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MollyMac: planning taper off 150mg Wellbutrin XL


MollyMac

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Hello everyone,

I have been on 150mg Wellbutrin XL for 4 years. Was previously on 60mg of an SSRI (Far too much. I had post natal depression - it was overkill) Over 10 years I tapered the dose and finally came off in October 2018. It was a bumpy ride.

 

I would now like to taper off 150mg Wellbutrin XL slowly. My problem is that doctors/psychs in Ireland appear to know nothing. I have just been told told to try every other day. Wellbutrin is only really prescribed here for smoking cessation. 

 

I feel trapped on this drug. There is no guidance available in Ireland on tapering. Thing is, I'm still anxious - so while it fixed my exhaustion - life on it is not 'right' if that makes sense. My biggest concern is that, while I have friends, I am a single working mother with 2 children and no family support, so I would be doing this solo. That scares me. Right now COVID has changed everything so I won't be trying anything soon, but I like to plan ahead. 

 

So, advice and the feeling of not being alone would be wonderful. I have carefully read and bookmarked all the threads on how to taper off this drug. I don't think compounding is even an option here. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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Seizures caused by Wellbutrin are very dose specific and have nothing to do with cutting the tablet into smaller pieces. There is a thresh hold of 450mgai per day where the increased seizure risk star

Thank you Altostrata. Merci buckets. Am already feeling better now that I've gone back to 3 daily doses. 

Arguing with the world in your head! Such a good way of putting it, that's what I've been experiencing too.  I've been off Zyban completely for a month now and feeling much more emotionally stable,

  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi MollyMac,

And welcome aboard.

And thank you so much for getting your signature done.

It looks like you were put on Wellbutrin XL then, while you were on the SSRI?  Is that correct?

And did you taper off the previous 60 mg dose of the unremembered SSRI, pretty quickly then, or do you remember how you came off it? 

Let us know if you remember it's name.

 

On 4/5/2020 at 12:03 PM, MollyMac said:

I would now like to taper off 150mg Wellbutrin XL slowly. My problem is that doctors/psychs in Ireland appear to know nothing. I have just been told told to try every other day. Wellbutrin is only really prescribed here for smoking cessation. 

 

I feel trapped on this drug. There is no guidance available in Ireland on tapering. Thing is, I'm still anxious - so while it fixed my exhaustion - life on it is not 'right' if that makes sense. My biggest concern is that, while I have friends, I am a single working mother with 2 children and no family support, so I would be doing this solo. That scares me. Right now COVID has changed everything so I won't be trying anything soon, but I like to plan ahead. 

 

So, advice and the feeling of not being alone would be wonderful. I have carefully read and bookmarked all the threads on how to taper off this drug. I don't think compounding is even an option here. 

 

And okay, so I will assume that you have then found the topics on our general tapering philosophy, and tapering Wellbutrin specifically.  I think I will go ahead and put those links here, now, for ease of reference, going forward, and give you a little more information as well.

 

Excellent to plan ahead MollyMac.   You are not alone with what you are endeavoring to do now, not here.  You have come to the right place.  B)

 

*Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

* Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made.  The CNS likes stability. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.
 
There is a lot of non-drug coping you can learn to cope with the anxiety.  Did it increase at all, when you came off of your SSRI medication?  It's entirely possible that you may have gotten some withdrawal syndrome, after coming off the unknown(right now) drug too.  And possible, very possible, that with a nice slow cautious taper, with the Wellbutrin you may not have to deal with WD symptoms too much.
 
I'm going to stop there now, so I don't overwhelm you with information from the get go here.  This is your Introduction, and you have now introduced yourself to the community.  You can post any questions around your planning, and then when you do decide to get started tapering right here.  You can also communicate with other members right here too, or on their threads.  Members often do support each other here, alot.
 
So welcome again.
 
