European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 75–80 | Cite as

The effect of bupropion, a new antidepressant drug, and alcohol and their interaction in man

  • M. J. Hamilton
  • M. S. Bush
  • A. W. Peck


The effects of bupropion and ethanol were examined alone and in combination in a placebo controlled, double-blind, crossover study in 12 healthy volunteers. Results were subjected to analysis of variance and differences ofp<0.05 taken as significant. In the main study using the Wilkinson auditory vigilance test, no active treatment or combination of treatments produced significant change compared with placebo. However, when compared with bupropion 100 mg, vigilance was significantly impaired by 32 ml alcohol alone though not when combined with bupropion. No significant changes in reaction time or short term memory occurred. Visual analogue scales indicated that the subjects were mentally slower after alcohol 32 ml than after placebo. Combination of bupropion 100 mg with alcohol 32 ml abolished this difference. A similar pattern occurred with group ratings indicating mental sedation. Subjects were clearly able to differentiate between the 16 ml and 32 ml doses of alcohol when assessing their degree of inebriation. Combination of bupropion with alcohol made no difference to the ratings of inebriation. The top dose of alcohol tended to increase energy in the low frequency EEG bands. Combination of the top alcohol dose with bupropion, however, produced a significant reversal with lowered energy in the 4–7.5 Hz band. Combination of bupropion with alcohol failed to change the blood alcohol concentration achieved.

Key words

bupropion alcohol interaction healthy volunteers performance autonomic functions 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Hamilton
    • 1
  • M. S. Bush
    • 1
  • A. W. Peck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PharmacologyThe Wellcome Research LaboratoriesBeckenhamEngland

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