Journal of addiction medicine

Intravenous bupropion: a previously undocumented method of abuse of a commonly prescribed antidepressant agent.

PMID 23519045


Bupropion is an antidepressant commonly prescribed as a smoking cessation aid. It has effects on dopamine and norepinephrine, and can lower seizure threshold, particularly in overdose. Several cases of recreational use of bupropion via nasal insufflation have been reported in the literature. Here we describe a first case of intravenous bupropion dependence, with no evidence of resulting seizure activity. This addiction was sustained in part under the the premise of seeking smoking cessation aid. Pharmacokinetic interactions are explored, and the literature with respect to buproprion abuse is reviewed. We propose that bupropion may have stimulant effects amenable to abuse that vary with route of administration. Health care providers may wish to exercise additional caution when prescribing bupropion to unfamiliar patients.