Prescription Drugs | 4 min read

Drugs That You Never Want To Mix Together: Wellbutrin and Alcohol

Medically Reviewed

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

On August 29, 2022

Written By

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

On November 19, 2021

Mixing Alcohol With Medicines
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Wellbutrin is a type of antidepressant medication that impacts the brain. The drug is also used for treating smoking habits. This drug has many uses, including treating major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and other mood disorders.

However, Wellbutrin doesn’t mix well with alcohol at all. If you’re on this antidepressant, you’ll want to ensure you don’t drink alcohol.  Many rare and serious side effects can occur, so it’s best to avoid drinking or only drink sparingly.

Many medicines don’t mix well with alcohol, but antidepressants are one of the worst. Your antidepressants likely have a warning on the label somewhere, saying that you shouldn’t take them with alcohol. If you did, you’d want to seek medical attention for any side effects that pop up, especially if the side effects are severe or intense.

This article focuses on why you don’t want to mix these two drugs and what types of treatment are available to you. You must understand the risks of mixing these substances to prevent a serious, even fatal, consequence. If you are reading this article and experiencing any side effects, please seek immediate medical assistance.

Risks of Using Wellbutrin and Alcohol

If you drink excessive amounts of alcohol, you don’t want to use Wellbutrin. The depressant can cause seizures as a side effect when taken with alcohol. The level of risk is different for everyone, but it’s best to avoid drinking.

There is only one case where you would want to continue your drinking habits. That’s if you were drinking heavily before starting the medication, then continued drinking while on it. Quitting out of the blue could cause seizures instead. You’ll want a professional to treat you and monitor how you react. Abrupt stopping alcohol consumption could lead to symptoms of withdrawal. When not monitored by experts, the symptoms can threaten your life.

The side effects of drinking alcohol while taking this medicine include:

  • Tremors or intense shaking
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion or feeling disoriented

Risks of Using Wellbutrin and Alcohol

However, you can lower the amount of risk involved with treatment. Make sure to let your doctor prescribing Wellbutrin know how much you drink and what you drink. This information will help them determine the best treatment method for you. There are many risks to using this drug alongside alcohol, so you’ll need an expert to plan your recovery.

Side-Effects of Using Wellbutrin and Alcohol Together

There are also many different side effects of taking these two drugs together. Remember, alcohol is a depressant. That means drinking slows down your mind and can make you feel disoriented or intoxicated.

The most reported symptoms of using Wellbutrin and Alcohol together include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizziness
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Feeling restless or agitated

Additionally, drinking alcohol while taking Wellbutrin can enhance the side effects of that drug. For instance, the drug can confuse you, but you’ll feel even more confused while drinking. On top of all that, drinking while taking the drug can reduce or eliminate the benefits the drug was supposed to give you. It also increases the likelihood of depression and suicidal thoughts occurring. In short, these side effects are very dangerous. You’ll want to avoid them if you can by not drinking when taking this medication.

What if you forgot you weren’t supposed to drink? It’s important to stay calm. While combining alcohol and this antidepressant has many side effects, that doesn’t mean you’ll experience them. The risk is increased for certain problems, so you’ll want to watch out for worsening depression or sudden confusion.

You should reach out for help right away in these cases. You’ll especially want to contact an expert if you notice you’re shaking a lot. This symptom can be a sign of an impending seizure, which is something you’ll want to avoid.

Overall, the side effects can be very intense. You’ll want to ensure you aren’t drinking while taking this medication. It can be a very hard habit to break if you enjoy drinking. Today, many non-alcoholic beverages on the market look and taste similar to the actual alcoholic drink. For instance, you could switch to non-alcoholic beer if you’re drinking for fun with your friends. Although, if you do happen to have an alcohol addiction, you should seek professional help instead.

Treatment Options if Addicted to Using Wellbutrin and Alcohol

There are many medically supervised programs that you can participate in. With alcohol, you would take part in an alcohol abuse program. The substance is usually used by those who want to self-medicate their depression. But, taking it alongside antidepressants tends to worsen the situation.

There is help available for you! Make sure to reach out to a premier drug and alcohol detox facility that has all the experience, resources, and skills required to treat this form of addiction. If you’re dependent on alcohol, it could hurt many different areas of your life. Therefore, it’s best to seek treatment immediately instead of waiting, as many risks are associated with untreated addiction.

Treatment Options if Addicted to Using Wellbutrin and Alcohol

The most common and necessary step toward life-long sobriety is participating in a medically-supervised detox, often in a premier treatment facility that can offer 24/7 supervision in case a medical need arises. Although it may be common sense to most, it bears repeating that the only way to ensure one gets on the right foot with recovery is to detox the abused substance(s) out of the body first.

You must take the first step by contacting a professional in your area who can assist you with the first steps of recovery. Overall, it’s essential that you don’t try to treat your substance abuse on your own. Doing so could lead to serious health risks.

If you have any questions or want help managing your addiction and beginning the recovery process, make sure to reach out to our professionals. At Ascendant, we offer detox services and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs in New York. We want to help you get through this addiction. Plus, we’re very experienced in helping those antidepressants deal with alcohol.  You can trust our team to care for you, so don’t hesitate to call us!

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  1. Morrell K. Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Wellbutrin? Healthline. Published June 4, 2019. Accessed August 28, 2022.