Effects & Dangers Of Bupropion (Wellbutrin) Injection

Injecting bupropion can cause serious side effects such as psychosis, tissue necrosis, decreased blood flow, and drug overdose.

Bupropion is an antidepressant agent that can treat the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and major depressive disorder. It is also approved as a treatment option for smoking cessation. 

Brand-name prescription drugs that contain bupropion include Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, and Zyban.

Daily doses of bupropion can be abused by people with or without a prescription. Your healthcare provider may ask about your personal or family history of drug abuse before prescribing your bupropion.

Injecting Bupropion

Historically, bupropion was believed to have low abuse potential. However, studies on bupropion sustained-release and extended-release formulations suggest that bupropion tablets can be crushed, dissolved into a solution, and injected.

Injection may not be an approved use of bupropion. Unapproved methods of bupropion use may include snorting (insufflation) and injecting, which are also forms of substance abuse. These forms of abuse may be done to achieve a high, or to ingest high doses of the drug quickly.

Bupropion may affect dopamine and norepinephrine receptors in your brain. Changing the reuptake of these neurotransmitters can affect your mood, blood pressure, motivation, and heart rate. Taking bupropion can change your brain chemistry, leading you to take higher doses over time.

Side Effects Of Bupropion Injection

Injecting bupropion can cause side effects such as:

  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • mood swings
  • increased heart rate
  • loss of appetite
  • insomnia
  • weight loss or weight gain
  • blurry vision

Risks Of Intravenous Bupropion Abuse

Some adverse effects of bupropion use may be exclusive to injection. Injecting drugs can put stress on your muscles and skin, which can lead to infections, scarring, tissue, damage, and a form of restricted blood flow known as compartment syndrome.

Sharing needles may also lead to an increased risk of bloodborne pathogens, such as HIV or hepatitis.

Bupropion Overdose

The risk of bupropion toxicity may increase if the drug is injected. Injecting bupropion can cause high doses to enter the body quickly, which can be dangerous compared to ingestion.

The risk of bupropion overdose may increase further if it is taken with alcohol, amphetamines, or other antidepressants.

Bupropion overdose symptoms may include tachycardia, seizures, psychosis, and a loss of consciousness. In severe cases, bupropion overdose can be life-threatening.

Mental Health Problems

Case reports of bupropion injection include several incidences of psychosis. Forms of psychosis linked to bupropion injection may include hallucinations, paranoia, and ideations of persecution.

How bupropion causes psychosis is not fully understood. More studies are likely needed to determine the full scope of bupropion’s effects on the brain.

Drug Addiction

The addictive qualities of bupropion may require more research, especially concerning different methods of abuse. Determining the causes and effects of bupropion abuse can help healthcare providers develop effective treatment options.

For information on our prescription drug addiction treatment options, please contact us today.


Journal of Addiction Medicine — Bupropion injection resulting in tissue necrosis and psychosis: previously undocumented complications of intravenous bupropion use disorder

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Bupropion

National Library of Medicine: StatPearls — Bupropion

SpringerOpen — The needle and the damage done: musculoskeletal and vascular complications associated with injected drug use

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.