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Lindsay

WELLBUTRIN SR (BUPROPION HYDROCHLORIDE) and ALCOHOL

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WELLBUTRIN SR (BUPROPION HYDROCHLORIDE) and ALCOHOL

Severity: Major

Description: Drinking ALCOHOL (or taking any product containing alcohol) while being treated with BUPROPION, or any other ANTIDEPRESSANT, may result in an increased risk of seizures. Drinking alcohol while being treated with bupropion is not recommended. Call your doctor right away for any of the following problems.

1. You are confused.

2. You have changes in mental awareness.

3. You have sudden muscle spasms.

4. You have seizures.

Alcohol is a depressant. Why would you want to become depressed?

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I am new to Wellbutrin SR, but I have not decreased my alcohol intake. I know it could cause seizures but I just am too depressed to not drink. I get pretty drunk on fridays and saturdays and occasionally during the week I will have a shot of alcohol, but not often. So far I have no weird side effects. I just wonder if they HAVE to put that on the bottle because of the FDA or if it really could cause serious problems.

Edited by buckten

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I have yet to indulge in even one alcoholic drink while on wellbutrin. This is fine with me 98% of the time. Occasionally I would like to enjoy a glass of alcohol. I am scared about the increased risks if consuming alcohol. Can a glass of alcohol really cause this much trouble/damage? How does everyone one else deal with this subject in their everyday lives?

Edited by 2happy

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My doc only told me to keep an eye on my alcohol intake. When I started taking ativan, he said I should probably stop drinking until I stopped taking ativan.

I understand the risk of drinking while on anti-depressants, however I have never used alcohol as a *solution* to my problems. I dont drink when im upset - i only drink when I am happy and want to enjoy myself in the company of friends.

What my doc told me seems to not match up with everything that is being said here..... curious...

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Since alcohol is a depressant, it's generally a good idea to stop drinking when you're taking an AD.

With WB, alcohol is also couterindicated because it increases the risk of seizure.

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I am new to Wellbutrin SR, but I have not decreased my alcohol intake. I know it could cause seizures but I just am too depressed to not drink. I get pretty drunk on fridays and saturdays and occasionally during the week I will have a shot of alcohol, but not often. So far I have no weird side effects. I just wonder if they HAVE to put that on the bottle because of the FDA or if it really could cause serious problems.

I'm in the same boat. :hearts: I'm working on cutting back on the drinking. I hear that if you've been drinking regularly and you suddenly stop while taking this medicine that could increase the risk of seizure too. Is that true?

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My doc said nothing to me about not drinking while taking WB. I don't drink a lot but I do have a drink or two throughout the week. The most I ever drink is on our Saturday "date night" with my hubby. I have maybe 3-4 drinks in a 5 hour period of time. Alcohol is not my copeing mechanism, unfortunately I have developed other ways to cope:( That is the main reason why I went back on an AD. I stopped taking my Lexapro (I was on it a year) and thought I was doing better but was replaceing it with my vicoden which I am prescribed for chronic pain (I have severe IBS). I am a mother and can't handle the guilt anymore of what I am doing. I am still taking the vic. but am hoping that the AD kicks in soon. I've been on it for about 2 weeks. Its so wonderful to be able to talk about things on here and not worry about being judged. One more thing...my husband knows about the vic. and is being very supportive. I know I am using the vic as someone would use alcohol. I kind of got off track there...sorry.

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I agree: it's not worth taking the risk of combining WB and alcohol!

Good luck with weaning off the vicodin! I believe there are other meds that can also help with opiate addictions, so if you're having problems, please look into it.

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I also read that if you drink regularly, you should not stop immediately because the withdrawal and Wellbutrin can cause seizures. I don't know what "regularly" would be considered... I have been considering quitting drinking but if it is a bad idea, then I don't know. Suppose I will ask the doctor.

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I sometimes wonder if the phrase "do not consume alcohol whilst taking this medication" is something automatically added to all prescription advice? I understand the contradictions of drinking alcohol whilst on AD's to a point. Yes, alcohol is classed as a depressant but why do so many people feel good when they have had a drink or two?

I started wellbutrin SR a few days ago and although I confess to previous having drank everyday, I have moderated my consumption. I will not drink excessively probably no more than 2 glasses of alcohol now as I also realize that I used alcohol to dull my feelings and thoughts prior to my recent attempt.

