What are the Side Effects of Taking Wellbutrin and Alcohol Together?

What are the Side Effects of Taking Wellbutrin and Alcohol Together?

Many people wonder about the side effects of taking Wellbutrin and alcohol together at the same time.

Wellbutrin is a commonly prescribed antidepressant that is normally taken once daily to combat depressive symptoms of various mood disorders.

As is true with many drugs, alcohol is contraindicated when taking Wellbutrin.

Despite this, many people who are taking Wellbutrin also drink alcohol for social or recreational purposes.

Because of this, it’s common for people who are prescribed the drug to ask whether drinking alcohol while on Wellbutrin is actually dangerous?


While doctors may act with an abundance of caution in many medical situations, this is not one of those situations. Stated in the simplest terms possible…

  • taking Wellbutrin and drinking alcohol is very dangerous.

There are a number of factors that make this combination of drug and alcohol very risky. Due to this, the exact consequences will differ for every single person.

However, because the worst consequences can result in death, and there is no way in advance to determine the consequences for any individual, all people should avoid drinking while taking Wellbutrin.

The Science

The primary reason this combination is dangerous is because they are both CNS-active compounds. Because both compounds act on the central nervous system, they can each increase the intensity or the effects of the other.

In layman’s terms, this means that Wellbutrin makes the effects of alcohol more potent and vice versa.

The effects of alcohol are further increased by the fact Wellbutrin reduces alcohol tolerance.

Because of this, an individual drinking while taking Wellbutrin will suffer from the effects of alcohol after consuming less alcohol than normal and those effects will be stronger than normal.

The Psychological Impact

In addition to heightening the side effects, mixing this drug with alcohol results in another problem because Wellbutrin is an antidepressant and alcohol is a depressant.

When both compounds are in the system together, they basically cancel each other out. As a result, people who mix these are likely to suddenly experience an episode of depression. In the worst-case scenario this can lead to serious self-harm.

Side Effects

One of the most serious side effects of Wellbutrin is seizures. Doctors who prescribe this drug are usually very careful with dosage in order to minimize the danger of this side effect and definitely don’t prescribe it to people who are already at danger for seizures.

When alcohol is added to the mix, that side effect, like all the others, is heightened. This is particularly dangerous because most people taking this drug are not familiar with how to deal with seizures, which means that a sudden seizure can result in serious injury due to lack of familiarity.

Other common side effects:

  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Blackouts
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Impaired Judgment
  • Paranoia
  • Overdosing

The last one on the list, overdosing, is especially dangerous if the person drinking isn’t near others who can quickly call for medical attention.

As previously noted, because both compounds increase the strength of each other, it is possible to overdose on Wellbutrin or alcohol, or both at the same time, even if only the prescribed dosage of the drug has been taken and only modest amounts of alcohol have been consumed.

As with most overdoses, if medical attention isn’t received within a relatively short time, an overdose of either alcohol or Wellbutrin can result in serious repercussions like organ damage, coma, or death.