Love, peace, healing, and growth,
mmt

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Hi manymoretodays,

Thank you so much for responding. It makes such a difference. And for thoughtfully including all the links in one place. So kind. I notice that you have not updated your signature since 2016 - are you having longer strings of better days? 

 

To answer your question. The SSRI was citralopram (Cipramil). I was put on Wellbutrin for exhaustion while I was on Cipramil, approx 4 years ago.

 

I cycled down off Cipramil reeeeaaaallllly slowly over years. It got bumpier from 10mg onwards. I was splitting the pills as carefully as I could. My partner left me on the basis of how emotional I became as I came in to land. I appear to be one of those people who is crazily sensitive to any kind of med. I can't even drink coffee! Ant-histamines make me hyper.

 

I honestly can't tell if I'm more anxious since the Wellbutrin or not. I'm at my worst in the mornings. It ebbs over the day. Evenings I am calm. I do take the 150mg Wellbutrin in the morning but my anxiety and sadness is there on waking - before I have taken my meds.

 

I'm really terrified at the idea of being trapped on Wellbutrin. It's cured my exhaustion. But I feel jittery and can't tell if that's me or it. The partner who left me and came back, has now left again because (not the only reason) I talked about coming off the Wellbutrin to see if I still needed it. So, life suuuuuuuucks these days. It's hard enough to lose the person you loved enormously (I'm in my late 40s) - but I'm not sure if I'm sliding into depression or just 'normal' heartbreak and Covid bereft. Like any normal person would get. 

 

Question - 

Even after reading carefully, I'm unclear of what to ask the doctor to source for me. Or if they will? I'm on 150mg every morning. Could someone tell me is the next step exactly this, please?

 

We do not have compounding pharmacies in Ireland. Phooey.  


"After you are down to 150mg per day, you may wish to make your next decrease by getting your prescription filled with 100 mg Wellbutrin SR (sustained-release) tablets and 100mg Wellbutrin IR (immediate-release) tablets. (The prescription would be written for "one 100mg Wellbutrin SR tablet in the a.m. and one 100mg Wellbutrin IR tablet in the p.m., for a total of 200mg per day.")
 
Then you would make a liquid from the 100mg Wellbutrin IR tablet to make further reductions of 10% (based on current dosage; the amount of the decrease gets smaller and smaller) until you are down to one 100mg Wellbutrin SR per day.
 
After you are down to 100mg per day, you may wish to make your next decrease by getting your prescription filled with 100mg Wellbutrin IR (immediate-release) tablets (or use the ones you have left) and make a liquid from them to continue tapering at 10%.
 
To make a liquid from immediate-release bupropion:

Is this my way forward? 

 

I hope it's ok to ask more questions. I look forward to being the one helping other in their journey. It's what I'm good at. I'm just the one needing the help right now.

 

Good health to you manymoretodays and to each of you,

MollyMac

 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi MollyMac,

Thanks for asking.  Doing real well, hoping I've seen the last of the Waves and it's clear sailing from here on out.

And oof, so sorry for the relationship problems.  And all the changes.  Take a look at the neuroemotions topic.  Topics like that helped me out so much, early on.......just realizing that I wasn't alone in what I was going through.  Honestly, now is really good though........so much more clarity in thoughts, and so much better at dealing with the general life stuff too.  This whole thing, has taught me a lot.

 

I have got to run now, but shall be back around in the next 24 hours or so.  I will notify myself, @manymoretodays

........to remind myself to take a look at your further questions and try to help you clarify a bit, on a tapering plan, and what to ask the doctor for.

 

Okay.  Good health to you too, MollyMac.  Stay safe and well enough.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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manymoretodays

Hi MM!  Eh, finally, huh.

 

You get lot's of options really with the Wellbutrin.

Best, for now, might be to do a nice transition to a more immediate acting Wellbutrin.

 

You don't want to change anything too quickly.  I wonder if you might, without even mentioning tapering, be able to switch over to the SR.  If not that, then you could switch to immediate release.  And then later do liquid for lowering dosages. 

