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hithere: Tinnitus and tapering


hithere

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I've been on 150mg XL Buproprion (generic Wellbutrin) for approximately 6 years. 

 

1 month ago, I added Vyvance 50mg per day, for ADHD. It was magnificently helpful. Except the day I started it, was the day I noticed a high-pitched sound. I thought I was finally hearing "the sound of silence" since my mind was so much calmer.

 

Took me about a month to realize/accept this was, in fact, tinnitus. The onset of which started the same day I started Vyvance. So I stopped the Vyvance cold turkey a week ago.

 

Tinnitus isn't a recognized possibility from Vyvance, but I've just learned that it sure is for Buproprion. 

 

So I want to go off Buproprian ASAP, in the desperate hope the tinnitus will stop. I realize the chances are slim, but I can't keep taking an ototoxic drug now that I have tinnitus. I am losing my mind.

 

I've read the threads about tapering, and about tapering off Buproprion.

 

My question is - in the case of something like a new onset of tinnitus - is a slow taper still recommended? Or is this a case of "get off it as quickly as possible and hope for a miracle"?

 

The idea of continuing to poison my system with a known ototoxin for over a year with a slow taper seems like insanity... 

 

However, going cold turkey might or might not also be literal insanity.

 

AND a future of being non-medicated for both ADHD and dysthymia seems... also like insanity.

 

Thoughts & help appreciated, thanks.

 

--------------

• 2016: Buproprion 150XL
• Nov 6, 2021 : started Vyvance 50mg
• Dec 6, 2021: stopped Vyvance cold turkey

• Dec 13, 2021: stopped Buproprion 150XL cold turkey
 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to hithere: Tinnitus and tapering

It's the next day now, and I've decided to go off buproprion cold turkey as of today. I have a new psych who I'm in touch with (though I think all he's good for is prescribing meds, which is what I'm now trying to avoid). Any advice/experience welcomed, thanks.

--------------

• 2016: Buproprion 150XL
• Nov 6, 2021 : started Vyvance 50mg
• Dec 6, 2021: stopped Vyvance cold turkey

• Dec 13, 2021: stopped Buproprion 150XL cold turkey
 

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  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  We do not suggest that anyone goes off any psychiatric medication they have been on for any length of time cold turkey, as this can incur severe and incapacitating withdrawal symptoms that may last for a long time.   Can you please add the approximate day in November and December that you started and stopped the Vyvanse?  It's Ok that you stopped that cold turkey, as you were only on it 3 weeks.  

 

On 12/12/2021 at 1:38 PM, hithere said:

The idea of continuing to poison my system with a known ototoxin for over a year with a slow taper seems like insanity... 

 

However, going cold turkey might or might not also be literal insanity.

We at SA take the approach of do the least harm.  We only suggest a cold turkey in cases of serious adverse reaction, such as organ damage, liver damage, severe allergic reaction etc.  See this link:

 

Cold Turkey/Fast Taper

 

 

On 12/13/2021 at 10:45 AM, hithere said:

I have a new psych who I'm in touch with (though I think all he's good for is prescribing meds, which is what I'm now trying to avoid)

Just please be aware that the primary function of a psychiatrist is to prescribe psych meds.  If you are trying to avoid them, I would be very very careful about his advice. 

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.   This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper so slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

I realize that the tinnitus is unpleasant, and frightening.  However, that may not justify going off the drug cold turkey.  Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we generally taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Wellbutrin

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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  • Moderator

Here is a thread on tinnitus on our forum.  I believe in most cases, the tinnitus should eventually resolve itself as you wean off the Wellbutrin.  

 

Tinnitus

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator
On 12/12/2021 at 1:38 PM, hithere said:

1 month ago, I added Vyvance 50mg per day, for ADHD. It was magnificently helpful. Except the day I started it, was the day I noticed a high-pitched sound. I thought I was finally hearing "the sound of silence" since my mind was so much calmer.

 

Took me about a month to realize/accept this was, in fact, tinnitus. The onset of which started the same day I started Vyvance. So I stopped the Vyvance cold turkey a week ago.

Has the tinnitus decreased at all since you stopped the Vyvanse?  You say that the tinnitus is a side effect of bupropion, yet it started the day you added Vyvanse to your drug regimen.  It could be because there is a major interaction between Vyvanse and bupropion.  It's a good thing you stopped the Vyvanse.   

 

 

The following is from www.drugs.com: 

Interactions between your drugs

Major

buPROPion  lisdexamfetamine

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)

BuPROPion may rarely cause seizures, and combining it with other medications that can also cause seizures such as lisdexamfetamine may increase that risk. You may be more susceptible if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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getofflex - thank you!

 

— I added more dates to my signature, as requested

 

— I absolutely realize y’all recommend a slow taper. And normally I’d be on board with that. However, I am considering tinnitus a serious medical condition, because my mental health is being SEVERELY impacted by it. It’ll take me a year to get used to this endless crazy sheer insanity tone in my head, so it seems like a similar gamble to go cold turkey off the bupropion. Either way I may go crazy for awhile before finding a way to move forward again. And best case, I don’t experience a bad withdrawal. It’s a chance I’m willing to take, and I’m hoping for the best. I need to see if going off the bupropion and vyvance make the tinnitus go away.

 

— Day 2 off bupropion 150XL, and no WD symptoms so far, beyond a little tired (which could be because the tinnitus is driving me nuts and I can’t sleep, who knows). Do you know if sometimes WD symptoms are delayed?

