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bethann

bethann: I'd like to stop taking Wellbutrin XL

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bethann

Hi- I've been reading a lot of the supportive threads regarding successful tapering off various drugs.  I weaned myself off of Zoloft and Ativan 10 years ago, after taking it for 8 months for PPD. I started back on AD 7 months ago, this time Wellbutrin with an occasional Ativan (which quickly became daily). I started on 100, then 150 for 5 months, and now 300 mgXL for 1 month in. But today I started having near suicidal thoughts and the depression has gotten consistently worse instead of better. I upped it to 300 thinking that would help, but even after 4-5 weeks, the depression is worse than ever. I know it does a lot of good- It stops many negative thoughts and stops those extreme emotional swings and outbursts, but the constant depression and flatness is too much. I do not want to go on an SSRI, as it took me 6 weeks to taper off Zoloft the last time and I don't wish to inevitably have to go through that again.  I did cold turkey Ativan, and had severe withdrawals for 10 days, including NO sleep and flu symptoms. It was horrid. That was just a couple months ago. I read threads where it says it takes 1-1 1/2 years to taper from 300 Wellbutrin. I have only been on 300 mg for 1 month! I can't imagine being on any dose of this for another year! If I've only been on it for the shorter length of time I have, I am hoping I can taper a litter quicker? I'd like to start by dropping back to 150, and then stay there for a month, and then begin tapering the IR. I'm just so nervous of those flu like symptoms and no sleep like the Ativan WD. Does that happen with too quick taper for W? Thanks in advance for any advice. 

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AliG

Hi Bethann. Welcome. I'm glad you found us and shared just a little of your story. It sounds like you have quite a history on these drugs, as many of us do. To be able to help more accurately, would you Please put your withdrawal history in your signature?

 

Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant with a lower reported rate of withdrawal syndrome compared to the SSRIs and SNRIs such as Paxil, Effexor, or Cymbalta.
However, patients have reported withdrawal symptoms, sometimes severe, from too-short tapering. When we have a better idea of your history, we will be in a better position to advise on this. As you have only been on it for a month, I would think that you may be able to do a slightly faster taper. At this stage, it is uncertain.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/877-tips-for-tapering-off-wellbutrin-ir

 

It's an advantage being on IR as it's easier to taper as a liquid at the lower doses.

 

SA recommends tapering by 10% of your current dose with a hold of at least 4 weeks before your next decrease. The 10% tapering method is a harm reduction approach to tapering of psychiatric drugs.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

I'm going to post some links which may be relevant for you, and also helps to more fully explain the withdrawal process :

What is withdrawal syndrome?

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

Brain Remodelling

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/10914-what-is-happening-in-your-bra

 

Please have a read through and come back here to your thread with any questions or comments.

Ali

Edited by AliG
spacing

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bethann

Thankyou for the response. Though I have been on 300 mg for 4-5 wks, I have been on 150mg for 6 months, so it has been in my system for 7 months total. I’d like to drop back down to 150 without too much tapering between 300 and 150. I know that’s what my dr will suggest, but I also don’t want to suffer any or at least minimal WD. 

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Marmot

Hey bethann!

 

I'm new here and I'm not a mod. I just  happen to be decreasing wellbutrin now too, and did rapid tapers in the past which were very unsuccessful. The main physical W/D symptom for me was fatigue, and the emotional ones were things like depression, self critical and suicidal thoughts. 

 

That being said, everyone reacts differently to this stuff, and you've only been on the high dose for 1 month, so you might be able to do a faster initial taper from 300 to 150 before doing the remaining. Two things that you could ask yourself as you make this decision are: How functional do you need to be right now, like do you work at the moment, and are you  still having those "near suicidal thoughts"?

 

Just some things to think about. Let us know what you end up deciding and how it goes. Cheers,

 

M

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Marmot

Hello bethann,

 

Just wondering how things are going for you. What did you and your doc decide to do? How are you feeling now?

 

Peace,

Marmot

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bethann

Hi there. Thanks for the reply. I haven’t figured out what I’ll do yet. I am pretty nervous to start to be honest. I almost dropped right to 150 yesterday but chickened out.

 

I kind of always need to be functional lol-  I have three kids and run a few volunteer organizations/positions as well as my husbands business. The super depressions lifted a bit, but I still feel flat as ever and I’m just having too many side effects now.  I’m not sure what to do yet! 