 

Tapering methods for extended-release versions:

  • Cut up Wellbutrin XL or XR tablets
    If you cut up a Wellbutrin XL or XR tablet, you get immediate-release bupropion.

    Since the smallest XL/XR tablet is 150mg, we recommend converting to bupropion SR or immediate-release bupropion so you can cut up the tablets to make reductions by 25mg or less.

    If you cut up a 150mg or 300mg XL/XR tablet into quarters to taper, you will need to take some 3 times a day, as it's become immediate-release bupropion. (We do not recommend tapering this fast, do this at your own risk.)
  • Switch from Wellbutrin XR/XL to other types of bupropion
    This may be a little bumpy at first. A switch from XR/XL to SR probably would be smoother than a switch to immediate-release bupropion. (See Example: Tapering off 300mg Wellbutrin XL, below.)
    • Switch to the SR version and cut up tablets, take 2x a day
    • Switch to the immediate-release version and cut up tablets or, for lower dosing, make a liquid with water, take 3x a day
  • How to taper off Budeprion XL (extended release)
    From FDA information: http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=2ab4878e-cbe0-46f8-a9fc-e70945a352ed
    - Available as brand-name only (Budeprion XL) in 150 mg extended-release tablets
    - To be taken once a day. This is equivalent to 3-times daily immediate-release bupropion or twice-daily bupropion SR.

And yes, you can do it yourself, making a liquid from the IR.  That's what CoolheadLuke is doing now.  And it sounds like, he was able to do a slow transition, and is still in the process of that, from tablet to liquid.  You might want to pop over and see how he transitioned originally.

 

We usually suggest a careful crossover from tablet to liquid too:

No change in dose, while doing the crossover.

Day 1-3  1/4 dose in liquid and 3/4 tablet form

Day 4-7  1/2 liquid and 1/2 tablet

Day 8-11 3/4 liquid and 1/4 tablet

And then to all liquid.

 

Happy, hopping hopeful Easter MM.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi MMT,

Sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. The days go by in a blur.  I've asked my doctor about switching to the other types of Wellbutrin and got met with "I don't know anything about that drug, go to a psychiatrist". 

 

May I ask you a question, MMT? I have read this part below over and over. Am I right in understanding that the best option is to 'convert to bupropion SR or immediate-release bupropion' instead of cutting up the 150mg XL tablets I am on? Is that much better than cutting the XL up? If I could just cut them up I could start this process in my own time, rather than wait the months it will take to get a psychiatry appointment. Could I cut them into 4 and take 4 times a day? Sorry if this is obvious...my brain ain't getting it. 

On 4/11/2020 at 6:34 PM, manymoretodays said:
  • Cut up Wellbutrin XL or XR tablets
    If you cut up a Wellbutrin XL or XR tablet, you get immediate-release bupropion.

    Since the smallest XL/XR tablet is 150mg, we recommend converting to bupropion SR or immediate-release bupropion so you can cut up the tablets to make reductions by 25mg or less.

    If you cut up a 150mg or 300mg XL/XR tablet into quarters to taper, you will need to take some 3 times a day, as it's become immediate-release bupropion. (We do not recommend tapering this fast, do this at your own risk.)
  • Switch from Wellbutrin XR/XL to other types of bupropion
    This may be a little bumpy at first. A switch from XR/XL to SR probably would be smoother than a switch to immediate-release bupropion. (See Example: Tapering off 300mg Wellbutrin XL, below.)
    • Switch to the SR version and cut up tablets, take 2x a day
    • Switch to the immediate-release version and cut up tablets or, for lower dosing, make a liquid with water, take 3x a day

 

I hope your days are going ok in these weird-assed times. Sending love, peace, healing and growth to you,

MM

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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  • Moderator
manymoretodays
On 4/23/2020 at 7:25 AM, MollyMac said:

May I ask you a question, MMT? I have read this part below over and over. Am I right in understanding that the best option is to 'convert to bupropion SR or immediate-release bupropion' instead of cutting up the 150mg XL tablets I am on? Is that much better than cutting the XL up? If I could just cut them up I could start this process in my own time, rather than wait the months it will take to get a psychiatry appointment. Could I cut them into 4 and take 4 times a day? Sorry if this is obvious...my brain ain't getting it. 

