you should not suddenly stop using alcohol without first talking with a health care professional.

Instead, talk with your doctor about safer treatments for your condition. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex , Cerner Multum™ , ASHP and others.

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol & Wellbutrin

Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Drinking alcohol should be avoided if you are taking Wellbutrin due to an increased risk of seizures. There have been several case studies documenting this interaction. Discontinuing Wellbutrin may cause mild or moderate side effects in individuals who use the drug according to directions.

Because of this risk, doctors will avoid prescribing Wellbutrin with an MAOI. If you’re taking an MAOI, your doctor will have you stop taking it at least 14 days before you start treatment with Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin XL is used to treat depression and help prevent seasonal affective disorder in adults. Users who say they benefit from the drug warned against blindly following Musk’s medical advice. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and memory loss.

Women to plan to breastfeed are cautioned to consider alternatives to Wellbutrin to ensure the safety of their child. Wellbutrin is often referred to as the “poor man’s cocaine” because some people use the drug for recreational purposes. Furthermore, it is cheaper than cocaine, making it popular with addicts. The FDA considers Wellbutrin to be non-addictive when used as directed. However, some people become addicted when abusing the drug. Some people show improvement in energy, appetite, and sleep within the first one or two weeks of taking Wellbutrin.

This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use wellbutrin only for the indication prescribed. See your doctor immediately if you develop any eye pain, visual disturbances, or swelling or redness around the eye.

Other treatments for depression

Most antidepressants don’t mix well with alcohol, especially not in large quantities. It’s also prescribed to help people stop smoking under the brand name Zyban. At Choices Recovery, we offer our patients the ability to discover the tools and skills necessary to lead a healthier and more positive lifestyle. We offer them a chance to make the right choice and get their lives back on track. Wellbutrin can be present in human breast milk, although adverse effects to the infant are not expected.

Finally, if you forget to avoid alcohol while using bupropion and accidentally have a drink, it’s best not to panic. Instead, limit your consumption as much as possible and pay attention for any side effects that may occur. Side effects of Wellbutrin that sober house boston are experienced will be stronger and some side effects that do not typically present may occur. The amount of alcohol that ends up in the bloodstream from a drink will be higher than it usually would be because the liver processes less of the alcohol.

There are currently no reports of Wellbutrin interacting with vaccines. If you have questions about receiving vaccines during your treatment with Wellbutrin, talk with your doctor. There are currently no reports of Wellbutrin interacting eco sober house price with food. If you have questions about eating certain foods during your Wellbutrin treatment, talk with your doctor. If you experience a seizure while taking Wellbutrin, your doctor will likely have you stop taking Wellbutrin.