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Wellbutrin/Zyban - pharmacies in Ireland have run out - can anyone help?


MollyMac
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Wellbutrin/Zyban - Pharmacies in Ireland have run out - can anyone help?

 

Hey folks,

I'm not sure what to do. The pharmacy has told me they only have enough for 21 days supply. There is no more Zyban or Wellbutrin in Ireland. Given how hard I have found going down by only 10% with gaps of 2 months in between - this is frightening news. 

 

Has anyone navigated this issue before? People take it for smoking cessation - I wonder might any one have packs they don't need out there? 😨

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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

Finally off October 2018. Once over the fallout, haven't looked back. 

  • Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Zyban for 3.5 yrs.
  • It comes in blank plastic pouches.
  • The code on the pill is GX CH7.
  • The full pill weight is 0.42 grams.  

Starting tapering journey 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 10% again. 
Approx three 10% cuts (pill weight) since January 2021 (2021). Each is pretty bumpy. 
July 2021 - Am now at 0.06 grams (pill weight) x 3 daily. (The whole pill weighs 0.42 grams)
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@MollyMac

I think I've heard of the tapering strips made in the Netherland being sent to other countries.  I believe you'd need to have a prescription from your doctor for you to send to them.  It's worth contacting the company to see if this is a possibility.

Tapering strips for psychiatric drugs being produced in ...

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hi MollyMac, the shortage is global, I've attached the Supply Disruption Alert that the UK Department of Health and Social Care put out. Basically they can order from other countries/companies, the relevant part of the information for the UK is here, maybe you can do something similar in Ireland? 

 

Quote

Alternative products 

Unlicensed imports 

The following specialist importer companies are able to source bupropion 150mg prolonged release tablets (please note there may be other companies that can also source supplies): 

  • • Alium Medical 
  • • Clinigen 
  • • Mawdsleys 
  • • Target Healthcare 

 

Any decision to prescribe an unlicensed medicine must consider the relevant guidance and NHS Trust or local governance procedures. Please see the links below for further information: 

  • • Prescribing unlicensed medicines, General Medical Council (GMC), 
  • • The supply of unlicensed medicinal products, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency 
  • • Professional Guidance for the Procurement and Supply of Specials, Royal Pharmaceutical Society 

 

When prescribing a product that is not licensed in the UK prescribers must indicate on the FP10 prescription that an unlicensed product is required. This can be done by annotating the prescription with the following wording: “special order”. 

 

My doctor filled in the FP10 prescription form above and I got Bupropion MR 150mg tablets made by a company called Intas pharmaceuticals. I'm sorry for the anxiety this is causing you, I freaked out about it a bit - I hope you can find a solution too.

SDA_2020_010.pdf

On antidepressants since 2005 when I was 18 for anxiety/depressive disorder.

 

2005-2009 - I've taken citalopram, sertraline, mirtazapine, fluoxetine, duloxetine, olanzapine, lamotrigine...loads of SSRIs, SNRIs, antipsychotics and some odd ones like agomelatine, too many for me to remember. I also have memory problems, probably as a result of all the meds which I often took together at high doses. I've also taken zopiclone/zolpidem and benzodiazepines in the past to help with sleep. 

Jan 2009-Jan 2013 - Duloxetine and Bupropion, gradually titrated down from the Duloxetine

Jan 2013-Jan 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 150mg morning, 150mg evening = 300mg daily

Jan 2020-Feb 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 150mg morning, 75mg evening = 225mg daily

Feb 2020-Apr 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 75mg morning, 75mg evening = 150mg daily

Apr 2020-Jun 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 75mg morning, 37.5mg evening = 112.5mg daily

Jun 2020-Aug 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 37.5mg morning, 37.5g evening = 75mg daily

Aug 2020-Sep 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 37.5mg morning, 18.75 evening = 56.25mg daily

Sep 2020-Oct 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 18.75mg morning, 18.75mg evening = 37.5mg daily 

I stopped taking Zyban completely on 28th October and I'm currently feeling great, no ill effects. 

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Hi Gridley and TiredofDrugs, thanks for replying. Gridley - I can't get the tapering strips prescribed by any psych or doctor here. Tried that option! I appreciate your input. 

 

TiredofDrugs - that's great information. Thank you! I have located a small rural pharmacy which has some left. I am going to chase my GP for a prescription. Like we've all encountered - doctors here are as helpful as a wet fish to the face. However, Ireland being so small it means the pharmacist I located turns out to be the sister of my neighbour. She knew my house! 

 

This does mean I am going to speed up my tapering. I had planned on leaving the next drop for another month. I find each drop tough for 3 weeks, and I'm a working single parent with no one to step in. But I had better prepare for the possibility of the drug being hard to get even in December. 

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

Finally off October 2018. Once over the fallout, haven't looked back. 

  • Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Zyban for 3.5 yrs.
  • It comes in blank plastic pouches.
  • The code on the pill is GX CH7.
  • The full pill weight is 0.42 grams.  

Starting tapering journey 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 10% again. 
Approx three 10% cuts (pill weight) since January 2021 (2021). Each is pretty bumpy. 
July 2021 - Am now at 0.06 grams (pill weight) x 3 daily. (The whole pill weighs 0.42 grams)
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So sorry you're going through that MM - I agree re: doctors, I've only had bad experiences with psychiatrists in Ireland, though I found some GPs to be sympathetic. I hope you manage to get your meds - no one should have to taper faster than is right for them and their health. 

I love the story about the pharmacist knowing your house - classic Ireland 😅 We like to pretend we're really cosmopolitan, but there's only two degrees of separation between any of us at most! 

On antidepressants since 2005 when I was 18 for anxiety/depressive disorder.

 

2005-2009 - I've taken citalopram, sertraline, mirtazapine, fluoxetine, duloxetine, olanzapine, lamotrigine...loads of SSRIs, SNRIs, antipsychotics and some odd ones like agomelatine, too many for me to remember. I also have memory problems, probably as a result of all the meds which I often took together at high doses. I've also taken zopiclone/zolpidem and benzodiazepines in the past to help with sleep. 

Jan 2009-Jan 2013 - Duloxetine and Bupropion, gradually titrated down from the Duloxetine

Jan 2013-Jan 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 150mg morning, 150mg evening = 300mg daily

Jan 2020-Feb 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 150mg morning, 75mg evening = 225mg daily

Feb 2020-Apr 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 75mg morning, 75mg evening = 150mg daily

Apr 2020-Jun 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 75mg morning, 37.5mg evening = 112.5mg daily

Jun 2020-Aug 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 37.5mg morning, 37.5g evening = 75mg daily

Aug 2020-Sep 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 37.5mg morning, 18.75 evening = 56.25mg daily

Sep 2020-Oct 2020 - Zyban (Bupropion) 18.75mg morning, 18.75mg evening = 37.5mg daily 

I stopped taking Zyban completely on 28th October and I'm currently feeling great, no ill effects. 

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