 

Hi MM,

You would need to take immediate release 3X per day, is my understanding. 

The SR, would be taken 2X per day.

And at first, before tapering, you would keep the total daily dose at 150 mg.

 

You don't necessarily need to see a psychiatrist to get a prescription. 

 

Yes, thank you, doing okay during these times.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post

Thank you MMD. I can see my huge typo in the subject of this thread. I'm not on 300mg, have only ever been on 300mg. I have hit a big problem though, which I have started a separate post about - simply because I didn't want to be putting all the pressure on you! It seems that I am on prolonged release Wellbutrin - and that is all I have to work with. No other version of the drug exists in Ireland and from the utter confusion of the medics, it appears I'm the only person in the country who has been prescribed it for anything other than smoking cessation. No one knows how to get me off it!

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi MollyMac,

Yes, I see the other post and have left it intact, may move it to the tapering Wellbutrin topic, as I think it applies there.

No pressure on me, I've been a bit under, and less able to come on lately is all.  Darn tooth infection and root......and then having to wait for treatment of it.  Not sure, but may be a bit sensitive, not too bad, to the antibiotic......and am doing my best with ibuprofen and tylenol for pain.  Some kerfuffles too, or just confusion, and feeling a bit traumatized by a few recent events.  Got my skills though, and my faith......so thank goodness for that.

 

Always good to get advice from folks who may have tapered Wellbutrin as well.  I was on it briefly, only, and had some almost immediate adverse effects, or perhaps drug interactions,  so went off almost as quick as I went on.

 

I'll get you in the que for additional moderator input too Molly.  How are you doing right now?

I am thinking that if it was me, I might use the 150XR, cutting it up into careful thirds, and space it into 50 mg doses taken 3 times/day for now.

Do just hold right now, until we get some further clarification, if that is okay?

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
in black

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post

Gosh, you are in the wars. I'm sorry. I'm very familiar with the traumatized feeling, but I admire that you can wield your skills to help. On top of everything, toothache is a total crock. 

 

How do you cut a pill evenly - is there a knack, or a gadget?

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Hello, MollyMac. There is a gadget for splitting pills, but to be honest, it probably isn't any better than a sharp knife for cutting a tablet into thirds or fourths.

 

Have you ever had problems going off Wellbutrin before?

 

If I were you, I would cut your tablet into quarters (37.5mg each), take 4 times a day, such as 8 a.m., 12 noon, 4 p.m., 8 p.m. You may have to get used to that for a week or so, because each quarter might release its contents quickly.

 

Then, you are in a position to drop one quarter (37.5mg); change your quarter-tablet schedule to 8 a.m., 2 p.m., 8 p.m. This is a little steeper than we'd like, but all you can do with an extended-release tablet, you can't make a liquid from it.

 

This may work for you. If not, are you able to get tapering strips in Ireland? Your GP would have to order them.

 

Let us know how you're doing.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hello Altostrata,

Thank you for answering me. 

 

This will be my first time tapering off Welbutrin. I found going off Cymbalta very hard. Very. 

 

I mentioned in another thread I started that I have only just discovered that I'm on 150mg prolonged release, not extended release. Does this make any difference to your advice? The pharmacist said it takes "20 hours - plus or minus 5 to leave the system". 

 

I am very nervous about being able to cut the pills to even quarters. I'm sorry for all the questions. I'm a single mum with little support. I really need to get this right. The fear is huge. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

If you cannot get any other kind of buproprion, you would quarter the prolonged release tablets as described above.

