Wellbutrin, a brand name for bupropion, is a prescription antidepressant. Wellbutrin can also become a drug of abuse.
Although the misuse of Wellbutrin isn’t common, this has been reported among certain people with a history of substance abuse or addiction.
Signs of Wellbutrin abuse include:
- taking higher doses of Wellbutrin than prescribed
- crushing and snorting Wellbutrin tablets
- injecting crushed pills
- taking Wellbutrin with other drugs to enhance drug effects
If you or someone you know has been abusing Wellbutrin—also known as “poor man’s cocaine”—drug detox and substance abuse treatment may be recommended.
Who Needs Wellbutrin Detox?
Wellbutrin has a low risk for physical dependence and severe withdrawal if taken as prescribed by a doctor. However, detox may be recommended for certain people.
Wellbutrin detox may be recommended if you:
- have been taking Wellbutrin for a very long time
- take high doses of Wellbutrin
- have a history of Wellbutrin abuse
- are detoxing from multiple drugs (including Wellbutrin)
Stopping Wellbutrin may cause certain side effects, also known as withdrawal symptoms. This is the body’s reaction to the lack of Wellbutrin in your system.
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Wellbutrin Detox And Withdrawal Symptoms
Wellbutrin is generally considered non-habit-forming. This means it does not cause severe dependence or major symptoms of withdrawal when its use is stopped.
Mild symptoms of Wellbutrin withdrawal may occur in some.
Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms may include:
- rebound depression
- thoughts of suicide
- trouble sleeping
Unlike withdrawal from opioids, alcohol, or other types of antidepressants (e.g. SSRIs), physical symptoms of withdrawal after stopping Wellbutrin are not commonly reported.
Risks Of Wellbutrin Detox
Wellbutrin is an antidepressant, but it belongs to a category of drugs that is different from other common antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft can cause moderate symptoms of withdrawal, or serotonin discontinuation syndrome.
Wellbutrin, on the other hand, is classified as an “aminoketone”. It does not affect the serotonin system. As a result, withdrawal symptoms are generally mild or undetectable.
Primary risks associated with Wellbutrin detox include:
- rebound depression
- suicidal thoughts
- return of nicotine cravings (if taking bupropion for smoking)
Wellbutrin is sometimes prescribed, or misused, along with other drugs. If you are stopping multiple drugs, not just Wellbutrin, additional risks and dangers may apply.
Factors That Can Affect Wellbutrin Detox
The Wellbutrin detox process can be affected by a number of factors related to your personal health, mental health, genetics, and substance use history.
Factors that can affect the length, symptoms, and severity of withdrawal include:
- duration of Wellbutrin use
- dose of Wellbutrin taken
- drug abuse or addiction
- use of other drugs (e.g. SSRIs)
- mental health conditions
- certain medical conditions (e.g. impaired liver function)
- drug metabolism
- method of detox (i.e. tapering vs. stopping all at once)
Primary factors that can affect the detox process include whether you are also using other drugs and the nature of your Wellbutrin use.
Discontinuing multiple drugs, including other antidepressants, may cause additional withdrawal symptoms, including changes in balance, mood, and digestion.
Moreover, a history of misusing Wellbutrin for its amphetamine-like effects can also affect the process of getting off Wellbutrin.
How Long Does Wellbutrin Withdrawal Last?
The timeline for how long it takes to detox from Wellbutrin can vary from person to person. For some, detox may last several days. For others, it can take weeks.
The length of Wellbutrin withdrawal, or the amount of time it takes to fully detox, may be longer for people who have been taking Wellbutrin for years.
Medical Detox For Wellbutrin
Medical detox is a medically supervised detox program that typically takes place in a detox facility or other inpatient treatment setting.
This type of intensive program isn’t typically needed for managing Wellbutrin withdrawal. That is, unless you’re detoxing from other substances known to cause severe withdrawal.
What medical detox programs can offer:
- 24-hour supervision
- medicine for drug withdrawal
- drug treatment referrals
Wellbutrin Detox FAQs
Find answers to frequently asked questions about Wellbutrin detox, withdrawal, and treatment options for Wellbutrin abuse.
❓ Is Wellbutrin Detox Necessary?
✔️ Detoxing from Wellbutrin may not be necessary for everyone. Detox is often recommended for people who:
- have a history of Wellbutrin abuse
- are trying to stop taking multiple drugs
- are otherwise at risk for drug withdrawal
To learn if you need detox, it’s best to consult a doctor. You may also call our helpline to speak with one of our staff about whether Wellbutrin detox is right for you.
❓ Can You Stop Wellbutrin Cold-Turkey?
✔️ Stopping any drug, including Wellbutrin, all at once isn’t recommended. Consider talking to a doctor before making any adjustments to the amount of Wellbutrin you’re taking.
Doctors often recommend tapering off Wellbutrin gradually, especially for those who have been taking a high dose of Wellbutrin for a long time.
❓ How Long Does Wellbutrin Stay In Your System?
✔️ Wellbutrin is a slow-acting drug with a half-life of about 21 hours. On average, it takes about four and a half days for 99% of the drug to fully leave the body.
❓ Is Wellbutrin Detox Dangerous?
✔️ Wellbutrin is not known to cause severe or dangerous withdrawal symptoms. However, this may not be true for people who abuse Wellbutrin or take it with other drugs.
Detox may become dangerous if you try to stop taking Wellbutrin cold-turkey or without first seeking medical guidance from a health care professional.
Find Wellbutrin Detox And Addiction Treatment Today
Overcoming Wellbutrin abuse is possible with the right help. If you or a loved one has been misusing Wellbutrin, we may be able to help you find the treatment you’re looking for.
Detox is often the first step on the road to recovery. Call us today to learn more about Wellbutrin detox and to find detox options at a treatment center that’s right for you.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- American Family Physician — Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome
- Harvard Health Publishing — Going Off Antidepressants
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Bupropion
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: NCBI — Bupropion-Associated Withdrawal Symptoms: A Case Report
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: NCBI — Bupropion abuse and overdose