Wellbutrin Addiction, Statistics, Abuse, Symptoms & Side Effects

What is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin (chemically known as bupropion) is an antidepressant that is a Norepinephrine-dopamine re-uptake inhibitor. In short, Wellbutrin improves one’s mood by increasing the concentration of dopamine in the brain. Wellbutrin is considered to be non-addictive and non-habit forming. However, like any other drug, it can be abused and develop into an addiction. Wellbutrin is commonly prescribed to assist in depression, weight loss, and stopping smoking. Since it is not considered to be addictive, it is easily obtained via prescription. A Wellbutrin addiction is normally created when someone begins to abuse the drug. It is normally abused by crushing the pill and inhaling it. Others who have a Wellbutrin dependency will take additional pills in an attempt to feel a rush. Wellbutrin is known for causing seizures. The cause for seizures is directly related to the amount of bupropion that is ingested. This is one significant reason why Wellbutrin addiction is not well known. Wellbutrin addiction has been linked to increasing the risk of suicide in people younger than 25. In adolescents, the risk of suicide doubles. Other names of Wellbutrin are Zyban,Voxra, Budeprion, Prexaton, Elontril and Aplenzin.


Wellbutrin is not a drug that is studied for addiction or abuse. Therefore, there are no formal statistics presented for bupropion addiction.

Causes of Wellbutrin Addiction

Wellbutrin is considered by the FDA to be non-addictive, however, if abused, a Wellbutrin addiction can begin. Wellbutrin improves a person’s mood by increasing the concentration of dopamine in emotional brain regions. This release of dopamine caused by the bupropion aids in boosting a person’s mood. Someone abusing Wellbutrin is often trying to uplift their mood or attain some sort of rush which is not achieved. By abusing bupropion, a Wellbutrin dependency can develop. Major life events like deaths in the family, divorces or break-ups, or severe trauma can trigger initial use, overuse, and finally dependency. Frequently Wellbutrin addictions also display other mood disorders or addictions to substances such as alcohol.

Signs of Wellbutrin Use, Addiction and Dependence

Anyone with an addiction displays numerous warning signs and Wellbutrin addiction is no exception. Although, becoming physically dependent is uncommon, a psychological addiction to Wellbutrin may happen. Some of the signs of abuse are get some sort of increased energy, talkative, mood elevated reaction. Some of the signs of abuse are:

  • Mania
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Delusions
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Insomnia

Wellbutrin Effects

With a Wellbutrin addiction, there are negative effects that can develop. Although a Wellbutrin addiction may not be a physical one, there are still some unwanted physical reactions that are exhibited when someone abruptly stops taking the drug. There are also psychological and social side effects related to a Wellbutrin addiction. Some physical traits include:

  • Hypertension
  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Delirium
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia

Possible psychological effects of addiction include:

  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide
  • Depression
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Mania
  • Confusion and incoherent thoughts
  • Psychotic symptoms

Social results include:

  • Loss of family
  • Friendships and other relationships ruined
  • Reduced financial opportunities
  • Career collapse
  • Personal activities being avoided
  • Reclusive behaviors

Wellbutrin Withdrawal

Although the FDA may state that Wellbutrin is non-addictive, there are still some unwanted physical reactions that present themselves with an addiction and can manifest especially strongly upon suddenly going cold-turkey. In addition, the psychological withdrawal symptoms created when someone has a Wellbutrin dependency are difficult to deal with. Some of the effects felt from withdrawal are hallucinations, hypertension, irritability, dizziness, moodiness, nausea, suicidal thoughts, seizures, depression, muscle aches, insomnia and confused thinking.

Wellbutrin Addiction Treatment

The information provided in relation to a Wellbutrin addiction is quite sparse, but as with most drugs, a bupropion addiction can be possible. There is no medical cure for addiction. The most effective way to overcome an addiction is to seek help from a Wellbutrin addiction treatment center, but it begins with asking for help. The person with an addiction has to admit that is a problem and find help. They then need to find a licensed professionals and / or a Wellbutrin rehab program to assist with their recovery.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on AddictionHope.com, Online Addiction Resource