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I know this is a bit old but I have to bring it up because it nags me every time I see it... depressant in the sense of alcohol is entirely unlike the depressant aspect of antidepressant. With regard to alcohol, that means a general Central Nervous System depressant, whereas wrt an antidepressant that means unhappiness, low mood, etc. They are NOT related!

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I agree totally with Reb, that's just the class of drugs they are in. Valium is a 'depressant' also but it sure can make you feel good,

With that being said, one drink isnt going to cause a seizure. All the literature says 'excessive drinking' however doesnt specify an amount. On that note, excessive benzo's can also cause seizures, also, sudden stopping of benzo's can cause seizures.

I've managed 6~ standard drinks in a night without any issues, with that being said, dont go out and do it just because you can. Im actually willing to take the risk, shrug, that's just me. I dont drink a sh*tload, maybe once a week,

One problem with alcohol that's common, is once you start drinking, many find it hard to stop, or guage how much they have had. I dont have that problem, and thus limit myself.

Then again I'm on approximately day 10, 300 mg's for 7, and im in Austraila, so I am taking it as Zyban (its meant for quitting smoking here) but im using it for it's AD purposes.

Lindsay, I understand you are posting what the WB website says, but of course, due to the high risk of seizure anyway with this drug, they want to reduce any incidences anyway they can. If one is extremely worried about this, you shouldnt be taking WB.

I am not advocating going out and drinking, however, in 99.9% of cases, having one drink will not be a problem, and you shouldnt be changing your lifestyle thus that you cant enjoy a glass of red over dinner on a date, etc.

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PhireX:

I agree with you - one drink isn't going to cause a problem. Probably. See, that's the problem. Everyone reacts differently to alcohol and meds, so it is best to exercise caution in this matter. I, for one, do have an occasional drink, but I cannot advise anyone to mix alcohol and AD meds.

It is best to avoid drinking alcohol while taking any sort of AD med.

Please take care of yourself and be careful.

-Bean

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Also...Wellbutrin is difficult for the liver to process. Combining it with alcohol can put extra stress on the liver.

So very true.

-Bean

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I know everyone's chemical makeup is different, but from personal experience, I don't see how someone could have more than 2 or 3 drinks on Wellbutrin.

I used to do the usual Friday and Saturday night, going out drinking, 6-8 drinks in a night (and while taking Zoloft didn't notice an interactions).

Since starting Wellbutrin, the need to drink is absent. One person mentioned once you start you want to keep drinking (even on Wellbutrin). For me, on Wellbutrin, after 1 or 2 I'm done.

I know Wellbutrin (Zyban) is used to help people quit smoking - from my personal experience, not only has it helped me cut down to 3 cigarettes a day (formerly a pack a day), it has also affected me in the alchol arena -- in that I don't have that need to have more than 1.

I also read somewhere (I think on this website) that there is now evidence that some people who take SSRI's also tend to drink more alcohol than before they started. It had something to do with increase of Serotonin in some people makes them want to drink more. I know from personal experience of being on Zoloft that was true with me.

If any one is looking to cut down or stop drinking, Wellbutrin, at least for me, has hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, the only positive effects I have on Wellbutrin are the lack of wanting to smoke or drink -- now if it would just help my depression!

It almost seems ironic that Wellbutrin can inhibit the need to drink alcohol -- but one of the biggest warnings on Wellbutrin is that if you start Wellbutrin, and you drink a lot of alcohol, that you have a greater risk of seizure.

So I guess Wellbutrin might be a good drug to give someone once they've gone through alcohol treatment to help them resist the temptation to start drinking again.

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I am new to Wellbutrin SR, but I have not decreased my alcohol intake. I know it could cause seizures but I just am too depressed to not drink. I get pretty drunk on fridays and saturdays and occasionally during the week I will have a shot of alcohol, but not often. So far I have no weird side effects. I just wonder if they HAVE to put that on the bottle because of the FDA or if it really could cause serious problems.

Hello, I am new here and have been wondering the same thing. I was on lexapro for a year and just about 2 weeks ago switched over to Wellbutrin. I don't drink much on the weekdays, but I usually drink heavily on the weekends. I have just turned 21 and so have been going to the bars and drinking alot lately on the weekends. It is usually only twice a week but a lot. I have no history of seizures or anything, but I am worried about this...Is there anyone out there that can relate?

