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riverwithdrawal

Wellbutrin – Bupropion Tapering Journey – My Goal and Future Plans

 

A few days ago, I signed up. I want to introduce myself to everyone and say, I'm thankful for the existence of this site, its creators and my fellow subscribers. I want to encourage and help others dealing with antidepressants.  Consider me a friend!  If there's anything I could do for anyone, please let me know!

 

I want to add the following information to my history but,  I’m not familiar with this site and do not know how to change my initial profile history so I thought I would enter my history as a topic.   

 

April 1990       Started Xanax after complaining to the doctor about insomnia. Dr., at the time, justified his treatment plan by stating that transient situational stress caused my anxiety. The initial dose was 3 mg/day given two times a day.  The results were, it took the edge off my anxiety, my feelings numbed, it suppressed my appetite and desire for water, the sleep I got was not restful and, I lost my libido. I developed GERD and constipation so severe I became impacted, Prevacid and mineral oil were prescribed to alleviate these ailments.

 

1995                Started noticing that I could not remember or recall music in my head.  Dr. said the symptom was psychosomatic and advised me to continue taking my meds.  Did research on benzodiazepines and discovered they were for short term use only and very, very dangerous.  I started tapering off Xanax secretly because I did not trust Dr.’s judgment.  

 

1998                Notified my Dr that I was entirely off of Xanax and wanted to stay off it or any other benzodiazepine. I showed him my research which he dismissed.  At no time, did said Dr. attempt to educate me or at the least suggest a treatment plan nor did he urge me to go into therapy for the prolonged withdrawal symptoms I was suffering: I could not focus and had to work extremely hard to concentrate.  My emotions were mostly flat except for the underlining anger always smoldering under the surface, I couldn’t find pleasure in anything, and I felt unmotivated most, if not all the time. Out of my ignorance, confusion, and frustration, the only thing fueling my drive to continue was the self-loathing I felt because I thought I was just ‘lazy.’

 

1999                Finally stopped completely taking the Xanax.  My insomnia came back, I could not focus or concentrate, and debilitating fatigue that would not go away plagued me almost all the time. I felt I had no choice but to go back to the same Doctor and he prescribed Wellbutrin 75 mg IR (immediate release) mg/day given two times a day and justified himself by saying, ‘the drug acts like Speed, it will make your tiredness go away.’ The drug did INDEED stop my fatigue, and it felt like Wellbutrin “placed glasses on my myopic brain because I could once again focus’.  As a result, I had more energy to function and get on with my life, but I always had that underlining anger, along with now craving sweets.  I stopped taking any stool softeners or laxatives because I felt I didn’t need them anymore.  

 

2002                Dr. increased the drug from 75 mg to 100 mg (sustained release) SR because most of my old symptoms were back including the fatigue.

 

2005                Dr. increased Wellbutrin from 100 mg to 150 mg SR mg/day given two times a day because most of my old symptoms were back again including the fatigue. Because my thyroid function was borderline low, I showed signs of hypothyroidism, and I was placed on 12 mcg Levothyroxine once a day for good measures. My fatigue finally went away for good.  

 

2012                Severe diverticulitis attack and put on potent antibiotics.

 

2013                Another severe diverticulitis attack and again placed on potent antibiotics. Now diagnosed with IBS in addition to diverticulosis.

 

2013 to 2017   Took a course of high-powered antibiotics every three months for diverticulitis and IBS attacks. Started to experience unexplained hand tremors. I could no longer handle any form of stress.

Started researching holistic approaches to treating my health issues.  Discovered the existence of the (brain-to-gut axis) and I began to believe the medications were causing my digestive problems. Did research and used the Parkinson Disease model to explain my tremors and other symptoms I was experiencing caused by the Wellbutrin altering my dopamine levels and function.

 

Dec 2018        My goal was to taper entirely off of the Wellbutrin and Levothyroxine, starting first with the Wellbutrin.  I was on 300 mg SR Wellbutrin once per day.  Started tapering process by replacing the 300 mg SR dosage with 150 mg SR, taken twice a day, having a 12-hour window between dosages.  Initial holding period was 30 days. Initially, I had a period of sadness and crying spells which diminished. I started a regiment of supplements to prepare my body for the withdrawal process.