 

Perhaps you'll want to look into tapering strips first? They put progressively reduced buproprion into premeasured capsules, with instructions.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to post
58 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

If you cannot get any other kind of buproprion, you would quarter the prolonged release tablets as described above.

 

Perhaps you'll want to look into tapering strips first? They put progressively reduced buproprion into premeasured capsules, with instructions.

 

Good idea. I will approach a doctor with that plan since they need to be ordered by a doctor. Although from what I have experienced thus far, the answer could well be a 'no'. 

Thank you, Altostrata. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi MollyMac,

Are you on the SR Wellbutrin now then?

SR, for sustained release.  Take a look at the label, and hopefully that will make it clearer, and/or call the pharmacy/dispensary.

And when do you take it now?

Just note the time or times, and the drug name and dosage.

Okay, thanks.  And let us know how it goes with your GP too.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
1 hour ago, manymoretodays said:

Hi MollyMac,

Are you on the SR Wellbutrin now then?

SR, for sustained release.  Take a look at the label, and hopefully that will make it clearer, and/or call the pharmacy/dispensary.

And when do you take it now?

Just note the time or times, and the drug name and dosage.

Okay, thanks.  And let us know how it goes with your GP too.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

Hi! I am on the prolonged release. I take it in the morning with breakfast. 

 

The tablet is round and smooth/shiny. I can not see how I could cut it into 4 equal parts. The pharmacist told me that even if I cut them evenly, there was no way of knowing if the meds inside were evenly distributed. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

So you've got the bupropion prolonged release and have been taking it just once a day.

 

More on splitting or cutting up tablets:

How to cut up tablets or pills

 

Also:

Which tablets or pills may be split or crushed?

 

Yes, the pharmacist is right.  It may be a bit inexact, and you will lose the prolonged release characteristic of the tablets, once split.  That's why you would need to go to 4 time/day dosing.  The medication would no longer be slowly released.

 

On 5/1/2020 at 12:30 PM, Altostrata said:

If I were you, I would cut your tablet into quarters (37.5mg each), take 4 times a day, such as 8 a.m., 12 noon, 4 p.m., 8 p.m. You may have to get used to that for a week or so, because each quarter might release its contents quickly.

 

Then, you are in a position to drop one quarter (37.5mg); change your quarter-tablet schedule to 8 a.m., 2 p.m., 8 p.m. This is a little steeper than we'd like, but all you can do with an extended-release tablet, you can't make a liquid from it.

 

This may work for you. If not, are you able to get tapering strips in Ireland? Your GP would have to order them.

 

I'm with Alto, in that, if it were me, I would go with quartering the tablets, and then adjusting to that for a week, or perhaps a bit longer, before beginning to taper.

Then drop the one dose/day and we could go from there, as far as helping you manage a further taper.

 

If you are adjusting pretty well to that, I think at that point you could consider this:

Weigh capsule fragments with a digital scale
If you can't do any of the above, you may wish to cut up tablets and weigh the fragments with a digital scale to control your tapering rate. This could apply to any type of bupropion -- remember that, when cut up, an XR tablet becomes immediate-release and an SR tablet may retain some of its sustained-release quality.
 
See Using a digital scale to measure doses

 

The digital scale that most use, is called the Gemini 20, and is fairly inexpensive and can be gotten through Amazon.  Then you would need to go to crushing your tablets, and filling some gelatin capsules with the contents, once carefully weighed and measured. 

 

Unfortunately, the prolonged release cannot be made into a liquid.  Are you completely out of options, for up the line here, getting a prescription for immediate release?

 

Any luck with checking on the tapering strips?  Unfortunately, that might be expensive........worth investigating at this point though.  Sometimes compounding is expensive as well, for some, and I don't know what is available in Ireland.

I was a do it myself-er when it came to tapering.  It all seemed rather complicated at first, but once I got the hang of it, it went better.

