Bupropion and Alcohol
Because bupropion and alcohol act upon similar chemicals in the brain, there is concern that bupropion may increase the effects of alcohol -- whether by increasing depression symptoms or affecting motor skills. If you are taking bupropion and you decide to drink alcohol, you should drink only light-to-moderate amounts. It is also important that you not drink alcohol until you understand the effects that bupropion and other drugs have on your body.
Sometimes people are warned to avoid alcohol while taking bupropion hydrochloride (Wellbutrin®). This is because alcohol and medicines like bupropion act upon similar chemicals in the brain. So the concern is that bupropion will increase the effects of alcohol -- whether this is increasing symptoms of depression or affecting motor skills.
Practically, when many healthcare providers are asked whether or not it is okay to drink alcohol while taking bupropion, they recommend that if a person chooses to drink, he or she should drink only light-to-moderate amounts. In addition, a person who drinks while taking bupropion should drink only after he or she understands the effects that bupropion and other medicines have on his or her body.
When healthcare providers recommend moderate alcohol drinking, they mean one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Because the alcohol content in drinks varies, what counts as one drink also varies. Following are a few examples of drinks that count as one alcoholic drink:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1½ ounces of 80-proof whiskey or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
If a person decides to drink alcohol in moderation while taking bupropion, it is recommended that he or she not drink alcohol at the same time as he or she takes bupropion. Also, a person should learn the effects of bupropion on his or her body before he or she begins drinking.
You should not stop drinking suddenly while taking bupropion, as this may increase your risk of bupropion seizures.