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Marmot

Hey bethann,

 

I wish that I could help you more, but I don't know enough to about this to give you any advice. Sounds like you're really busy, and you might not want to shake things up. You could talk to your doc about your concerns, or maybe AliG will suggest something specific if she sees this. 

 

Take care,

Marmot

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Gridley

Bethann,

 

I would urge you to be cautious and go slowly.  Dropping from 300 to 150 too fast could be very destabilizing to your central nervous system.  This is especially important in light of your need to be functional.

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bethann

Hello again. To update- right after I initially posted my questions, the 300 started to kick in perfectly. I must have been in that 30 days period where the Wellbutrin has to build up. Anyway- I’ve been feeling great on 300 mg since then (beginning of December).  Only NOW I just really do want to get off. It’s for the best. My husband is more supportive now and I feel the ‘crisis’ that spurred me to initially begin treatment has ‘passed’.  Not that going off I may still feel this, but I still want to get off.  

 

Id like to try decreasing 50 mg at a time. If doing so, how long before that would level off?  If that doesn’t work, then the whole 10% taper schedule will be ok- I just REALLY don’t want to still be on this in a year and a half! I’d like to be off in 6wks (which is how long it took me to wean from Zoloft). 

 

Does anyone have any success stories for getting off Wellbutrin (Bupropion) quicker than 1 1/2 years?! 

 

Thanks in advance! 

 

Beth 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Would you please add to your signature when you started taking Wellbutrin:  Current- 300 mg Wellbutrin XL (Bupropion) 

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic:  rhis-start-small-listen-to-your-body-taper-plan

 

It would be better to reduce by 10% (ie to 270mg reducing by 30mg) and see how you go.  If after 3 weeks you find that you are feeling okay you could reduce again by another 10% (reduce to 243mg or 250mg if that is easier to measure).  Remember to calculate the next reduction on the previous dose your took.

 

I experienced bad withdrawal symptoms for 3 weeks when I reduced my Pristiq from 100mg to 50mg.  Thankfully I found SA and learned how to taper safely.  I don't ever want to experience anything more than minor withdrawal symptoms which is why I am following SA's tapering protocol.  In fact, during my taper I held at 50mg for 3 months and at 20mg for 7 weeks even though I was feeling okay.  I just wanted to give my brain time to catch up if it needed to. 

 

We have some members here who have tried to go too quickly and have ended up having to updose and/or hold for longer than 4 weeks to try and stabilise.  They would have been at the same dose or maybe even lower if they had reduced by 10% every 4 weeks.

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bethann

I called my doctor yesterday to say I wanted to taper off the 300 Bupropion. She wrote a script for 150 XL and said to take for 30 days, the first 2 wks of which would be pretty awful. Then she said to start doing every other day for a couple wks and then drop it altogether.  I asked for a script for the immediate release or SR, but she didn’t agree that was the way to go. 

 

So now I’m super worried. Also confused. I read the tapering thread from this board. It says if you cut up an XL it becomes immediate.  Can I utilize any of the immediate in my taper - just in different amounts and timed out? Or does it have to be the SR (slow release right - or do I have that wrong?)? 

 

Otherwise it’s going to be a sharp drop from 300-150, and I really do want to get off.  

 

Its frustrating in general, as this medication is so fickle for me. Meaning if I take it a few hours late, it is very noticeable. And when I upped my dose, it was a full 30 days of feeling worse, bad actually. 

 

I successfully tapered from Zoloft in the past. I went as slowly as needed and didn’t have any repercussions afterward. So I know I can do it. This particular med is daunting though as it works so differently. 

 

Thanks for your help 

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bethann

Another question- would Ativan or a stimulant like vyvanse help as I taper from Bupropion? Vyvanse is non addictive for me, meaning I can drop it any time and not ever need to take again. Ativan I am familiar with and know how to pace. Would that help or hurt? 

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bethann

So I started the taper 5 days ago- dropped directly to 150 from 300. And I feel better and better each day. I have an apt scheduled in a week w the therapist, so should anything change I should be ok. But for now, totally surprised that this is going as well as it is. Certainly hoping this trend continues rather than the opposite! 

 

According to dr, I am supposed to stay on 150 for 30 days and then alternate days to get off completely. I will stay on the 150 for this month. 

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joy2730

Be careful - symptoms may be delayed.  Try not to take other meds to help with withdrawal - that will make it harder for your brain not easier 

 

Joy

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joy2730

Also alternating doses is hard for your brain too.

