Drug Interactions, Kratom Guides

Is Mixing Kratom & Wellbutrin a Bad Idea?

Both kratom and bupropion (Wellbutrin) are considered relatively safe compounds. 

When compared to other more common antidepressants like SSRIs, bupropion has been shown to provoke fewer adverse effects like sexual dysfunction or weight gain. When taken properly, it also has a much lower potential for misuse [1].

In general, kratom and bupropion should not be taken together. The level of risk is low, but the severity of the side effects of their interaction could be severe. 

Should you decide to combine these substances anyway, consult with your doctor first — drug interactions are complex and involve many other aspects of individual health. Some people may be at a much higher risk than others when taking this combination.  

Last updated 3 weeks ago by Wade Paul

Is Mixing Kratom & Wellbutrin a Bad Idea?

Does Kratom Interact With Wellbutrin?

Yes, kratom is likely to interfere with the metabolism of bupropion and could lead to severe side effects. The more often you combine these substances, the higher the risk. 

Both kratom and bupropion are inhibitors of the CYP2D6 enzyme; kratom also inhibits CYP3A4 to a lesser degree [2,3].

This effect can lead to higher plasma levels of bupropion and its metabolites as well as kratom. This, in turn, may cause the compounds to accumulate within the body at dangerous levels, prompting an increased rate of adverse effects, toxicity, and overdose.

Antidepressants like Wellbutrin are usually taken daily, which can make the risk of accumulation in the bloodstream more imminent. Also, as with other antidepressants, mixing bupropion and alcohol increases the risk of adverse effects [4]. 

Wellbutrin Specs:

Drug Name Bupropion
Trade NamesWellbutrin, Zyban, Bufoproban, Budeprion, Forvivo, Aplenzin
Classification Atypical antidepressant
CYP MetabolismPrimary metabolites: CYP 2B6 & 3A4
Interaction With Kratom Metabolic competitor
Risk of InteractionModerate

Is It Safe to Take Kratom With Wellbutrin?

Since kratom and bupropion directly compete for metabolism, it’s unwise to take these medications together for any reason.

We know that bupropion use can lead to seizures [5].  The risk is exceedingly small, but it still exists. Taking kratom alongside Wellbutrin may increase the chance of experiencing this severe side effect. 

With this in mind, it’s likely not a good idea to mix kratom with bupropion (Wellbutrin or Zyban). 

At the very least — if you’re dead set on trying this combination — consult with your doctor first. They may be able to adapt your dose of bupropion to account for kratom and may advise you to separate the dose of each substance by two or more hours to minimize risk. 

What is Bupropion (Wellbutrin)?

Bupropion is an atypical antidepressant — this means it has several key differences when compared to other antidepressants such as Zoloft or Prozac

This medication belongs to a kind of antidepressant called aminoketones. It’s an NDRI (noradrenaline dopamine reuptake inhibitor) which is similar to SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) but focuses on dopamine rather than serotonin. 

Most NDRI medications have a low risk of interaction with kratom — but because bupropion is metabolized so heavily by the CYP2D6 enzyme, the risk of using this medication with kratom is higher. 

Bupropion functions differently in the body than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

Bupropion raises the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the body, while SSRI’s work to do the same except for serotonin. In many instances, Wellbutrin can be prescribed along with an SSRI. 

Although it can induce side effects — in general — bupropion is considered to be one of the safest choices when it comes to antidepressants. There is little incidence of misuse, and if taken properly, it does not cause physical dependence. 

In 2019, Wellbutrin (bupropion) was the 22nd most commonly prescribed medication in the United States.

Bupropion is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. 

What Is Wellbutrin Used For?

Wellbutrin is used to treat several different ailments: 

  1. Major depressive disorder (MDD), as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) [6]
  2. Cigarette (nicotine) addiction
  3. Bipolar disorder and ADHD (off-label uses)

What’s the Dose of Bupropion?

Bupropion is a prescription drug. It is used to treat a variety of conditions, and as such, the dosage can vary depending on the treatment goal and the individual person.

There are other complicating factors like the method of ingestion and the different forms of bupropion available (immediate release, sustained release, and extended release).

These conditions mean that you should only take bupropion as prescribed by your doctor. Do not exceed the indicated dosage or use the compound for longer than the allotted time frame.

Additionally, the misuse of bupropion — either by taking an excessive dose or by snorting or injecting it — is known to cause stimulant-like effects similar to cocaine. 

Generic & Brand Name Versions

Bupropion is most commonly sold under the brand names Wellbutrin or Zyban, but there are many others too. 

Bupropion is sold under the following brand names:

  • Zyban
  • Bufoproban
  • Budeprion
  • Forvivo
  • Wellbutrin
  • Aplenzin

What Are the Side Effects of Bupropion?

Bupropion is known to be one of the best pharmacological antidepressant options in terms of its low incidence of side effects. 

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. 

Some of the common side effects of bupropion include [7]:

  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Sore throat

The more rare and/or serious side effects of bupropion include:

  • Skin rashes
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Thought disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Seizures

Luckily — the rate of these severe side effects is quite low. 

What is Kratom?

Much like coffee and the coca leaf, kratom is a natural herbal extract derived from a plant with psychoactive properties — Mitragyna speciosa.

