Bupropion is the generic formula of Wellbutrin, and Wellbutrin has been discontinued in the United States. Bupropion, however, is still on the market, as noted by Drugs.com.  It is also possible that drug dealers are selling counterfeit Wellbutrin pills online. Questions arise about can you snort bupropion and can you snort Wellbutrin, both of which can produce a high similar to that of cocaine. We delve into that below.

Snorting is not a safe way to take Wellbutrin. It can lead to a bevy of health issues.


Depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and nicotine addiction are serious health issues that require help. Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that can help people who have been diagnosed with any of these conditions.

Wellbutrin is made up of bupropion, and it can be effective in regulating and improving your mood. However, a 2014 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) shows that Wellbutrin is a drug of abuse.

Some ways it can be misused are:

  • Taking a larger dose than prescribed
  • Crushing pills to snort them
  • Injecting it intravenously
  • Smoking Wellbutrin

Misusing Wellbutrin in any way is more likely to result in misuse. CMAJ explains that snorting and other misuse increase the impact of Wellbutrin. The associated high can be comparable to cocaine, though it is less intense.

Can You Crush Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin pills can be crushed and then snorted or injected. The result is a high similar to that from amphetamines or cocaine. Wellbutrin is a stimulant medication in the same medicine class as amphetamines and methamphetamines. Wellbutrin is usually prescribed in a controlled-release pill that allows it to enter the bloodstream slowly. When the pills are crushed and the powder snorted, it kills the slow-release and provides a “rush” of the medicine that can cause one to feel high. Snorting Wellbutrin is not a safe activity.

What Happens If You Snort Wellbutrin?

It is wise to know what happens if you snort Wellbutrin, as there are physical effects that can be distressing and sometimes dangerous. It is also essential to know how it works in the body and brain, as this is where the effects of snorting are experienced.

Wellbutrin works by balancing the chemical levels in the brain. It is known that people with depression have an imbalance of these chemicals and the medicine works to rebalance the chemicals. When the drug is snorted, it floods the brain with the chemicals the same way other stimulants, such as cocaine do. This is why it is nicknamed the “poor man’s cocaine.” But can bupropion make you high, too? The answer is yes since it is the generic version of Wellbutrin, and still prescribed in the U.S.

Health Consequences of Snorting

The human nose was not meant to snort items regardless of their legality or makeup.

Snorting causes a person to feel a drug’s effects faster. CMAJ also explains that people may feel alert as they would if they had taken cocaine.

According to MedlinePlus, a prescription of Wellbutrin is used between three and four times per day, and doses have to be taken between four and six hours apart.

Snorting requires that you crush Wellbutrin pills and ingest the resulting powder.

You will then feel the effects of an entire dose over a short period, and you will begin feeling these effects within five to 10 minutes of snorting it. This is much faster than when the drug is taken as recommended, and it makes it easier to become addicted to Wellbutrin. Snorting itself is an addictive action.

Some Health Consequences Of Snorting Are:

  • Damage to your nasal membranes
  • Reduced ability to breathe over time
  • Irritation to the nose due to the effects of dry powders on a naturally moist environment

The nasal cavity is very sensitive. According to a July 2017 article published by TIME, snorting is able to release a drug’s effects fast because it does not require you to wait until your digestive system processes the drug.

In addition, the medication that is made to be taken orally might have other additives that get mixed into the powder whenever you crush Wellbutrin. The extended-release version of Wellbutrin has a tablet on the outer shell of the pill, and its ingredients are not meant for insufflation.

TIME also explains that your nose doesn’t just let you breathe air; it also acts as a filter. Sniffing a powder could cause the inside of your nose to accumulate crust.

Additional information about further impacts of snorting Wellbutrin is not available, but cocaine users sometimes develop holes in their septum.

A CTV article from July 2013 mentioned that some drug users in Canada were misusing Wellbutrin because of the high it produces and because it is both legal and cheaper to buy than cocaine. Snorting and injection were two common ways Wellbutrin was being abused in Canada at the time.

