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Q: Bupropion ( Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin, Zyban ) and Cocaine. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Bupropion ( Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin, Zyban ) and Cocaine.
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: shoe-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 14 Jun 2002 12:28 PDT
Expires: 21 Jun 2002 12:28 PDT
Question ID: 26017
How does the prescription drug Bupropion ( Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin,
Zyban ) mimic Cocaine?  I know that their physiological action is very
similar.   I also know that Bupropion is prescribed for Cocaine
Withdrawal.  I want to find a study that discusses:

1. Compares what that physiological action of these two drugs is.
2. Does this lead to any cause for addiction on the part of Bupropion?
3. Was the Drug Maker open to any criticism due to the similarity?

   Alas, an explanation of the physiological effects of Buproprion is
not what I need.  I want a study that compares specifically Cocaine
and Buproprion.  Thanks!  Add comments and I will get back to you.
Subject: Re: Bupropion ( Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin, Zyban ) and Cocaine.
Answered By: knowledge_seeker-ga on 14 Jun 2002 13:44 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

This is just what you need… this study discusses the physiological
action of the two drugs and compares their addictive effects—

“Inhibition of dopamine (DA) transporter function is thought to be the
principal mechanism underlying cocaine's addictive effects. In
contrast to cocaine, several other inhibitors of DA transporter
function are not considered to possess abuse liability….In the present
study, we investigated the reinforcing and neuroadaptive effects of
two other DA reuptake inhibitors, namely bupropion and nomifensine.”



I am not a scientist so hesitate to translate their results. I refer
you to the Discussion section of the above study. There the
researchers discuss the addictive quality of Bupropion and why it is,
apparently, not as addictive as Cocaine.

I also refer you to Pubmed for further similar studies:

Use their search function and terms: “Bupropion similar to Cocaine”

In case you aren’t familiar with the term used throughout most of the
above research studies, “self-administration” is used in animal
studies of addictive substances. The subject animals are given a means
of self-administering drugs and the frequency of those ministrations
is measured.

Regarding the Drug Maker being criticized: Bupropion is made and
marketed under various trade names by a number of pharmaceutical
companies. In addition to the use you cite above, it is an
antidepressant and is used in the treatment of  bipolar disorder. It
is also used to help people to stop smoking.  I was unable to find any
mention of criticism for its similarity to cocaine.

Here is a list of news articles where Bupropion is mention. As you can
see, the only concern is over possible side effects.

I hope this has answered your question and given you some useful
avenues for finding more information.

Regards,  -K~

Search criteria:  PubMed “Bupropion similar to cocaine”
Google: Bupropion
shoe-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
No question. Great Answer. Good utilizations of med searches.

Subject: Re: Bupropion ( Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin, Zyban ) and Cocaine.
From: wengland-ga on 14 Jun 2002 13:03 PDT

I was going to answer this for you, but the information I come up with
does not meet your criteria.

1) Bupropion is a dopamine inhibitor, as is cocaine.
2) Several studies have been done using it to treat cocaine abuse.  It
is not proven to be effective.
3) Little is known as to why Bupropion is not addictive, as cocaine
4) No one study answers all of your questions.

Some intersting reading, tho:
Cocaine, ADHD and Buproprion

Discussion of Buproprion, comparing it to cocaine:

Good luck finding the information you seek!
Subject: Re: Bupropion ( Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin, Zyban ) and Cocaine.
From: atate-ga on 23 Jun 2002 22:21 PDT
Just a quick correction of the above comment... 

Bupropion and cocaine are both dopamine REUPTAKE inhibitors.  This is
quite different than a dopamine inhibitor.

A reuptake inhibitor will prevent synaptic dopamine from being
endocytosed and removed from the synaptic cleft, the final result
being an increase in the concentration and action of dopamine between
neurons.  A traditional "inhibitor" would generally either compete for
the dopamine receptor without activating it, actually deactivate the
receptor, or in some other way reduce the action of dopamine (not
something generally desirable).

Just some other stuff that might be valuable (I like pharmacology) :

The exact mechanism of both
Zyban/Wellbutrin/Bupropion/Whateveritscalled and cocaine (as far as
the psychotropic effects) is unknown.  So IMHO is isn't really that
relivant to compare their action until we fully understand the
pharmacological activities.

Both cocaine and Bupropion have a significant effect on serotonin and
norepinephrine in addition to dopamine.  Both of these
neurotransmitters can contribute to any physiological similarity
between the two.  Also there has been some debate as to the adrenergic
mechanism of cocaine.

Here are some articles.

Good luck.

A. Tate
Subject: Re: Bupropion ( Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin, Zyban ) and Cocaine.
From: atate-ga on 23 Jun 2002 22:24 PDT
That should read " isn't really that relevant to compare...." 
Relevant has an e.  Typo.  Oops.

Subject: Re: Bupropion ( Amfebutamone, Wellbutrin, Zyban ) and Cocaine.
From: computergod2-ga on 15 Dec 2004 16:04 PST
Bupropion is abusable and addictive. The route of administration (and
the resulting variance in the time it is in the bloodstream) can make
the effects simular.

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