 

Joy

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bethann

Thanks- I am watchful of that for sure! It’s a little curious that I’m feeling better and better each day though. But definitely watchful!

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Gridley

Bethann,

 

Skipping doses is equivalent to reducing your dose by 50% and is NOT recommended by SA.  The half-lives of almost all psychiatric drugs are too short for this to make any sense. It causes the amount of the medication in your bloodstream to go up and down, battering your nervous system, and makes withdrawal worse.  It is like playing ping-pong with your brain

 

 
Your brain likes stability, to be treated gently.  It is ideal if you can accommodate it to lower and lower dosages. Move it slowly down a ramp by gradually decreasing dosage by an amount it may hardly notice. SA recommends tapering by 10% of your current dose with a hold of at least 4 weeks before your next decrease.The 10% taper method is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs. This is explained in the attached link:
 
 
As Joy said above, symptoms can be delayed.
 
 

To quote what ChessieCat said above, "We have some members here who have tried to go too quickly and have ended up having to updose and/or hold for longer than 4 weeks to try and stabilise.  They would have been at the same dose or maybe even lower if they had reduced by 10% every 4 weeks."  In other words, going too fast can lengthen, not shorten, your time on Wellbutrin.


 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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bethann

Ok, so should this drop from 300 to 150 go ok, and I go ahead with tapering from 150 to zero- all I have in hand are the first type I had. They are not XL, but it doesn’t say if they are Immediate or sustained. It just says IC Bupropion HCL 100mg. They are blue with and M on one side and 435 on the other. I have 9 1/2 of them on hand. The doctor was not in agreement that they were needed for taper so didn’t prescribe me anything other than the 150 XL’s with a wish that I wouldn’t get sick 😑. 

 

Anyway- as I was saying, should this initial drop go ok, how should I approach the next phase (150 to none) given what I have on hand, as I’m not sure the dr will prescribe me anything differently (possible though). ?? 

 

Thanks for all the help! 

 

And i I did read through the delayed withdrawal symptoms. It sounds awful. 😶  I really don’t want to jump back on the 300 right now as I’m feeling SO much better off them than I ever was on them. 

 

And i I totally get the alternating days thing being bad. It didn’t make sense to me either. Especially considering going up seems to be worse then down for me anyway, or generally difficult with this drug. 

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Altostrata

Ask your pharmacist what kind of Wellbutrin you have, and report back here.

 

Never, ever skip doses to taper. It's because of advice from doctors like yours that this site exists. If they knew how to taper people properly, I'd close this site up tomorrow.

 

Please read this carefully Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

Please be careful to take your Wellbutrin at the same time every day. If you have any odd symptoms over the month, let us know.

 

 

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bethann

Is it common to feel better off of Wellbutrin than on? I’ve been on 150 for 2 wks now and I feel far better than when on 300. I also feel better in the morning before I take the 150.  After I take I feel drained and dulled. 

 

I see the dr this Friday. I am going to ask her for some 100 SR so I can taper off of the 150. 

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Carmie

Hi Bethann, 

 

How are you doing? Sending hugs🤗

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bethann

Thanks for following up! I ended up tapering to 100 and then every other day for a couple days and then nothing. I honestly had zero withdrawals and felt better off than I ever was on. It’s been 9 months and aside from some very mild SAD (every winter!), I’ve been good. :) 

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Carmie

I’m glad to hear you’re doing okay bethann, 

 

Would you be so kind as to update your signature. Thank you. 

 

Keep us posted on your continued recovery as well. Did you say you jumped off at 100mg? Take care💚

 

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bethann

I jumped off at 100, yes. I just started to notice that I felt worse when I took it, so I felt better off than on. It wasn’t what I expected but I’m glad I went with it! 

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jen84

Hi Bethann, I am so relieved to hear that you aren't suffering after coming off 100mg. Did you have any sort of wd symptoms after dropping?

 

I'm currently on 10.4mg, and my body is way too sensitive to this stuff, so looks like I'm in for the long haul on this one. 

 

Congrats on the wellbutrin, please keep us updated on how you're doing.

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Carmie

Hi Bethann, 

 

You seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Not many people can jump off 100mg without withdrawals. Most can’t even jump off until they’re under 1mg.

 

Please put the date in your signature when you jumped off. It would be great to see you continue symptom free. I’m very happy you’re doing so well. Keep us updated. Sending hugs🤗

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