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Can You Take Wellbutrin While on Suboxone?

July 6, 2022

Table of Contents

Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD).

Wellbutrin is an anti-depressant medication used to treat depression, anxiety, and also for smoking cessation.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness lists no known interactions between the addiction treatment drug Suboxone and the antidepressant Wellbutrin.[1]

Wellbutrin and Suboxone are generally safe to take together. 

Understand Your Risks When Combining Wellbutrin & Suboxone

Suboxone & Seizures

Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which very rarely but occasionally can increase seizure frequency in people with seizure disorders.[2]

Wellbutrin is also a medication associated with lowering the seizure threshold.

If you have a history of severe seizures, Wellbutrin and Suboxone are probably not safe to take together, and you should speak to your doctor before combining them.

Doctors say the risk of seizures with Wellbutrin is low.[1]

Many people with no seizure history take Wellbutrin and Suboxone at the same time.

If you have a history of seizures, make sure you talk to your doctor before taking Wellbutrin. 

Why Would I Take Suboxone & Wellbutrin Together?

Depression is common in people with addiction disorders. And if left untreated, depression signals can lead to relapse.[4]

Wellbutrin is a common antidepressant medication, which means someone on Suboxone who also has depression might be prescribed Wellbutrin. In addition, many individuals who are on Suboxone might also be trying to kick a smoking habit, and Wellbutrin is also often prescribed to help patients quit smoking. For these reasons, a doctor might recommend that a patient be on both Suboxone for OUD and Wellbutrin for either depression or smoking cessation, at the same time.

Overall, being on Wellbutrin and Suboxone at the same time is very safe. Talk to your doctor if you notice any side effects when taking these medications together.

If the Wellbutrin/Suboxone combination isn't right for you, your doctor can find a pairing with a different antidepressant that works better.

Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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Citations

  1. Bupropion (Wellbutrin). National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Bupropion-(Wellbutrin). December 2020. Accessed June 2022.
  2. Belbuca Prescribing Information. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/207932s000lbl.pdf. December 2015. Accessed June 2022.
  3. Suboxone and Wellbutrin XL Drug Interactions: A Phase IV Clinical Study of FDA Data. eHealth Me. https://www.ehealthme.com/drug-interaction/suboxone/wellbutrin-xl/. Accessed June 2022. 
  4. Treating Depression and Substance Use: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Buprenorphine/Buprenorphine-Naloxone-(Suboxone). February 2012. Accessed June 2022.

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