This tropical evergreen tree is native to Southeast Asia. Native peoples in countries like Borneo and Thailand have been using it for centuries to achieve a vast array of benefits. 

Kratom is chock-full of powerful plant-based alkaloids. These are naturally occurring compounds that work on the body’s central nervous system to achieve either stimulant or depressive effects. 

Kratom’s main alkaloids are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

Kratom is becoming a popular drug in the United States due to its benefits, but it’s also received some controversial attention since it can cause adverse side effects and symptoms of physical dependence.

Instances of fatal overdoses have been reported, but they are very rare and almost always involve other substances.

What is Kratom Used For?

The effects of kratom depend on the amount ingested. 

A lower dose promotes mind-based effects like better focus and enhanced mood. Higher doses lead to more analgesic and sedative-like effects—good for pain and anxiety. 

The spectrum of effects kratom provides is useful in the treatment of numerous ailments, but it can also serve just as a nootropic.

In terms of medication, kratom is popular with those experiencing chronic pain. Kratom also has anxiolytic qualities: many kratom users have abandoned their antidepressant prescriptions for kratom. 

Anecdotal evidence is not strong, but we put a lot of trust in the myriad life-changing stories that can easily be found amongst the kratom community. 

What’s the Dose of Kratom?

The general dosage recommendations for kratom are as follows:

  • Low dose (1-5g) — best used to promote the stimulant effects of the kratom plant. 
  • Medium dose (5-10g) — analgesic and anxiolytic properties start to become more evident.
  • High dose (10-15g) — heavy sedative, analgesic, and anxiolytic qualities are to be found at this high dose. Do not consume this amount of kratom if you’re unsure as to how your body will handle it. 

These dosage recommendations are averages and should not be treated as so.

As with most drugs, kratom affects people differently depending on a variety of factors like age, method of consumption, and body mass. 

Be sure to exercise caution and responsibility when selecting your kratom dose. 

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

Kratom’s side effects may include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety

Due to kratom’s unregulated status, more studies are needed in order to better understand kratom’s adverse effects and how it interacts with other compounds. 

What Are the Different Types of Kratom?

Kratom strains are named after the color of the leaf vein. These strains arise mainly from differences in the harvesting and processing of the kratom leaf. 

It is speculated that these differences lead to contrasting alkaloid profiles within the kratom plant, accounting for the differences within each strain. 

All strains share the same general effects. However, each strain emphasizes different properties of the plant. 

A) White Vein Kratom

White vein kratom is the ideal strain for those looking to enhance their mental focus or improve their mood. 

Many white vein users report a boost in mental energy and creativity—making it popular for those with creative jobs. 

B) Red Vein Kratom

Red vein kratom users typically enjoy this strain due to the pain relief it can provide and its calming, anxiolytic effects. 

Typically, kratom needs to be ingested in medium to high doses to trigger these effects.  This makes this strain the ideal choice for those who don’t want to consume too much kratom but still want to mimic the effects of a higher dose. 

C) Green Vein Kratom

Green-veined kratom strains are usually thought of as the ‘midpoint’ between white and red. 

They have a more general and all-around profile which makes them ideal for those who want to experience the whole suite of kratom’s benefits without becoming overwhelmed by any one aspect. 

D) Yellow Vein Kratom

White, red, and green are the main kratom types. This is because yellow vein kratom is essentially a house blend of various red and white vein kratom. Every vendor’s yellow vein kratom options are different. 

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Mix Kratom & Bupropion (Wellbutrin)?

Bupropion is thought of as one of the safest pharmacological antidepressants out there. It carries a much lower risk than first or second-generation antidepressants such as tricyclics or SNRI medications. 

Kratom is also regarded as a safe compound when used appropriately.

To mix these compounds on rare occasions is most likely unlikely to place you in any imminent danger. However, as we’ve seen, these compounds mutually inhibit the efficient metabolization of each other within the body. 

This means that if done on a consistent basis, mixing kratom and bupropion could lead to a higher incidence of side effects — particularly seizures — as well as toxicity. 

You should consult your physician before attempting to combine kratom and bupropion. 

References

  1. Fava, M., Rush, A. J., Thase, M. E., Clayton, A., Stahl, S. M., Pradko, J. F., & Johnston, J. A. (2005). 15 years of clinical experience with bupropion HCl: from bupropion to bupropion SR to bupropion XL. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 7(3), 106.
  2. Costa, R., Oliveira, N. G., & Dinis-Oliveira, R. J. (2019). Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic of bupropion: integrative overview of relevant clinical and forensic aspects. Drug metabolism reviews, 51(3), 293-313.
  3. Hanapi, N. A., Ismail, S., & Mansor, S. M. (2013). Inhibitory effect of mitragynine on human cytochrome P450 enzyme activities. Pharmacognosy Research, 5(4), 241.
  4. Menkes, D. B., & Herxheimer, A. (2014). Interaction between antidepressants and alcohol: signal amplification by multiple case reports. International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, 26(3), 163-170.
  5. Davidson, J. (1989). Seizures and bupropion: a review. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 50(7), 256-261.
  6. Berigan, T. R. (2002). The many uses of bupropion and bupropion sustained-release (SR) in adults. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 4(1), 30.
  7. Huecker, M. R., Smiley, A., & Saadabadi, A. (2021). Bupropion. StatPearls [Internet].