 

— Thanks for ALL the good links and info, I really appreciate it!

 

— I’m starting a “MBSR for tinnitus” online course tomorrow, so getting back to meditation overall will be helpful for me during this process. Both to learn to accept the tinnitus (if it doesn’t disappear), and try to manage my dysthymia without meds.

 

— I’m talking to my (mediocre) therapist tomorrow, to see if we can do “ACT for tinnitus” together (some folks have great results with it).

 

-- There's been no reduction in the tinnitus yet, unfortunately. And yes - it started the day I started Vyvance. I agree that it's possible the interaction of the 2 drugs was too much and triggered tinnitus. WHICH SUCKS because I was so excited for the life I felt Vyvance would provide - calmly focused, for the first time in my life. 

Can I just say it SUCKS to have to go off my ADHD med, my anti-depressant AND STILL HAVE TINNITUS? (I mean, I have to have hope it will go away... but it really might not. Have to wait & see).

 

Here’s hoping for an easy transition.

--------------

• 2016: Buproprion 150XL
• Nov 6, 2021 : started Vyvance 50mg
• Dec 6, 2021: stopped Vyvance cold turkey

• Dec 13, 2021: stopped Buproprion 150XL cold turkey
 

Link to comment
27 minutes ago, getofflex said:

Has the tinnitus decreased at all since you stopped the Vyvanse?  You say that the tinnitus is a side effect of bupropion, yet it started the day you added Vyvanse to your drug regimen.  It could be because there is a major interaction between Vyvanse and bupropion.  It's a good thing you stopped the Vyvanse.   

 

 

The following is from www.drugs.com: 

Interactions between your drugs

Major

buPROPion  lisdexamfetamine

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)

BuPROPion may rarely cause seizures, and combining it with other medications that can also cause seizures such as lisdexamfetamine may increase that risk. You may be more susceptible if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

 

Well holy crap. I guess I'm lucky I didn't get SEIZURES from combining these 2 drugs, only tinnitus (which is god-awful, but hey - at least it's not seizures). What in the actual heck!!

--------------

• 2016: Buproprion 150XL
• Nov 6, 2021 : started Vyvance 50mg
• Dec 6, 2021: stopped Vyvance cold turkey

• Dec 13, 2021: stopped Buproprion 150XL cold turkey
 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
23 hours ago, hithere said:

Do you know if sometimes WD symptoms are delayed?

Yes, often they are.  I've seen some people get WD symptoms 3 months after going off a psych med.  

 

Just a word of warning, withdrawal itself can also cause tinnitus. And, it may take a while for the tinnitus to resolve itself.  Going off meds cold turkey may also cause you other significant WD symptoms.  Just something to think about.  It is your decision what to do.  Here is a thread about cold turkey: 

 

Cold Turkey and Too Fast Tapers

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment
17 hours ago, getofflex said:

Yes, often they are.  I've seen some people get WD symptoms 3 months after going off a psych med.  

 

Just a word of warning, withdrawal itself can also cause tinnitus. And, it may take a while for the tinnitus to resolve itself.  Going off meds cold turkey may also cause you other significant WD symptoms.  Just something to think about.  It is your decision what to do.  Here is a thread about cold turkey: 

 

Cold Turkey and Too Fast Tapers

Got it, thanks for the info, getoflex.

 

Day 4 of cold turkey off buproprion 150 XL, and no real WD symptoms so far. Also no improvement in the tinnitus yet.

--------------

• 2016: Buproprion 150XL
• Nov 6, 2021 : started Vyvance 50mg
• Dec 6, 2021: stopped Vyvance cold turkey

• Dec 13, 2021: stopped Buproprion 150XL cold turkey
 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, @hithere

 

On 12/14/2021 at 5:30 PM, hithere said:

Can I just say it SUCKS to have to go off my ADHD med, my anti-depressant AND STILL HAVE TINNITUS? (I mean, I have to have hope it will go away... but it really might not. Have to wait & see).

 

I am sorry this worked out the way it did for you. There may have been an interaction of Vyvanse and bupropion that triggered your tinnitus, but amphetamines can also cause tinnitus on their own. Either drug or both could have been at fault.

 

People do generally enjoy the effects of amphetamines. They're amphetamines, after all.

 

Unfortunately, you are in the position of many people here. Psychiatric drugs worked well until they didn't, and when they didn't, it was a disaster, because doctors don't know how to fix it when it breaks. If I were you, I would consider my nervous system sensitized by this drug mishap, and be very careful about taking anything else -- always try a fractional dose first, one drug at a time.

 

Psychiatric drugs are not miracle drugs, they're psychotropics like Oxycontin or MDMA, and unintended consequences often occur.

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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On 12/17/2021 at 7:26 PM, Altostrata said:

If I were you, I would consider my nervous system sensitized by this drug mishap, and be very careful about taking anything else -- always try a fractional dose first, one drug at a time.


Really good point, and thanks for the advice/warning.

Day 6 of buprioprion cold turkey, and everything generally seems ok. Tinnitus remains the same.  (updating this in case it helps anyone in the future)

--------------

• 2016: Buproprion 150XL
• Nov 6, 2021 : started Vyvance 50mg
• Dec 6, 2021: stopped Vyvance cold turkey

• Dec 13, 2021: stopped Buproprion 150XL cold turkey
 

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