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Unread 02-10-2012, 06:44 PM   #1
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Default Wellbutrin SR

I've been on Wellbutrin SR for 4 days and I hate it so much!!! I was laid off from my job of 9.5 years last week. I had severe anxiety for a few days and then started falling into depression. I went to my pdoc Monday to ask for Wellbutrin to head off the depression. Wellbutrin has worked very well in the past as a short-term boost for stressful periods. I don't think I was on Wellbutrin SR before... Anyway, she took me off 60 mg Cymbalta, kept the Lamictal (lamotrigine) at 200 mg and added 100mg Wellbutrin SR. I don't remember offhand if I have the generic or which manufacturer. I will report back with that information when I get back home. The Wellbutrin SR has been so incredibly activating... My blood pressure went from 90/60 to 120/54. Pdoc says my blood pressure is still within the range of normal, but it sure as hell doesn't feel like it!!! My heart rate is up from ~65 to 80+. It's not a pounding heartbeat either. It's a faint, shallow pulse. I'm gasping for breath all day. It's difficult to talk because I'm gasping for breath - not to mention that it's difficult to understand me when I'm huffing and puffing. I have so much excess energy that I end up completely unfocused. I called my pdoc with these symptoms Thursday morning. She said to give it a few more days for my body to adjust. I don't think I can take it anymore. It takes10 hours from the time I take it in the morning for my heart rate to start to approach a normal rate. It takes 10 hours for me to be able to focus enough for any cognitive function beyond frantically running around in circles screaming.

And the brain zaps are really doing me in. Does anyone else get brain zaps on Wellbutrin SR? I had them at a low level when I was on Effexor XR. During the last week of weaning off Effexor XR very, very slowly, the brain zaps were way over the top. The brains zaps from the Wellbutrin SR are almost to the level of the brain zaps with that last week of weaning off Effexor XR.

Wow, I've been on this stuff only fours days... Fortunately my pdoc said that if the activating effect of Wellbutrin got to be too much, I could drop it and switch back to Cymbalta. I will do that for this weekend and call her on Monday to talk about a different dosage and/or form of Wellbutrin.

Has anyone else had such a strong response to Wellbutrin?

Thanks for listening.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

no, but I will be starting on a cpap machine soon, and I have been trying to think back and remember when it was I stopped being able to breathe. I wonder if these wellbutrin effects were masked in me because I also take beta-blockers, which regulate blood pressure? when DID I add another blood pressure medication, hmm?
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Unread 02-10-2012, 08:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

Oh, there is a difference from Welbutrin to the Welbutrin SR. I had forgotten all about my own experience until I read you post. I was on Welbutrin once and somehow the persciption got changed to the SR. I noticed a big difference too and that is how I found out there is a difference between the two. So, no its isn't you.

I ended up not taking the Welbutrin at all after that.

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Unread 02-10-2012, 10:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

I seem to remember that the Wellbutrin that worked so well before was the XL. But I was also taking SSRIs at the time. I don't remember which one but all of them made me horribly sleepy - sleepier than the depression was. So, maybe some of the activating effect of Wellbutrin XL was offset by the lethargy induced by the SSRIs. I haven't taken Lexapro for the last 6-12 months. So, I don't have the SSRI in my system. I continued taking the Cymbalta (SNRI) after stopping the Lexapro.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I'm taking far less lethargy-inducing meds now than the last time I took Wellbutrin. So, maybe the dosage is just too high. My body does tend to have extreme responses to normal therapeutic dosages. A little goes a long way with me.

Oh, and I have sleep apnea and use a cpap machine. The difficulty with breathing that I've been experiencing is while I'm awake and upright. I know some of that is anxiety-related. My stress level shot way up during the 6 months before I was laid off, and it had already been high for the year before that.

