Bupropion perceived as a stimulant by two patients with a previous history of cocaine misuse

A.E. Vento, Fabrizio Schifano, Federica Gentili, Francesco Pompei, John Corkery, Georgios D. Kotzalidis, Paolo Girardi

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Background and objective. Despite animal studies having shown a generalisation of the bupropion cue to cocaine, this drug has been used in cocaine abuse with mixed results. We here aimed at describing two cases which contradict current knowledge.
Case Reports. We describe two cases of former cocaine abusers who reported a cocainelike sensation upon taking bupropion. Bupropion improved patients' depression without any increase in cocaine craving. One of the patients
increased without doctor consultation his dose on an as needed basis.
Conclusions. The issue of bupropion cue generalisation to cocaine needs further
elucidation. People with past cocaine addiction need to be informed on the
potential of bupropion to elicit cocaine-like cues and be invited to adhere to
medical prescription, because bupropion has been associated with fatalities in
some cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-5
Number of pages4
JournalAnnali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanita
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Buproprion
  • Cocaine abuse
  • Depression
  • Internal stimulant cue
  • Monoamine transporter inhibitors


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