 

Jan 2019       The next step in my tapering process was to replace the sustain release form of Wellbutrin with immediate release. To accomplish this, I took 1 and ½ IR Wellbutrin twice a day with a 12-hour window between dosages. Holding period was ten days. Next, from the evening dose, I started cutting pills, removing 1/8 from a whole 100 mg (IR) tablet which is removing around 13 mg.  Initial daily drug intake amount became 150 mg SR in the morning and 138 mg, at night, keeping a 12-hour window between the dosages, as best as I can. Again, the holding window. My next tapering decrease will occur in a few days and will be 138 mg in the morning and 125 mg at night for ten days.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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ChessieCat

Hi riverwithdrawal and welcome to SA,

 

I'm very pleased to see that you are tapering your drug.  It is difficult to work out how quickly your are reducing.  SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
 

If we reduce our drug too quickly we can experience withdrawal symptoms:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

This is SA's topic:  Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

Q:  What supplements are you taking?
 

The only supplements SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 

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riverwithdrawal

ChessieCat! 

 

Thank you so much for writing to me and for the information!  I'll look it over and see what I need to do about my tapering.   I just looked over the charts and they will be a great, great help to me!! Again, thank you!

 

I will put together a list of my supplements following the above format and submit it as soon as I can. 

 

 

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Gracee

Hi River, Welcome to SA.  I am a newby here too and also your next-door-neighbor to the west in New Mexico, USA.   You will get plenty of honest assistance in SA.   Best wishes to you.

G.

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riverwithdrawal

Gracee, 

Hello!  I have been gone for a while and just now saw your reply.  Thank you, neighbor! Thank you!  My sister was on Paxil - nasty stuff I heard.  If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know!   I just posted my health routine today, if you want to look at it.  I see that you have 135 posts.  I will start looking at your posts. Take care, River

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Altostrata
3 hours ago, riverwithdrawal said:

 

When I was on 300mg Wellbutrin SR (daily), after seven years, during a period in my life where I was under tremendous stress, didn't eat properly and was dehydrated most of the time, I developed tremors and restless leg syndrome and leg cramps. I was so dehydrated at times that when I had to go to the ER for a diverticulitis attack, it took the ER nurse two hours to get an IV into my veins. Since December 2018, I have been tapering my medication. As of today, I'm on 113mg Wellbutrin (Immediate Release) taken in the morning and evening, which is 226mg. During this time, I have added the following in my dietary routine:

 

  1. I drink 16 oz of water before eating. I try to drink a total of 70 oz of water per day, not including any other drinks I may consume.  I am 140 lbs.  I drink 0.5 oz for each pound I weigh.  Dehydration is only one potential cause of muscle cramps, but it’s one worth considering if you are experiencing cramps. Changes in the electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, can lead to muscle cramping as well.
  2. An hour after drinking my water, I take my medication with my breakfast. For breakfast, I have usually had a large bowl of fruit. And take my supplements: my probiotics (high dosage), Salmon oil, Fish Oil ( a combo of several types of fish oils), flax seed oil - all in pill form. And, I take a multi-purpose digestive aid tablet.
  3. 30-minutes afterward, I heat up a cup of almond milk (unsweetened) and place a peppermint tea bag in it. After the tea bag has seeped, I flavor the tea with maple syrup, add acacia powder (pre-biotics), cocoa powder, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. Actually, It tastes pretty good. I notice that with this amount of oil in my diet, I don't need a stool softener. I also notice that my leg cramps, restless leg jumping, and tremors have disappeared and I don't have bad mood swings as I did before. Before bedtime, I drink another cup of this cocktail but I omit the cocoa powder.
  4.  Lunch and Dinner I take a multivitamin, multi-mineral, Vitamin C, extra Potassium and Vitamin D.  I am on an Auto Immune Diet. 
  5. One hour after I take my evening medication, I take a BCAA, with l carnitine, l asparagine, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C and turmeric. I notice I get a restful sleep with this combination. I believe the magnesium works better with protein. I don't know why, but, for me it does.

 

These also might be helpful to others - these steps help me:

  1. Yoga and meditation have helped me overcome the feeling of "being lost" and unsure about myself. 
  2. I read the scriptures daily and try to have a 'relationship' with God.

 

When I follow this routine, in addition to the above benefits,  I stop craving sweets and chocolate, I don't get hungry much and I feel calm and have a sense of well being.  

 

The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance

Spotlight on Asparagine and Its Benefits

Branched-Chain Amino Acids as New Biomarkers of Major Depression - A Novel Neurobiology of Mood Disorder

Probiotics and the Vagus Nerve – a New Frontier for Psychiatric Conditions

The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression

The Underlying Factor Behind Your Anxiety And Depression

 

 

Thanks, river. You may wish to look at our Symptoms and Self-care forum and add to topics there, where the information can be found by people searching in the future.

 

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