Depression is a mental health condition that adversely affects how you feel, think, and acts. It can lead to various physical and emotional problems and reduce your ability to function at work and home. Depression can occur at any period, but on average, it first appears during the late teens.Â
Women are more likely to experience depression than men. Some studies show that one-third of women experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. An estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) are affected by depression every year, and around one in six people (16.6%) experiences depression at some time in their life. There is a significant degree (approx. 40%) of heritability when first-degree relatives (parents/children/siblings) have depression.
When people first start taking an antidepressant like Wellbutrin, it's common to have many questions about what to expect from taking the medication. Usually, one of these questions is, "Can I drink alcohol while taking Wellbutrin?"
This article discusses how alcohol affects Wellbutrin, whether some people may be at higher risk for problems if they drink while taking it, and if you can safely consume this medication.
Wellbutrin, also known as bupropion, is a prescription antidepressant that impacts the brain. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially approved it in 1985 for adults over 18 years. This drug is used to treat Major depressive disorder (MDD), Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and other mood disorders.Â
Wellbutrin is often prescribed for people with severe side effects to other antidepressants, including fatigue, sexual dysfunction, and weight gain. Another version of bupropion, called Zyban, is approved to help people for treating smoking habits. Your healthcare provider will examine your physical and mental health history before prescribing this medication.Â
Some people should not take or buy Wellbutrin. If you have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, high blood pressure, central nervous system problems including seizures, or a substance Abuse history, you should not take Wellbutrin.
Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant that works similarly to other antidepressants. It is a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), unlike many other antidepressants, which are serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).Â
Wellbutrin increases your brain's activity of natural chemicals (or neurotransmitters). Your nerves use these chemicals to send messages to each other. These chemicals include dopamine and norepinephrine. It blocks the neuronal reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine and antagonizes acetylcholine at neuronal nicotinic receptors, which improves self-confidence and mood.Â Â
Wellbutrin is used widely as an antidepressant and a smoking cessation aid and is available as immediate- and extended-release preparations. Despite the potential therapeutic effects of this drug, there has been some evidence of this drug being abused, including nasal insufflation of crushed tablets, recreational ingestion, and, more recently, intravenous injection.Â
Most Wellbutrin abusers take this drug by crushing and snorting (insufflating). This administration route delivers a high drug dose directly into the bloodstream. Other reported methods of this drug abuse include
Wellbutrin abusers report receiving a "high" similar to cocaine or amphetamine abuse but less intense.
Some common signs and symptoms of Wellbutrin abuse include:
In addition to the physical effects of stimulant abuse while high, Wellbutrin abusers may also involve themselves in unusual behaviors connected to obtaining the drug or hiding use from others.
Whether or not you have depression, drinking alcohol can initially cause feelings of pleasure and well-being. This is because drinking alcohol raises dopamine levels in your brain. Once you stop consuming alcohol, dopamine levels return to normal, and the positive feelings disappear.
After that initial good feeling has worn off, drinking alcohol can make depression symptoms worse because alcohol is a CNS depressant, and it can cause feelings of depression even if you don't have a mental health condition. In other words, drinking alcohol to feel better temporarily may worsen your situation in the long run.
The side effects of mixing Wellbutrin and alcohol include:
These side effects can be dangerous and, in the wrong circumstances, deadly.
When combined with Wellbutrin, alcohol can lead to even more drowsiness and dizziness, which occurs because both substances suppress the functioning of the central nervous system. 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.
Using alcohol and Wellbutrin together may increase the risk of developing seizures. The interaction of these two substances affects brain function and increases stroke risk.Â
If you have an alcohol use disorder or drink a lot of alcohol regularly, stopping alcohol abruptly can lead to alcohol withdrawal syndrome. This is a life-threatening condition if not managed properly.
Suffering from alcohol withdrawal syndrome while taking Wellbutrin can increase the risk of seizure along with other serious side effects, including
To reduce the risk of seizure or other side effects while taking Wellbutrin, you must discuss your drinking habits honestly with your doctor.
Be sure to tell them:
If you have consumed alcohol while on Wellbutrin, there is a probability of risk of specific problems. Still, there are a few things that should be monitored over the next 24 hours, including:
Speak to your medical practitioner immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. Seek immediate help if you think there's a probability of having a seizure or have:
Wellbutrin is a slow-acting atypical antidepressant that doesn't work immediately. Generally, it takes one to two weeks to start observing changes in mood or a decrease in depression or urge to smoke, and a few more weeks to achieve full effects in your system. Â Â
For Wellbutrin, the half-life varies depending on the formulation, but it can be up to 21 hours.
Overall, this drug takes around four days to eliminate from the body. However, most of it clears specific parts of the body much faster.Â
Like all medications, Wellbutrin also comes with the risk of developing mild to severe side effects. They are-
Common side effects
Severe side effects
State of mental confusion
Shaking and sweating
Allergic reactions such as hives
Unusual excitement or mania
Inform your doctor if you have experienced depression, abnormal or suicidal thoughts, or other mental problems. Contact your doctor about your other medical conditions, including if you:Â
The dosage, drug form of Wellbutrin, and how often you take this drug will depend on age, weight, the condition being treated, how you react to the first dose, how severe your first condition is, or any other medical condition.
Adult dosage (ages 18â€“64 years)
Alcohol interacts with some medicines. Depending on your health conditions, drinking can make the medication less effective or lead to harmful health consequences.
Some medications do not cause any harm when taken with alcohol, but it is essential to ensure before consuming alcohol that you're not putting yourself at risk. Your body absorbs different medicines differently.
Taking alcohol at the same time when your body is processing medicine can affect the rate of breakdown of drugs in the body.
Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant drug used to treat depressive disorder and help people to quit smoking. Drinking alcohol is best avoided while using this drug, whether prescribed for any depressive disorder or as a smoking cessation aid. Doing so may increase the risk of a seizure.
If you are a heavy drinker or have an alcohol use disorder, speak to your healthcare professional before taking Wellbutrin.
If you accidentally drink alcohol while taking this drug, limit your consumption as much as possible and pay attention to any side effects. Together, you will be able to find out a treatment plan that does not put you at risk of alcohol-related side effects.
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