Wellbutrin XL and Alcohol

Many people may wonder if it is okay to take Wellbutrin XL and alcohol at the same time. Your healthcare provider may allow drinking in moderate amounts, but only after you are aware of the effects that the medication has on your body. Because alcohol and Wellbutrin XL affect similar chemicals in the brain, combining the two may increase symptoms of depression.

Wellbutrin XL and Alcohol: An Overview

Sometimes, people are warned to avoid alcohol while taking Wellbutrin XL® (bupropion XL). This is because alcohol and medicines like Wellbutrin XL affect similar chemicals in the brain. The concern is that Wellbutrin XL will increase the effects of alcohol -- whether it is increasing symptoms of depression or affecting motor skills.
Practically, when many healthcare providers are asked whether it is okay to drink alcohol while on Wellbutrin XL, they recommend that if a person chooses to drink, they only drink light to moderate amounts, and only after understanding the effects that Wellbutrin XL (and other medicines they are taking) may have on their body.

Wellbutrin XL and Alcohol: What Is Moderate Drinking?

When healthcare providers recommend moderate alcohol drinking, they mean one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Because the alcohol content in drinks varies, what counts as one drink also varies. When healthcare providers talk about one alcoholic drink, they are referring to one of the following examples:
  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1½ ounces of 80-proof whiskey
  • 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.

Using Caution With Wellbutrin XL and Alcohol

If a person decides to drink alcohol in moderation while taking Wellbutrin XL, they should not drink alcohol at the same time they take their Wellbutrin XL dosage. Also, as mentioned, a person should learn the effects of the drug on their body before they begin drinking.
You should not stop drinking suddenly while taking Wellbutrin XL, as this may increase your risk of Wellbutrin seizures.
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