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MollyW: Wellbutrin cold turkey withdrawal nightmare


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I have been taking Wellbutrin XL 150mg along with 50mg of Ultram/Tramdol for the past six years after surviving a ruptured cerebral aneurysm with no issues but had a recent supplement interaction that landed me in the ER. I was terrified to take anything after that interaction and my doctor indicated that I would have no problem quitting both medications cold turkey (Wellbutrin and Ultram). Note I mention the Tramadol because of the serotonin and norepinephrine affects. I also have a prescription for .25mg of Xanax but literally only used half a pill a few times a year.


First week of withdrawal was ok...second week/third week was terrible. No appetite, extreme anxiety coupled with several panic attacks, extreme body aches, numbness/tingling sensations on right side, headaches, feeling out of body, basically every possible withdrawal symptom. I felt good the 25th day and thought I was moving past the worst issues. Then out of the blue I had the worst panic attack of my life. I thought I was dying for sure since my pulse was so high and half a tab of .25 Xanax did not lower my heart rate/pulse. My blood pressure increased again and I was taken to the ER via an ambulance. Shocking diagnosis...panic attack.


I started taking my Wellbutrin XL 150mg again the day after the panic attack and the side effects have been a nightmare. I have been on the medication for the past four days. No appetite, nauseous, EAR RINGING, waves of panic with increased heart rate, headaches, tingling sensations thru body, and insomnia. The past two nights I have taken .25mg Xanax because my panic waves are more intense at night and have no relief. 


Talked with my doctor today and she said to continue with the Wellbutrin XL 150 since I had no problems in the past and up my Xanax to .50mg. This does not seem like a great idea based on the ringing in my ears and other issues. I have read thru several posts but am getting confused. Should I try to taper at this point or just stop again cold turkey since I made it three weeks? Along with the Wellbutrin XL 150 mg....I have a prescription filled for Wellbutrin IR 75mg and Wellbutrin SL 100mg since I pushed my doctor for a taper option. Note she did not seem confident in the tapering method. I have not taken any medicine today because I am scared. Any help would be most appreciated. 

2013 Wellbutrin XL 150mg - Cut Cold Turkey May 8th 2019

2019 Wellbutrin XL 150mg - Started back May 30th 2019 and stopped four days later - last dose June 2nd 2019

2012 Tramadol 50mg - one per day - Cut Cold Turkey May 8th 2019

2013 - Current Xanax .25mg - taken as needed for anxiety - stopped with last dose June 3rd 2019



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  • ChessieCat changed the title to MollyW: Wellbutrin Cold Turkey Withdrawal Nightmare

Update....I did not take my Wellbutrin XL 150mg yesterday because I am very concerned about the side effects most importantly the ringing in my ears. I did take .50mg of Xanax last night to sleep since I had not slept the past two nights. I woke up with the terrible ringing in my ears. Now I am scared to take any medication. My head is very sensitive after having a craniotomy and this ringing is not something that I want increased. 


I have an appointment with a Psychiatrist tomorrow morning. At this point I am looking for more natural options or any advise that might help balance out my current situation. Note I am currently taking no supplements but have started going back to acupuncture which seems to help with my anxiety. 


Thank you so much for your time! 

2013 Wellbutrin XL 150mg - Cut Cold Turkey May 8th 2019

2019 Wellbutrin XL 150mg - Started back May 30th 2019 and stopped four days later - last dose June 2nd 2019

2012 Tramadol 50mg - one per day - Cut Cold Turkey May 8th 2019

2013 - Current Xanax .25mg - taken as needed for anxiety - stopped with last dose June 3rd 2019



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi MollyW, welcome to SA.  I'm sorry to hear you've been having such a rough time.  It's possible you are in withdrawal from both Wellbutrin and tramadol.  Thanks for completing your signature - would you be able to add the date in May that you stopped them?  What was the supplement interaction you experienced? 


It's possible that the dose of Wellbutrin you tried reinstating may have been too high for your system to handle, triggering the adverse reaction you experienced.  It's likely that your psychiatrist will prescribe a bunch of other meds, which are unlikely to be helpful.  We would usually suggest trying a very small reinstatement dose, but with your adverse reactions I'm not sure if this is the best idea - I'm going to ask the other mods for their input and we will respond to you here. 