 

It's a lot to digest MollyMac, so again, take your time, consider your options, before proceeding.

 

Fear is common, especially in these times,  I'm hoping something below helps.  The Dr Claire Weeke's stuff may be helpful, right now, and in the future:

  

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/27/2017 at 12:03 PM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

And more non-drug coping here, a whole indexed list of things in the first post:

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Are you managing okay right now, MollyMac?  If so, it may be a good time to get started and get prepared.  If not, you may want to wait until you ARE feeling a bit more confident.  Tapering may cause some WD(withdrawal) and I don't want you to get too overwhelmed, if we can help it.  Honing up on all the self management skills now, will be helpful, going forward.

 

Keep us updated and posted.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

* amended topic title to Planning tapering off 150 mg WellbutrinXL

Edited by manymoretodays
amended Introduction title to 150 mg Wellbutrin XL

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Don't worry about the drug being distributed within the tablet. Are you able to get tapering strips instead?

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to post
  • manymoretodays changed the title to MollyMac - Planning tapering off 150 mg Wellbutrin XL

Goodness, you both are being so incredibly kind. I'm kinda bowled over by it.  Thank you so much. 

 

To answer, the doctor I asked about getting tapering strips said, "No". No doctors here will touch Wellbutrin in any form, because I appear to be the only person in the country on it for exhaustion/depression.  He told me to drop a dose a week. He's one of the better ones. That's the 3rd doctor I've tried. 

 

And as for am I coping well - I am and I'm not. Isn't that life? My relationship with 'The One' ended horribly in January, and he's recently been resurfacing in ways that have  been difficult. That said, while on my own I was able to recognise that I am a person who has regular moments of anxiety, of feeling like a careering racehorse. I have been working on reconnecting with myself and accepting that this is who I am. And liking myself just as I am. Which leads to coping better. When you are in a relationship it can be hard to see what is you, what is the relationship  and are if you projecting, or reacting. Does that make sense? My ex questioned me a lot about coming off Wellbutrin. I felt quite hemmed in by this.  His feeling was - if it worked then you take it for the rest of your life. I feel differently, but i wholly understand his fear. He saw my utter exhaustion before taking Wellbutrin, and it was a bumpy ride getting off Cymbalta. But,I was right about going off it.  Haven't missed it once.

 

The thing is, Wellbutrin is a stimulant. So perhaps it is adding to the anxiety. I have taken this long, after a  bumpy 5 years (my father dying, money problems, leaving my gambling and awful husband, moving house, dealing with a disabled and unpleasant mother , a new and wonderful relationship hitting the rocks over and over) to finally recognise that I am not that unusual or odd. And that I may not actually need drugs. I wonder how much of my anxiety and rumination has been caused by life simply being really fricking hard, for ages. 

 

So you see, I'm fine and I'm not. I won't start straight away. I need to get some equilibrium over the next few weeks. Then I'll start. 

 

Riiiight - that may have been too much info? 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post

Hi MMt  - I can only get prolonged release in Ireland. It's the only one that exists here. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • Mentor

 

Sorry Your in this position.

I was on 300 mgs for 6 months, then cut in half to 150, then tapered lower from there.

It took more time than I thought it would but I finally made it and so can you. 🙂

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs  8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6)

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

Link to post
7 hours ago, Colonial said:

 

Sorry Your in this position.

I was on 300 mgs for 6 months, then cut in half to 150, then tapered lower from there.

It took more time than I thought it would but I finally made it and so can you. 🙂

Thank you Colonial. May I ask how long you were on Wellbutrin for before you started tapering?

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays
23 hours ago, MollyMac said:

Hi MMt  - I can only get prolonged release in Ireland. It's the only one that exists here. 

 

Okay.  Sorry, you had said that before.

 

23 hours ago, MollyMac said:

So you see, I'm fine and I'm not. I won't start straight away. I need to get some equilibrium over the next few weeks. Then I'll start. 

