Bupropion is commonly used to treat depression, ADHD and bipolar disorder and to help people stop smoking. It’s also a highly addictive drug, and many people seek help from an addiction specialist, doctor, or drugs rehab centre.

Bupropion is known by the brand names Wellbutrin and Zyban. It works by altering the brain; therefore, it’s suitable for people who want to quit smoking by reducing the effects of nicotine withdrawal and treating depression.

How Does Bupropion Improve Depression?

Classed as an antidepressant, Bupropion works differently from some more commonly prescribed drugs that increase serotonin in the brain, such as Prozac. Bupropion increases the amount of dopamine rather than serotonin.

Patients using Bupropion reported fewer side effects than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac and Zoloft.

Bupropion starts to work within 1 to 2 weeks. Your appetite, sleep and energy levels should improve and return to normal levels. It’s common for people to experience anxiety and depression for between 6 and 8 weeks. In some cases, Bupropion can worsen depression and lead to suicidal thoughts. If Bupropion starts to impact your mental health massively, you must contact your doctor immediately.

How Can Bupropion Help Nicotine Cravings? 

People often find it tricky to stop smoking, especially if they have smoked heavily for years. When people stop smoking, they crave nicotine and become irritable, angry and restless. Disturbed sleep patterns, increased appetite, concentration problems, depression and anxiety, are also common.

Nicotine replacement aids such as nasal sprays, lozenges and skin patches can help control cravings. Still, people try drugs such as Bupropion as an alternative to nicotine replacement therapy. The drug also works alongside nicotine replacement, meaning that you can use both methods to quit smoking.

Bupropion Addiction And Abuse

Some people can become addicted to Bupropion, either via prescription or sourced illegally. Addiction can be accidental, as some people start to rely on prescribed medication, craving more and taking more than they should.

Others source Bupropion illegally and use it as a recreational drug. It’s reported that the effects of Bupropion are similar to that of cocaine and amphetamines, with users experiencing a temporary euphoria or ‘high.’ Rather than swallowing a tablet whole as advised, some Bupropion addicts crush or snort tablets to increase their’ high.’ Crushing or snorting pills means that Bupropion enters the bloodstream quickly, rather than acting as the slow-release medicine it was designed. Addicts also dissolve tablets in water and inject the liquid, although this is less common.

Overdosing on Bupropion is dangerous and, in some cases, life-threatening. Symptoms include seizures, hallucinations, vertigo, rapid heartbeat, muscle contractions and hallucinations. If you think you’ve overdosed on Bupropion, call 999 straight away.

What Are The Signs Of Addiction?

The signs of Bupropion addiction are similar to that of any drug addiction and can be mental and physical. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a family member, particularly declining mental health, then they may be addicted:

-Over-excited or manic mood

-Confusion, paranoia, depression or anxiety

-Psychotic episodes, hallucinations or delusions

-Aggression or confusion

You may also experience physical symptoms, including:

-Disrupted sleep patterns


-Being sick and feeling sick


-Feeling delirious

Bupropion addiction can have massive impacts on your work, family life and social life. Job loss or problems at work, family issues, ruined relationships and financial problems indicate that your addiction is taking over your life.

How To Take Bupropion Safely

Doses range from 150mg to 300mg per day, with an 8-hour gap between doses. The tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. It’s vital that you stick to your correct dose, as taking too much can lead to seizures. Make sure you don’t double your amount as this can make you feel ill.

What Are The Side Effects of Safe Bupropion Doses?

Some people don’t experience any side effects from Bupropion. Some common side effects include ringing in the ears or headaches, sweating, feeling sleepy or having problems falling asleep, feeling and being sick, weight loss, and loss of appetite. Other common side effects include urinating more than usual, constipation, anxiety or excitement and dry mouth.

Unfortunately, Bupropion can bring on serious side effects in some people. If this is the case, people should call their doctor. Possibilities include chest pains, swelling in legs, throat, arms or face, fever, rashes, hives and blistering of the skin.

It’s common for people to experience anxiety and depression for between 6 and 8 weeks. In some cases, Bupropion can worsen depression and lead to suicidal thoughts. If Bupropion starts to impact your mental health massively, you must contact your doctor immediately.

Can Anyone Take It?

Most people can safely take it if they are over 18 years of age. It’s not recommended if you have epilepsy or bipolar disorder, an eating condition such as bulimia or anorexia, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor if you fall under any of these categories. They will recommend alternative medicines.

Avoid alcohol and drugs if you start taking Bupropion. Toxins such as alcohol and drugs stop the medicine from working as well as it should. Tell your doctor if you’re taking any other medications, as Bupropion can interfere with them and make you feel unwell.

How To Get Help If You’re Addicted To Bupropion

Admitting that you have an addiction is challenging, but it’s the first step to living a drug-free life. You can contact your doctor, who can refer you to support services in your area. Another option is seeking help from specialist drug rehab clinics, such as those run by Rehab Clinic Group.

Rehab Clinics Group operate private drug rehab centres across the UK and provide personalised recovery programmes to help people beat a range of addictions, including Bupropion. Our varied treatment programmes cover drug detox, rehabilitation and counselling. You’ll benefit from a year of free aftercare when you finish your treatment.

Contact our team today on 0800 470 0382 to find out more.