I did a little research and found that it's okay to stop an SSRI cold turkey if you're replacing it with an SNRI. Either my body is saying that it's the exception or the Wellbutrin dosage is simply too high or both. I took half of a Cymbalta a couple of hours ago and feel better already. My heart rate is down a little and the brain zaps are less.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

Ah, and the Wellbutrin SR I have is the generic made by Mylan. Does anyone know anything about them and whether anyone has had problems with it?
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Unread 02-11-2012, 12:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

Your brain zaps are being caused by stopping Cymbalta cold turkey, not starting Wellbutrin. You should wean off the Cymbalta gradually. Pdoc should know that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vossie42
I did a little research and found that it's okay to stop an SSRI cold turkey if you're replacing it with an SNRI. Either my body is saying that it's the exception or the Wellbutrin dosage is simply too high or both.
You're right that the transition from an SSRI to an SNRI can be a smooth one. However, that's not relevant to your case, since Cymbalta is not an SSRI and Wellbutrin is not an SNRI. I believe at least some of the symptoms you are having are caused by stopping the Cymbalta so abruptly. Have pdoc help you with a taper plan, then at least you can try the Wellbutrin without these added problems of Cymbalta withdrawal, such as the brain zaps.

My experience with Wellbutrin has been that whenever I increased the dose, I had a few days of hyperactivation, which then leveled off. The high heart rate you are experienceing is troubling, but you've got so much going on with the Cymbalta withdrawal that you may not be able to conclude that is the Wellbutrin. I think you should go back and do this transition right so you can give the Wellbutrin a fair chance.

I don't know about the shortness of breath. I have never heard of that being a side effect of these meds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vossie42
I took half of a Cymbalta a couple of hours ago and feel better already. My heart rate is down a little and the brain zaps are less.
Yep.
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Unread 02-11-2012, 01:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

Just a thought - could you be taking something with the wellbutrin SR that is eating thru the coating and causing it to dissolve too quickly? I don't trust those automatic releaser pills at all, I refuse to take them! too many variables! my friend who is a counselor and really should know better was cutting hers in half. I was like, I always suspected she had issues around her meds, and that pretty much clinched it for me. I didn't say anything, what can you say?
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Unread 02-11-2012, 08:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

[quote=sunrise;2230395]Your brain zaps are being caused by stopping Cymbalta cold turkey, not starting Wellbutrin. You should wean off the Cymbalta gradually. Pdoc should know that!

I was really surprised to hear her say that I should stop the cymbalta cold turkey. Even with switching from SSRI to another SSRI, the doc (different one) had me taper off the old one while slowly increasing the dose of the new one. My Pdoc recently retired. His replacement is nice and seems knowledgeable but I don't know now....
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Unread 02-11-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

[quote=Vossie42;2230670]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunrise View Post
My Pdoc recently retired. His replacement is nice and seems knowledgeable but I don't know now....
What did the new pdoc say when you reported that you are having brain zaps? I am so surprised she didn't connect that to the Cymbalta.That is quite basic information, not just an obscure fact about SNRIs such as Cymbalta. Plus, starting Wellbutrin at exactly the same time as stopping Cymbalta cold turkey is an ill-conceived plan, IMO. My pharm book says to taper Cymbalta to avoid withdrawal effects, reducing by 50% every 3 days, then again, again, until you are done. And if patient gets withdrawal symptoms, to immediately increase the Cymbalta dose until symptoms are gone, then taper much more slowly. My thought on why she is stopping the Cymbalta and adding the Wellbutrin is perhaps because you wrote that you are also on Lamictal. Are you on Lamictal for depression or for bipolar disorder? Sometimes a pdoc will not want to put someone with bipolar on too many antidepressants, so maybe that is why your pdoc didn't want you on Wellbutrin and Cymbalta. But still, she should taper the Cymbalta.

Best of luck with not feeling well. I'm very sorry about your job loss. What a shock.
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Unread 02-11-2012, 08:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wellbutrin SR

I honestly don't know if I'm on Lamictal for bipolar or for depression. I've had lackluster to terrible results with antidepressants for nearly 30 years and I'm 43. Before going on Lamictal, I was on such high doses of serotonin that I was in danger of developing serotonin syndrome. My old Pdoc decided to try Lamictal since nothing else has worked.
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