 

Riiiight - that may have been too much info? 

 

Tis okay, my Irish friend.  B)❤️

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to MollyMac: Planning tapering off 150 mg Wellbutrin XL

HI everyone,

So - I have finally gotten confirmation that I can not access tapering srips in Ireland, and no pharmacist will cut the 150mg Wellbutrin Prolonged Release into quarters for me because it can cause seizures. 

 

I'm going to buy pill cutters from the pharmacist today tomorrow. I'm nervous and feel really isolated by the medical system. But I'm ready. Can I do something like keep a diary on here - so that when I feel I'm going mad at least you guys are there? It's such a lonely undertaking.

 

 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Seizures caused by Wellbutrin are very dose specific and have nothing to do with cutting the tablet into smaller pieces. There is a thresh hold of 450mgai per day where the increased seizure risk starts to occur. Below that limit it is less likely to cause seizures than several of the other popular antidepressants.  Dosing at the 150mgai level needs to be kept on a very consistent schedule to avoid overlapping of doses. Also there are frequently other factors involved such as other psych drugs taken at the same time and a history of seizure for the patient.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Please do report on how you're doing, Molly.

 

Many people have tapered off Wellbutrin by cutting up the tablets. It's not perfect, but it's usually good enough.

 

The pharmacist was not entirely correct. When you cut up any of the extended-release forms of Wellbutrin, it becomes immediate-release Wellbutrin. If your system is used to prolonged release, getting the entire dose immediately released (dosage dumping) can give you a jolt. (If you were not already used to Wellbutrin and prone to seizures, this might rarely cause seizures, but you have been taking 150mg for 3.5 years, so seizures are very unlikely.)

 

However, when you taper off Wellbutrin XR by cutting a tablet into quarters, you need to follow Wellbutrin immediate-release dosing, which is 2 or 3 times a day. What you might do is take 1/2 tablet (75mg) in the morning and a quarter-tablet (37.5mg) in the evening to mimic the extended-release coverage. Be sure to take your doses at the same times each day.

 

You may or may not feel bumps in the transition. Please stay calm, most likely they'll pass in a few days. Many people have tapered Wellbutrin with no problems. Please let us know how you're doing.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to post

Thank you SO much Altostrata and Brassmonkey. That really helps. Would it be best to cut it into quarters and take at regular intervals of  a.m., 12 noon, 4 p.m., 8 p.m? I can set alarms to do that. 

 

And how long should I let myself get used to that before dropping one quarter dose?

 

Thank you to the moon and back again.

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Ok. I'm going in. I'm going to start today guys. 30th May. Have cut pill into quarters and am going to take either half or one quarter this morning, and the rest at intervals. 

Frankly, I'm scared. But I'm glad to be starting. It's long overdue! 

 

Is there somewhere on here I can go to join others doing the same? You guys are about my only support network.

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
On 5/19/2020 at 8:38 PM, Altostrata said:

Please do report on how you're doing, Molly.

 

Many people have tapered off Wellbutrin by cutting up the tablets. It's not perfect, but it's usually good enough.

 

The pharmacist was not entirely correct. When you cut up any of the extended-release forms of Wellbutrin, it becomes immediate-release Wellbutrin. If your system is used to prolonged release, getting the entire dose immediately released (dosage dumping) can give you a jolt. (If you were not already used to Wellbutrin and prone to seizures, this might rarely cause seizures, but you have been taking 150mg for 3.5 years, so seizures are very unlikely.)

 

However, when you taper off Wellbutrin XR by cutting a tablet into quarters, you need to follow Wellbutrin immediate-release dosing, which is 2 or 3 times a day. What you might do is take 1/2 tablet (75mg) in the morning and a quarter-tablet (37.5mg) in the evening to mimic the extended-release coverage. Be sure to take your doses at the same times each day.

 

You may or may not feel bumps in the transition. Please stay calm, most likely they'll pass in a few days. Many people have tapered Wellbutrin with no problems. Please let us know how you're doing.

