Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is a brand name for the medication bupropion, which is used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), per Medical News Today. The medication is classed as a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRIs) — it works by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which can help to improve mood. In addition to being used as an antidepressant, Wellbutrin is sometimes prescribed for off-label use to aid people in quitting smoking or to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Wellbutrin is available in several forms, including immediate-, extended-, and sustained-release tablets — these different formulations are designed to release the medication into the body at different rates. If you've been prescribed this medication, you might wonder how safe it is to drink alcohol while you're taking it. You might also wonder if your drinking habits will affect how the medication works. Continue reading for further details.

Is it safe to take Wellbutrin with alcohol?

It is generally not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Wellbutrin, as using the two together may increase the risk of seizures, especially in people who have a history of seizures or are taking high doses of the medication, says Medical News Today. Even without taking alcohol, high doses of Wellbutrin — above 450 milligrams (mg) per day — have been associated with an increased risk of seizures, per a 2020 case study published in The Journal of Emergency Medicine.

According to The Recovery Village, mixing alcohol with Wellbutrin can also increase the effects of both substances. For instance, combining the two substances may raise someone's risk of experiencing dizziness and drowsiness. Additionally, alcohol can worsen certain conditions that Wellbutrin is prescribed to treat, such as depression. If you have any concerns or questions about combining alcohol with your medication, you should speak with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance. Always follow your doctor's instructions and avoid drinking alcohol if you've been advised against it.

General side effects of Wellbutrin

According to Medical News Today, one of the most common side effects of Wellbutrin is dry mouth, along with nausea or vomiting. Constipation can also occur while taking Wellbutrin. This generally causes discomfort or difficulty with bowel movements and may be relieved by increasing fiber intake, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting regular exercise, says the Cleveland Clinic.

Headache, dizziness, and insomnia are other common side effects of Wellbutrin, says Medical News Today. These side effects are usually mild and may improve over time. However, if they persist or become severe, it is important to speak with your doctor. It is also important to follow the prescribed dosing instructions to ensure you are within the safe limits to prevent severe side effects. Taking Wellbutrin may also lead to high blood pressure, so your doctor will monitor your blood pressure carefully while you're on the medication. Patients are advised to report any symptoms of high blood pressure to their doctor immediately.