Health Risks of Snorting Bupropion

Bupropion can make you high, but if it is snorted in larger amounts than just one pill, there are real risks to your health. The side effects from this medicine may be felt more intensely if the drug is being abused by snorting it. Some of the side effects you might feel are:

  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vision trouble
  • Insomnia
  • Profuse sweating
  • Appetite loss

Other inherent dangers of snorting bupropion or Wellbutrin:


When the brain is subjected to a large rush of dopamine, it can cause visual or auditory hallucinations or cause you to become paranoid and start thinking irrationally. If abused in this matter for an extended time, it might lead to long-term psychosis.

A medical study published in Addiction Medicine found that most Wellbutrin abuse happens in adolescents and young adults, as was reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers. The biggest risks found were tachycardia (very fast heartbeat) and seizures. Children who abuse bupropion and Wellbutrin to get high might crush more than one pill to inhale the powder. Doing so may result in seizures that can prove fatal if not immediately treated by emergency services.

Risks of Snorting Wellbutrin

In October 2012, several media reported that Wellbutrin had to pull a generic version of their 300 mg dose medication off the market. Forbes said this was because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a batch of Wellbutrin from a company called Impax Laboratories but did not check its contents.

It turns out that every batch of 300 mg Wellbutrin tablets did not work. The FDA had received reports about the generic Wellbutrin tablets by this manufacturer, but they did not study the tablets until much later. The FDA had to do a large-scale recall and face many critics.

This type of recall is rare, but it is a possibility with ramifications for everyone who uses prescription medications. Taking drugs that do not work is a more significant risk for people who misuse medication.

Dependence and Addiction

The more you abuse bupropion or Wellbutrin, the more likely your system becomes dependent on it. Dependence is marked by feeling withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, changes in sleep, cramps, tremors, excessive sweating, irritability, and trouble keeping your balance. It is not uncommon for someone experiencing withdrawal from Wellbutrin to take the drug again to ease their symptoms. If they do not have any of the drugs, they may ignore everything else in order to get it. When that occurs, addiction has taken root.

The intensity of a Wellbutrin high after snorting can also lead to overdose.

Even If Overdose Does Not Occur, Wellbutrin Can Cause Withdrawal Symptoms Such As These:

  • Changes in mood
  • Insomnia
  • Shaking
  • Chills

Risks of Contaminated Wellbutrin

A common sign of Wellbutrin addiction, as mentioned by CMAJ, is visiting a variety of doctors to get multiple prescriptions of Wellbutrin. Some people may resort to shopping for Wellbutrin online or buying it from someone who has a legitimate prescription.

A CNN report from March 2017 covered the possibility of buying counterfeit pills that are laced with contaminants and even fentanyl. Buying drugs online or outside of the proper channels is not only unlawful, but it also puts you at risk of buying a fake version of Wellbutrin that has impurities.

Considering how fast your body absorbs drugs when they are snorted, this is a risky undertaking. CNN reported that pill presses were being confiscated at increasing rates. Dealers have learned how quickly people become addicted to prescription medication, and they are readily manufacturing convincing counterfeits.

The findings on CNN reflect research conducted on other popular prescription medication, such as opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines.

Risks Include:

  • Fentanyl, a potent opioid that is stronger than morphine
  • High doses you are not ready for
  • Additional unknown components in your pills

A Final Word

Snorting has health implications regardless of what you put in your nose. Using Wellbutrin this way is dangerous and ill-advised, as it can lead to misuse that makes it hard to quit using the medication. However, there is assistance available.

Doctors and treatment centers can provide you with answers, referrals, and coping strategies that can help you stop misusing Wellbutrin.

Arete Recovery treats substance use disorders in South Florida. Our private, welcoming, and comfortable treatment center offers evidence-based therapeutic treatments to help those with a dependence or addiction to Wellbutrin or bupropion. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, we can help.

Tap to GET HELP NOW: (844) 318-7500