Wellbutrin is the brand name for bupropion, a prescription medication used in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
The majority of antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which increase the brain’s serotonin levels. Wellbutrin works by inhibiting the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine (NDRI).
When taken at appropriate doses and under a doctor’s supervision, this drug can be useful in the fight against depressive symptoms. At higher doses or after long-term use, addiction may occur.
How Do People Misuse Wellbutrin?
People who misuse Wellbutrin recreationally describe the high as similar to that of amphetamines or crack cocaine. There are several ways people may abuse Wellbutrin.
Some people have been known to crush up and snort Wellbutrin pills so the drug will absorb into the body more quickly than by oral ingestion.
This method of abuse may cause nasal damage and intense headaches.
Learn more about snorting Wellbutrin.
Another method of abuse is chewing Wellbutrin tablets. This may be dangerous and can result in choking or a perforated esophagus from swallowing too many pieces of a broken tablet.
Some people inject Wellbutrin intravenously to achieve a more powerful high. This is accomplished by dissolving it in water and injecting it into a vein or muscle tissue.
Side Effects Of Wellbutrin Abuse
Although Wellbutrin is safe for most people in low doses, larger doses are more likely to cause adverse effects and health complications.
While Wellbutrin is considered to be non-addictive, it can lead to addiction and physical dependency when abused over a long period of time.
Common side effects of Wellbutrin abuse include:
- weight loss
- joint pain
- suicidal thoughts
- irregular heartbeat
In addition to the uncomfortable side effects of misusing Wellbutrin, people may experience euphoria, an increase in self-confidence, insomnia, and loss of appetite while abusing this drug.
Can Wellbutrin Abuse Lead To Overdose?
Overdose may occur when a person takes higher doses of the drug than prescribed by their doctor, or if they mix Wellbutrin with other drugs such as opioids or alcohol.
Symptoms of Wellbutrin overdose may include:
- risk of seizures
The severity of overdose symptoms will largely depend on the amount of the substance taken. Typically, overdose symptoms occur one to 14 hours after last use. If left untreated, overdose can be fatal.
How Much Wellbutrin Does It Take To Fatally Overdose?
Wellbutrin doesn’t typically lead to fatal overdose on its own, or when used as prescribed. When mixed with other substances of abuse, or taken in very high doses, fatal overdose may occur.
Learn more about what constitutes a lethal dose of Wellbutrin.
Withdrawal Symptoms Of Wellbutrin Addiction
If someone who regularly abuses Wellbutrin suddenly stops using the drug, they may experience withdrawal symptoms due to the way the medication acts on dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain.
Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms may include:
- suicidal thoughts
- intense cravings
- aggressive behavior
While everyone may experience withdrawal in a different way, it’s highly recommended to seek the help of a healthcare provider before attempting to quit Wellbutrin cold turkey.
Treatment Options For Wellbutrin Abuse
Wellbutrin treatment centers will focus on identifying the fundamental causes of addiction as well as changing unhealthy attitudes toward substance use to promote a life of sobriety.
Addiction treatment programs may include:
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- medically monitored detox
- dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- support groups
- psychiatry services
- mental health treatment
- outpatient treatment
- residential treatment
FAQs For Wellbutrin Drug Addiction
The useful information listed below may help answer your questions about Wellbutrin addiction.
How Much Does Wellbutrin Cost On The Street?
The price of Wellbutrin on the street may vary between two dollars per tablet and 90 dollars per tablet, depending on the location and availability of the drug.
Is Wellbutrin A Controlled Substance?
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has not currently scheduled bupropion as a controlled substance.
Is Detoxification Always Necessary For Wellbutrin Addiction?
Attending a detox program for Wellbutrin addiction may not be necessary for everybody, but is highly recommended for people with physical dependence on the drug.
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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.
- National Library of Medicine — Bupropion abuse and overdose
- National Library of Medicine — Fatal bupropion overdose
- National Library of Medicine — Significant Treatment Effect of Bupropion in Patients With Bipolar Disorder but Similar Phase-Shifting Rate as Other Antidepressants