Does ginseng interact with Wellbutrin? (5 tips)

In this article, we aim to address the question: Does ginseng interact with Wellbutrin? We will delve into research findings and the potential side effects associated with combining ginseng and Wellbutrin.

Does ginseng interact with Wellbutrin?

Yes, ginseng can interact with Wellbutrin. It is generally recommended to avoid ginseng when using drugs that stimulate the central nervous system (CNS), such as Wellbutrin. (1)

Combining ginseng with Wellbutrin can result in synergistic side effects, including increased anxiety, agitation, tremors, and headaches, among other symptoms. This combination may intensify side effects compared to using either substance alone. (1,3)

Ginseng also has the potential to affect the therapeutic outcomes of Wellbutrin. However, it’s important to note that research on these interactions is less extensive than we’d prefer. Nevertheless, as a precaution, many healthcare professionals advise against using ginseng alongside Wellbutrin.

What does research suggest?

Research studies indicate that stimulant drugs like Wellbutrin and ginseng should not be used together as they both accelerate the nervous system, potentially leading to jitteriness and exacerbating side effects like increased heart rate and high blood pressure. (1)

A phase IV clinical trial, analysing FDA data through eHealthMe, reported drug interactions between ginseng and Wellbutrin XL, although only a few people have reported such interactions. (2)

Ginseng is commonly used to reduce stress, enhance cognitive functions of the brain and improve fatigue. A study revealed that ginseng effectively combats stress, a leading factor in depression. (4)

Another study highlighted the substantial role of ginseng in addressing depression, suggesting its potential as an antidepressant. The research pointed out the neuroprotective qualities of ginseng, which may assist in preventing depression. (5)

A review article proposed that ginseng’s neuroprotective properties could be beneficial in preventing depression. It emphasised that ginseng might indirectly alleviate depression by enhancing memory, which can mitigate anxiety. (6)

What are the potential side effects of taking ginseng with Wellbutrin?

Both ginseng and Wellbutrin are known to have neurostimulant and neuroprotective properties, and when combined, they can potentiate certain side effects due to their overlapping effects on the nervous system. 

It’s crucial to be cautious when using two substances with similar mechanisms of action, as this can increase the risk of side effects, including (1,2,3)

Psychological side effects:

When combining ginseng and Wellbutrin, one should be aware of potential psychological side effects. This combination can lead to increased anxiety, jittering, and dizziness. 

You might experience tremors, which are involuntary shaking or trembling, often affecting your hands or other parts of your body. Palpitations and headaches are also common side effects.

You might also experience agitation, which can manifest as restlessness or an overall sense of unease, sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or other sleep-related problems, could also be triggered by this combination.

Gastrointestinal side effects

Ginseng and Wellbutrin may cause gastrointestinal distress in some individuals. This discomfort can manifest as digestive issues, including stomach discomfort, dry mouth, decreased appetite, nausea, or diarrhoea. Being mindful of these potential effects can help you manage any gastrointestinal symptoms more effectively.

How to manage the side effects of ginseng with Wellbutrin?

If you have combined ginseng with Wellbutrin and are currently experiencing side effects or have concerns about the potential consequences, here’s what you should do to address the situation effectively:

  • Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you encounter side effects. They can assess your condition and recommend appropriate actions.
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol and caffeine as they can worsen side effects. Staying away from these substances can help alleviate discomfort. (1)
  • Avoid taking more doses of ginseng or Wellbutrin, and don’t introduce any new supplements without the guidance of your doctor. Taking further doses independently can compound side effects.
  • Drink plenty of water to remain well-hydrated. Adequate hydration can mitigate some side effects, especially those related to dry mouth or increased heart rate.
  • Comply with the advice and instructions provided by your healthcare provider. This may include potential adjustments in medication, dosage, or discontinuation. Trust their expertise to manage your situation effectively.


In conclusion, combining ginseng with central nervous system (CNS) stimulant drugs like Wellbutrin should be cautiously approached. This combination can result in various side effects, including agitation, anxiety, headaches, and gastrointestinal discomfort. 

To avoid these risks, it’s crucial to avoid caffeine and alcohol while using this combination. You should also promptly inform your healthcare provider if you have taken the combination and are experiencing side effects. Prioritising your health and safety is paramount when considering such interactions.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!


Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site