 Hi Altostrata,

I've just spotted that what you have said here amounts to taking only 3/4 of a tablet in a day. And actually, that is what I have done today. I took a half this morning, and felt so speedy and high I decided to take only one of the remaining quarters at lunch time. Taking a stimulant in the latter half of the day does not feel like a good idea. Scary, even. I don't want to be revving at bed time. Can someone reassure me? There's no one around me who can advise. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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  • Administrator
Altostrata
On 5/19/2020 at 12:53 PM, MollyMac said:

Thank you SO much Altostrata and Brassmonkey. That really helps. Would it be best to cut it into quarters and take at regular intervals of  a.m., 12 noon, 4 p.m., 8 p.m? I can set alarms to do that. 

 

And how long should I let myself get used to that before dropping one quarter dose?

 

Thank you to the moon and back again.

 

44 minutes ago, MollyMac said:

 Hi Altostrata,

I've just spotted that what you have said here amounts to taking only 3/4 of a tablet in a day. And actually, that is what I have done today. I took a half this morning, and felt so speedy and high I decided to take only one of the remaining quarters at lunch time. Taking a stimulant in the latter half of the day does not feel like a good idea. Scary, even. I don't want to be revving at bed time. Can someone reassure me? There's no one around me who can advise. 

 

Molly, if you found that the half-tablet is too strong, you may want to cut the tablet into quarters and take 3 quarters by late afternoon, such as 37.5mg at 8 a.m, 37.5mg at noon, 37.5mg at 4 p.m.

 

You are correct, bupropion is known to be activating; it might keep you awake if you take it too late in the evening.

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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Thank you. That is obvious, and yet had not occurred to me. Still feel quite wired, and I took the last quarter over 3 hours ago. Sheesh. Still, I am inordinately pleased to have started by dropping a quarter. 

 

Is 2/3 weeks the right time to wait before dropping the next quarter?

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post

Woke feeling so very sad today. I can tell it's to do with dropping a quarter yesterday. But I meditated and I'll do yoga in a bit. I can feel it easing, but the tears are close. And I slept really well - so that's good. 

 

I have read on this site repeatedly about tapering down only by 10%. Is Wellbutrin different? Is is traditionally a slightly 'easier' tablet to taper down from? *crosses fingers...

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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  • Mentor

@MollyMac Glad you found your way in here. Yes every drop from these meds are noticeable. Take it slowly and focus on one day at a time. 
I am rooting for you on the sideline 💪

Take care🙏

Prescribed Paxil 20 mg year 2000 for panic attacks.

Many attempts through out the years to quit.

2019 tapered from 20 mg to 10 mg. Got stuck there, decided to bridge with Fluoxetine. 
2020 March off Fluoxetine 

2020 Oct- nov started deteriorating, followed by severe crash. 2021 Reinstated fluoxetine by small amount, until I reach 9 mg (current) and stabilised. Holding 

 

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Thank you Hanna72. The support means the world. It's been a tough day. Doesn't help having a teenage daughter!

I love your quote - “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time” Leo Tolstoy - 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post

Days later and things have settled. The first 2/3 days were bumpy. The half life of Wellbutrin is sooooooo long that it's hard to tell when my system will really start to notice the drop. And the quartering of the pills is seriously inexact, but I'm feeling well. Am going to a herbalist at the same time - might be placebo but it helps to feel proactive. 

 

Not going to drop another quarter until a month from now. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey all. Just keeping track of myself. I'm 10 days in. Agitated and just not in my skin. I had reached a place of meditating and some serenity. Now I'm all fast and unhappy. But - if I take the last quarter at 4.30 in the evening - why do I wake so abruptly and unhappy? It's instant release now so surely it's no longer in my system by then? 

 

Am going to try going for a walk to chill myself out. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to MollyMac: planning taper off 150mg Wellbutrin XL

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