In the meantime I recommend trying some relaxation exercises.  These are great for calming down the nervous system, reducing anxiety.  It's best to do them every day (or even several times a day if you're feeling really bad) as the effects can accumulate over time.  There are many different kinds, such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided visualisation, gentle yoga, breathing exercises, etc., so you can choose whatever kind you like and works best for you. 

See our topic:  Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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Thank you so much for the response and links for relaxation exercises! I updated my signature to reflect the stop dates for Wellbutrin and Tramadol. 


The reaction I experienced was after adding all my supplements back in my daily routine (Iron, B12, Vitamin D, Multivitamin, Probiotic). All of these supplements had been taken previously with no issues. The vitamins were taken earlier in the day with no issues. Around 9:00 pm I tried a Magnesium spray for the first time on my neck with a recommended dose at 1 to 3 pumps in order to help with neck/shoulder tension. My husband was massaging my neck and used around 5-6 pumps. A product called Penetrex was applied over the magnesium spray with the following ingredients (Arnica, Glucosamine, MSM (DMSO2), Choline, Boswellia Serrata & Vitamin B6). One hour later I was when the symptoms started. Almost like having 40 cups of coffee...I was started to feel a bit better around 5:00pm the next day. One Tramadol 50gm and Wellbutrin XL150mg taken around 6:00pm with symptoms returning in one hour then off to ER. 


Went to see a psychiatrist yesterday and he suggested Lexapro and another option that started with V (cannot remember name). I said no at this point since I am most concerned about the ringing in my ears. Note the ringing has diminished a bit but is still there. He also provided a prescription for Hydroxyzine 25mg for anxiety/panic if needed. Any thoughts on this drug would be helpful. I will only use if necessary. I will be started therapy within one week with several options including mindfulness and other therapy options that will address handling anxiety in the moment. Any comments about treatment types that have been successful for anxiety/panic would be much appreciated! 


Update on how I am feeling....June 4th I was able to sleep with no Xanax/Wellbutrin and actually woke up refreshed. Long day of doctor appointments with massive waves of panic. More waves of panic thru the evening June 5th with no appetite. Waves of panic/anxiety continued until around 2:30am when I finally fell asleep. No medication taken. Just meditating/breathing and telling myself that I am not dying....Woke up around 6:30am. Still feeling waves of panic today with very limited appetite along with pressure in head and tingling sensations throughout body. I am taking short walks and meditating. Note I am not working this week....Just trying to stay as relaxed as possible. 


I made it three weeks before taking the four Wellbutrin 150XL pills with last does of Xanax Monday June 3rd. Does that mean I am starting over on this withdrawal journey??? Any encouraging words/success stories would be much appreciated. 


Thank you again for any additional assistance! 

2013 Wellbutrin XL 150mg - Cut Cold Turkey May 8th 2019

2019 Wellbutrin XL 150mg - Started back May 30th 2019 and stopped four days later - last dose June 2nd 2019

2012 Tramadol 50mg - one per day - Cut Cold Turkey May 8th 2019

2013 - Current Xanax .25mg - taken as needed for anxiety - stopped with last dose June 3rd 2019



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  • Administrator

Hello, Molly.


How it the tinnitus? I would avoid taking Wellbutrin, tinnitus is a known side effect. I'm wary of the antidepressants, any of them can be stimulating, and it sounds like your nervous system is in a very sensitive state right now. Please be careful, take only small trial dose of anything.


Hydroxyzine might help, I don't know.


It's good you felt better on June 4. Since withdrawal syndrome from psychotropics tends to rock the autonomic nervous system, we see people recovering in The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization  This can be slow and frustrating, with many setbacks, but if you can stay calm in a relatively peaceful environment, your nervous system tends to settle down.


That reaction you attribute to the supplements sounds odd. Did you perhaps accidentally took 2 Wellbutrin doses that day? Sometimes people feel B vitamins, such as vitamin B12, or vitamin D is activating, too. Did you try a new brand of any of these supplements?


I am concerned that your primary issue might be tramadol withdrawal. We really don't know much about the opioid withdrawal aspect of that. Did the psychiatrist mention Valium? That's another benzodiazepine, but longer-lasting than Xanax. Interesting that you slept on June 4 after discontinuing Wellbutrin on June 2 and Xanax on June 3. Sleeplessness is a common side effect of Wellbutrin.


What drugs are you taking now, at what times of day?



This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to MollyW: Wellbutrin cold turkey withdrawal nightmare
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please answer Alto's questions.


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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