Fatal bupropion overdose

J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1997;35(3):321-4. doi: 10.3109/15563659709001220.


Background: Bupropion is a unique monocyclic antidepressant that has been known to cause seizures in high therapeutic doses and in acute overdoses. Death due to ingestion, however, is a rare occurrence.

Case report: We report a case of a 26-year-old man who ingested 23 g bupropion, developed seizures and hypoxia, and presented in cardiac arrest. The patient was resuscitated in the emergency department, but died 4 d after supportive intensive care.

Conclusions: Bupropion overdose may lead to recurrent seizures, hypoxia and death. Aggressive management of severe bupropion overdose is recommended.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / poisoning*
  • Bupropion / poisoning*
  • Dopamine / administration & dosage
  • Dopamine / therapeutic use
  • Drug Overdose
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Heart Arrest / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / chemically induced
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / administration & dosage
  • Norepinephrine / therapeutic use
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Suicide*


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Bupropion
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine