I will be celebrating my 21st birthday in about 4 months and was put on bupropion about a month ago. I am very aware of the risk of seizing when mixing alcohol and bupropion. I have found the new medication to be extremely helpful in improving my mental health but I also don't want to miss out on celebrating my 21st birthday with alcohol. My doctor was unwilling to work with me so I am wondering if I should seek out a second opinion? Or is the seizing when consuming alcohol a scare tactic?
Is it possible to safely consume alcohol while taking bupropion?
Question posted by User2021 on 15 July 2016
Last updated on 6 October 2019 by WildcatVet
Many people have had a light drink or two with no ill effects, but then again many people have written in on this forum who had terrible experiences.
It's recommended that you avoid or limit the amount of alcohol while taking any psychotropic mrdication. I would add that you should have a responsible person and a designated driver with you in case of the worst case scenario.
Best regards and have a happy and safe 21st!
I've been taking Wellbutrin (Bupropion) for a week now and one night I had 2 glasses of wine and completely forgot that I needed to avoid alcohol while taking this drug.
I called a pharmacist and doctor as soon as I noticed because I was scared of what would happen to me. Both told me the same thing; Wellbutrin is safe with 1-2 drinks per day, you shouldn't expect any ill-effects from that.
I was relieved. According to all the ressources on the internet, it almost seems as if taking even one small glass of alcohol with this drug is a death sentence. The truth is the opposite, with moderation, you shouldn't expect anything bad to happen to you.
The worry with Wellbutrin is that it can cause seizures, but that does not solely happen when mixed with alcohol; Wellbutrin can cause seizures with or without alcohol.
If I remember the data correctly, the risk is 1.5% with 150 mg, 3% with 300 mg and 5% with 450 mg (the max dosage).
They recommend not using alcohol with Wellbutrin because the risk can rise. The pharmacist told me that if you take the drug and drink plenty of alcohol with it (without moderation), it is possible that you get a seizure. The reason why is because alcohol reduces the seizure threshold, thereby making the occurrence of a seizure more likely.
Therefore, if you want to drink for your 21st birthday, make sure you only get 1-2 drinks max, or withdraw from the drug for a while (with your doc's approval, of course) and start it again afterward.
Therefore, you can relax. You're going to be fine as long as you don't take more than 1-2 drinks.
I care about you not being hurt. I just ask that you look at your own words and think about what you would say to your best friend if he or she said them.
"I am very aware of the risk of seizing when mixing alcohol and bupropion... but I also don't want to miss out on celebrating my 21st birthday with alcohol."
You should not drink alcohol with Wellbutrin. It dose have a low seizure risk overall, but is higher than the other newer antidepressants, and alcohol, or alcohol withdrawal can increase the risk (especially after large binges or regular drinking). I understand wanting to celebrate your 21st with alcohol. In general, it is not advised to drink alcohol if you are depressed or being treated for depression, as it can worsen the condition or interfere with medications working. Your doctor may have other reasons for not giving you the go-ahead. There are many factors to consider. Nobody wants to feel bad because they told you to just have one celebratory drink and then you have a complication. So, seeking a second opinion by a qualified practioner who actually knows your medical history, current status, and other factors would be wise. However, your treating physician knows you best. If you don't like the opinion or trust your physician, ask questions. Good luck. Have a safe and happy birthday.
It is one of the few ADs that is labeled DO Not drink alcohol. Most ADs are labeled to use caution with alcohol.
It is not advisable to drink while on Bupropion. I have taken it and had a glass of wine occasionally but no one in my family has seizures. It is a risk. It is rare that alcohol and taking Bupropion causes seizures.It may have to do with the dose you are taking and how much alcohol is consumed. It comes down to, do you want to risk being one of the rare cases that has a seizure?? It is a personal call if you are going to go against doctors orders.
You could get a second medical opinion.
Happy Early 21st be safe and well !!
- Bupropion uses and safety info
- Bupropion information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Bupropion (detailed)
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