When people are prescribed to certain medicines, it’s extremely important that they know the potential symptoms, side effects and risks, and also that they know how medications could interact with other substances, such as alcohol.
With the legalization of recreational marijuana currently on the books in several states across the country, this is also a key potential interaction that should be considered when someone starts a new medication.
What about marijuana and Wellbutrin? How does marijuana affect Wellbutrin?
The following provides more information about Wellbutrin in general and also highlights how marijuana and Wellbutrin could interact with one another.
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What Is Wellbutrin?
Before looking at possible interactions of marijuana and Wellbutrin, what is it? Wellbutrin is the brand name of a drug called bupropion, and it’s used to treat depression. It tends to have fewer sexually-related side effects as compared to other antidepressants, which is why some physicians might favor it as an option for patients.
Some of the other benefits of Wellbutrin include that it can actually be taken with other antidepressants as a way to alleviate some of the side effects they create, it can be energizing, and it can help with symptoms of ADHD. It can also be used to help people stop smoking, and the majority of people that use it for the first time report that it works for them as an antidepressant.
While there are plenty of benefits of Wellbutrin, there are potential downsides as well. For example, it’s not the best option for most people with anxiety because it does have some stimulant effects, and it may cause weight gain. It also has a risk of causing seizures, particularly if you drink a lot of alcohol.
Wellbutrin is believed to work as an atypical antidepressant, meaning it changes the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which ultimately can regulate mood.
One of the primary interactions to be aware of with Wellbutrin is with alcohol. As was mentioned above, combining alcohol and Wellbutrin can increase your risk of seizures.
How Does Marijuana Affect Wellbutrin?
So, what should you know about marijuana and Wellbutrin? How does marijuana affect Wellbutrin?
A big challenge for physicians is making sure they prescribe a patient the right antidepressant for them, and it’s important they know any other substances the patient may use including marijuana, to ensure they can do that properly.
First and foremost, if you’re prescribed an antidepressant, you should hold off on smoking marijuana at a minimum for a few weeks to a month, to see how it’s affecting you. This isn’t exclusive to marijuana and Wellbutrin but goes for any antidepressant. It’s vital that you and your physician have the ability to determine any side effects that may be occurring and how effective the medication is without the interference of marijuana.
Another reason it’s important to avoid combining marijuana and Wellbutrin, at least when you first begin the medicine, is because you’re less likely to follow your treatment protocol if you’re using other substances. This means that your symptoms of depression may not get better, or may even get worse. This could incorrectly be attributed to the Wellbutrin when in reality it is more related to the use of marijuana.
Marijuana may also alter certain brain chemicals, and if you have depression it can make your symptoms worse, so this is something to be aware of as well.
The specific risk of an interaction occurring between marijuana and Wellbutrin is relatively low, however. Wellbutrin is classified as norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors or NDRI, and the risk of marijuana and Wellbutrin having harmful interactions with one another is classified as low to moderate.
There aren’t currently many reports of adverse interactions with marijuana and Wellbutrin, beyond the general warnings people should heed about their use of psychoactive substances while on Wellbutrin.
Summing Up—Marijuana and Wellbutrin
Wellbutrin is a class of antidepressants that does bring good results for many people, and it also tends to have fewer side effects than other antidepressants. It has a mildly stimulating effect as compared to other antidepressants as well. People on Wellbutrin are advised against drinking alcohol because it can cause adverse side effects, such as raising your risk of experiencing a seizure.
Regarding marijuana and Wellbutrin, or if you’re wondering “how does marijuana affect Wellbutrin,” a few things to consider include the fact that if you’re using marijuana when you first start the medicine, you may not be able to determine if it’s working or if you’re experiencing side effects.
Other than that, there aren’t many harmful or adverse known interactions between marijuana and Wellbutrin to be aware of at this point, although that could change over time.
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