Snorting Wellbutrin | Dangers Of Snorting Bupropion

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on February 11, 2021

Wellbutrin can be dangerous if it’s abused in any way, but especially if it’s crushed and snorted. If you or a loved one may be snorting Wellbutrin, learning about the biggest risks may be beneficial.

Dangers Of Snorting Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin is one of many prescription drugs used to treat depression. Along with Wellbutrin sustained-release, Wellbutrin XL, Alplenzin, and Zyban, Wellbutrin contains the active drug bupropion hydrochloride.

These medications may be used in the treatment of depression, seasonal affective disorder, or as a smoking cessation aid. Unfortunately, they can also be dangerous if taken in high doses or snorted.

A few of the most potentially severe dangers of bupropion insufflation may include:

  • suicidal thoughts or actions
  • seizures
  • liver failure
  • kidney failure
  • perforation of the septum
  • increased risk of overdose

Of course, snorting any drug may also lead to an increased risk of addiction due to a faster onset time and more intense high. If an addiction to Wellbutrin develops, there’s an even higher risk of these life-threatening reactions.

Dangers And Risks Of Snorting Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin is a stimulant drug that’s in the same family as methamphetamine and amphetamine drugs. The stimulant effects may be one of the reasons that bupropion has been referred to as “poor man’s cocaine.” Still, Wellbutrin is not a safe alternative to cocaine or any other drug.

On top of the potentially severe risks listed above, snorting Wellbutrin may also lead to additional dangers, including:

  • agitation
  • insomnia
  • psychosis
  • confusion
  • changes in appetite/weight
  • allergic reactions
  • tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  • high blood pressure

Wellbutrin may be helpful in treating major depressive disorder and have off-label uses in treatments for bipolar disorder and attention disorders including ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Still, these risks are possible even if a person is taking bupropion as his or her doctor is prescribing it.


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If Wellbutrin is being snorted, the risks are even greater.

Side Effects Of Snorting Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin can cause some unpleasant side effects even when taken as prescribed. If it’s being snorted, the side effects can be made worse.

A few common side effects of Wellbutrin may include:

  • dry mouth
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • loss of appetite or weight
  • stomach pain
  • constipation
  • anxiety
  • excitement
  • uncontrollable shaking
  • muscle or joint pain
  • sweating
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • sore throat

Additional and potentially severe side effects can also develop if bupropion is being snorted. These side effects may include hallucinations, confusion, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, and even seizures.

Because of these side effects, and other risks, bupropion abuse should never be taken lightly.

Wellbutrin Overdose Risk

If too much Wellbutrin is taken, an overdose can occur. According to the FDA, overdoses of up to 30 grams or more have been reported. In a third of those overdose cases, the person experienced seizures as part of the overdose.

An overdose of bupropion alone may include hallucinations, loss of consciousness, sinus tachycardia, and changes in heart rate.

If bupropion is being abused alongside other drugs, an overdose may take the form of:

  • fever
  • muscle rigidity
  • rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown that leads to kidney damage)
  • hypotension
  • stupor
  • coma
  • respiratory failure

The risk of overdose is increased when a person is snorting drugs. The effects of Wellbutrin may kick in faster or more intensely than expected. Because of this, a person may easily take too much of the drug by accident.

If you think that a person near you may be experiencing an overdose from bupropion or a mix of substances, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222 for help. If the overdose has progressed to unconsciousness, call 911 immediately.

Treatment Options For Snorting Wellbutrin

When it comes to treating Wellbutrin abuse or addiction, there are several options available. Generally, treatment options include inpatient or outpatient programs.

Inpatient treatments are generally best for treating moderate to severe drug addictions. Here, a person may stay at a treatment center full-time. They can go through withdrawal symptoms under the supervision of a healthcare professional and receive the treatment necessary for long-term sobriety.

Another option for substance abuse treatment is an outpatient program. People in this type of program visit a treatment center a few times weekly for counseling and follow-up appointments. If you have a busy schedule, this type of program may be best for you.

Click here to find the best inpatient rehab centers in the U.S.

No matter which treatment program you choose, treatment for snorting Wellbutrin may include a variety of approaches including:

  • behavioral counseling
  • individual or group therapy
  • medication-based treatment if other certain substances are also being abused
  • evaluation and treatment for mental health issues
  • long-term follow-up to prevent relapse

These practices have been proven to help individuals change how they feel about drug use, increase healthy life skills, identify when they may be tempted to use, and make a healthier choice.

If you or a loved one may be snorting Wellbutrin or abusing bupropion in other ways, reach out for help. You can contact an addiction specialist today to find the best treatment center and program for you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on February 11, 2021


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