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Hello, I am new here and have been wondering the same thing. I was on lexapro for a year and just about 2 weeks ago switched over to Wellbutrin. I don't drink much on the weekdays, but I usually drink heavily on the weekends. I have just turned 21 and so have been going to the bars and drinking alot lately on the weekends. It is usually only twice a week but a lot. I have no history of seizures or anything, but I am worried about this...Is there anyone out there that can relate?

Well Im also just starting out on the Generic Wellbutrin from Eon/Sandoz and I too am in the 20's so I've had my weekends of drinking as well. I dont know about the seizures if that would occur with a few party nights, I think it would take alot. But I'd ask your doctor for sure. I know in my case though when I had too much to drink and on this stuff.. I got really depressed.. its like you drink 2 long islands and it feels like 4. Which alchohol is a depressant.. so it doesn't seem like its good to drink a depressant when you're on an antidepressant. Make sense? :)

But I think it is the individuals choice. I know for myself though I think I'll stick to one drink for awhile.

Mary

ps: my doctor had said something about not more than one drink a night, and no more than 7 drinks in a week. So it seems like it would take a fair amount. I dont know if that was exactly what she said.. but I know the number 7 came up. So I'd ask your doctor for sure

Edited by MCoving

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Hello, I am new here and have been wondering the same thing. I was on lexapro for a year and just about 2 weeks ago switched over to Wellbutrin. I don't drink much on the weekdays, but I usually drink heavily on the weekends. I have just turned 21 and so have been going to the bars and drinking alot lately on the weekends. It is usually only twice a week but a lot. I have no history of seizures or anything, but I am worried about this...Is there anyone out there that can relate?

Well Im also just starting out on the Generic Wellbutrin from Eon/Sandoz and I too am in the 20's so I've had my weekends of drinking as well. I dont know about the seizures if that would occur with a few party nights, I think it would take alot. But I'd ask your doctor for sure. I know in my case though when I had too much to drink and on this stuff.. I got really depressed.. its like you drink 2 long islands and it feels like 4. Which alchohol is a depressant.. so it doesn't seem like its good to drink a depressant when you're on an antidepressant. Make sense? :)

But I think it is the individuals choice. I know for myself though I think I'll stick to one drink for awhile.

Mary

ps: my doctor had said something about not more than one drink a night, and no more than 7 drinks in a week. So it seems like it would take a fair amount. I dont know if that was exactly what she said.. but I know the number 7 came up. So I'd ask your doctor for sure

Hey, Thanks for the advice! I guess I'll just have to be careful and just try not to drink as much when I go out. I am not on WB for depression, but for anxiety. I know its not the best one for anxiety but I wanted to lose some weight that I gained on lexapro.

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I've been taking Wellbutrin for almost 2 years along with various other medications that my doctor said to take or drop. I am not a big drinker and I agree that its stupid but I have been in situations at college where I had to drink a fair amount or just casually and there were definite side effects with me. When I wake up the next morning I always feel slightly dizzy and have a tremor in my hand. Its really bad if I have work to do or want to exercize cause u cant really do anything. That said while I'm sure it happens I haven't seen the extreme side effects that were mentioned and I mostly avoid drinking.

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I've been on 150 mg Wellbutrin for one week now. Although I had read the warnings about alcohol on these boards, I completely forgot about the meds when I went out last night and really overdid it. My normally very-high tolerance had decreased and I ended up a messy drunk, being sick in my friend's bathroom and passing out. Frighteningly, I seem to have blacked-out the end of the night, something that has only happened twice before in my life, both times a decade ago in college. At least I've learned my lesson, and without any serious negative effects, other than making a complete fool of myself in front of people I respect! I don't have any plans to give up the few glasses of red alcohol I drink a week, but I will definitely think twice about drinking to excess in the future.

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Not that I'm a big drinker, but I do go out once in a while and get myself plastered with friends. I start feeling worse and worse every time this happens, and I kind of knew alcohol is not indicated, but didn't know about the risks.

I guess one more thing to scratch off the list of things I could do "before" and no longer able to do "after". Stupid depression...

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Punkie:

You're right about the risks. Drinking while on WB, or any med, for that matter, is dangerous. Having an occasional drink here and there may be

okay - not drinking at all is best - but "getting plastered" is never a good idea. Besides the risk of mixing booze w/ meds, alcohol is a depressant. It actually makes you feel worse, more depressed. Trust me on this, I spent my early 20's trying to "drown my sorrows." All it did was lead me straight to a severe breakdown.

:hearts:

-Bean

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