Does Wellbutrin potentiate or block Adderall? Can you safely use Wellbutrin and Adderall together? Read on and find out.
Wellbutrin is an anti-depressant drug. Its formal name is bupropion hydrochloride, but it is best known as its branded form, Wellbutrin. Its other brand names include Aplenzin, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, and Zyban.
It may come as a surprise to many people, but in 2017 Wellbutrin was the 23rd most prescribed drug in the United States. It is used as an anti-depressant, and as a smoking-cessation aid.
As Wellbutrin is becoming so widespread in the United States, interactions with other commonly used medications are becoming more common. Of these potential interactions, one in particular strikes us as worrying – Wellbutrin and Adderall.
Adderall is a brand name given to a collection of amphetamine salts. So Adderall is essential just amphetamine, but a type which acts faster and lasts longer due to the different salts being used.
As you might imagine, using Adderall without a prescription is incredibly dangerous. It is a powerful stimulant used to treat severe ADHD and related disorders; it is not meant for otherwise healthy, normally-functioning adults. Using such a drug without medical supervision is extremely dangerous and should not be done.
Mixing such a powerful stimulant with a powerful anti-depressant like Wellbutrin takes the risk levels to another level.
How do these two drugs interact with one another? Does Wellbutrin block Adderall? Or does Wellbutrin potentiate Adderall?
Wellbutrin and Adderall: Are they safe to take together?
Can you take Wellbutrin and Adderall at the same time?
Wellbutrin and Adderall are not safe to take together – not in any circumstances.
Both Adderall and Wellbutrin increase your risk of having a seizure. While both drugs only moderately raise your risk of seizure when used separately, when taken together the risk if greatly amplified.
Broadly speaking, your risk of having a seizure while taking either Wellbutrin or Adderall is amplified by 1000% when you add in the other drug at the same time.
The exact reason for this effect is not well known. Indeed, the mechanism of action of Wellbutrin is not perfectly understood. But what is clear is that there is a compounding effect when combining Adderall and Wellbutrin, and the effect is NOT GOOD!
The FDA did find that Wellbutrin had a mild amphetamine-like effect which could be attractive to stimulant abusers, increasing the chance of over-dose and a resultant seizure:
“In a population of individuals experienced with drugs of abuse, a single dose of 400 mg of
WELLBUTRIN produced mild amphetamine-like activity as compared to placebo on the
Morphine-Benzedrine Subscale of the Addiction Research Center Inventories (ARCI) and a score
intermediate between placebo and amphetamine on the Liking Scale of the ARCI. These scales
measure general feelings of euphoria and drug desirability.
Findings in clinical trials, however, are not known to predict the abuse potential of drugs
reliably. Nonetheless, evidence from single-dose studies does suggest that the recommended daily
dosage of bupropion when administered in divided doses is not likely to be especially reinforcing to
amphetamine or stimulant abusers. However, higher doses that could not be tested because of the
risk of seizure might be modestly attractive to those who abuse stimulant drugs.” (source).
So can you use Wellbutrin and Adderall together?
Does Wellbutrin block Adderall?
We do not have enough information to answer this question properly, but it seems the answer is no. In fact, Wellbutrin may exert an amphetamine-like effect which compounds the effects of Adderall, making side effects highly likely and much more severe.
Does Wellbutrin potentiate Adderall?
Wellbutrin does not exactly potentiate Adderall, but it does drastically increase the risk of side effects, including seizure.