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

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brassmonkey

The half life of Wellbutrin is 37 hours.  The hour by hour fluctuation of this med is negligible, so hour by hour dosing would be of little to no value.  All it would do is add to anxiety and the probability of not getting your dose correct for the day.  Splitting the dose morning and evening might have some benefit, but more than likely not.  I'm glad that splitting your  dose worked for you HikingAlong, but I don't think hourly dosing of this medication is warranted.

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felin

Very interesting Hiking. I am going to look into this!!

 

Can't wait for the day that my brain is working on it's own again!!

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your input!!

 

Brass, hmmm....what do you suggest though if I've tried the dreaded purple pill and it made me so sick?? Thx

 

Also, when you say that the half life of Wellbutrin is 37 hours are you referring to IR, SR, XR, XL or all?

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ChessieCat
27 minutes ago, felin said:

Also, when you say that the half life of Wellbutrin is 37 hours are you referring to IR, SR, XR, XL or all?

 

From:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bupropion

 

See under the heading:  Pharmacodynamics for the following table:

 

Human pharmacology

 

  Bupropion R,R- S,S- Threo- Erythro-
  Hydroxy Hydroxy hydro hydro
  bupropion bupropion bupropion bupropion
Exposure (concentration over time; bupropion exposure = 100%) and half-life
Exposure 100% 800% 160% 310% 90%
Half-life 10 h (IR) 21 h 25 h 26 h 26 h
17 h (SR)

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HikingAlong

That looks like the half life of IR is 10 Hours. I don't understand why it needs an ER version if that's really how it works in a human system.

 

I only know my own experience, which was that it worked for me to have 3-4 doses through the day.

 

Hiking

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Altostrata

10 hours is a short half-life. You may metabolize it even faster. If several doses throughout the day works for you, that makes sense. Strongly recommend taking the doses on a regular schedule and keep notes of how much you're taking -- this will be important while tapering.

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firepink

So I only have Bupropion SR - right now dividing each 150mg pill into eighths is fine (I'm at 15/16 total dose right now), but in the future if I need to start a liquid taper is that at all possible to do with an SR pill? I was unclear as to whether the instruction to only liquid taper with IR pills is due to some chemical or physical limitation of the SR pill or if it's just that turning an SR pill into a liquid turns it into an IR liquid. Could anyone clarify, please?

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Altostrata

You can only make a liquid from immediate-release buproprion. The other types contain binders that will not dissolve well.

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    firepink

    Thank you!

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    Hoonie

    I am in my 3rd month of taking bupropion, which was prescribed for suicidal depression. I initially started on 150mg daily and this was increased to 300mg daily (in an attempt to stop my headaches). I think I want to come off them, and not to be started on any other psychiatric medication.

    The preparation of bupropion I am currently taking is a "modified release" form (Elontril®). I have searched the 4 pages of this thread for the words "modified" and "Elontril", and there were no hits. Does anyone know which preparation from the list "IR, SR, XR, XL" this refers to? My medication seems to have been manufactured in Spain by GlaxoSmithKline, "liberacíon modificada" translating to "modified release".

     

    Cheers

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    Altostrata

    Hello, Hoonie. Please start a topic for yourself in the Introductions forum, where we can answer questions about your particular situation.

     

    Please ask a pharmacist to identify what kind of bupropion you have. We can't keep up with all the brands.

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    emergingfromhell
    19 hours ago, Hoonie said:

    I am in my 3rd month of taking bupropion, which was prescribed for suicidal depression. I initially started on 150mg daily and this was increased to 300mg daily (in an attempt to stop my headaches). I think I want to come off them, and not to be started on any other psychiatric medication.

    The preparation of bupropion I am currently taking is a "modified release" form (Elontril®). I have searched the 4 pages of this thread for the words "modified" and "Elontril", and there were no hits. Does anyone know which preparation from the list "IR, SR, XR, XL" this refers to? My medication seems to have been manufactured in Spain by GlaxoSmithKline, "liberacíon modificada" translating to "modified release".

     

    Cheers

     

    If you take it once a day, it’s likely extended release (XL which is the same is XR). It releases over time or you’d have to take more than one a day. X

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    Altostrata

    Different countries have different brands and forms of this drug.

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    felin

    I am going to Primary Care next week to discuss a plan of action. Not looking forward to going to IR but see no other option.

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    Daisyca

    Ok tomorrow is the big day - I have an appointment with my Dr. and I'm going to ask about starting a 10% taper off of 150mg XL Wellbutrin.  Thank you for the links to tapering advice here, I have read them and this is what I think the taper should look like for the first month:

    Ask for a prescription for 75mg IR tablets

    Cut them into 4ths. (18.75 mg ea piece)

    Take one 75mg tablet and 3 pieces of another for a total of 131.25mg daily.

     

    However, what I don't know is how do I split this 131.25 IR dosage so that I am taking multiple dosages in one day? From what I understand the Immediate Release tablets need several dosages a day, so I won't be able to take the full amount just in the morning. An even split of 131.25 would be 65.63mg, twice a day. If I calculated correctly, the closest I could get to that would be 3.5 pieces (56.25mg) in the morning and then again at night? But that only gets me 112.50mg a day, which is a greater taper than the 10% reduction that I am looking for. Am I missing something here???

     

    I am very nervous to propose this to my Dr., especially if I don't have it worked out exactly. :(  Any advice appreciated. Thank you.

     

     

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    Altostrata

    I would take 75mg in the early part of the day and the rest in the later part of the day.

     

    The two doses don't have to be exactly equal. Taking less in the evening may enable better sleep.

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    firepink

    Daisyca - Altostrata also seems to be good with your plan, so take the following with a huge grain of salt! Switching from one a day XR to twice a day IR is already a change for your brain,  so if you do switch entirely to IR I'd take a week or two to just be on 75mg IR 2x/day before starting the taper so as to only do one switch at a time. If your doctor / insurance allows it, I might even be more cautious and use mostly SR with just a bit of IR to keep the release a bit more even - you could split SR 100 or 150s into halves or quarters and use that for the majority of your dose and then use the 75s to fine tune the taper so you don't go down 25+mg at a time (although I currently split the SR 150s into 1/8s, you might be able to do that with the SR 100s with a good pill cutter).  Also, I take less in the afternoon when my two doses aren't even, and that has worked well for me (n value of one).

     

    All of the above is just my two cents based on my personal experience and (possible over extreme) caution in tapering. Good luck!

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    Daisyca

    Thank you for the advice. The appointment did not go as planned this morning. :(  I am trying to stay positive but am feeling very defeated right now. I asked about the 75mg IR prescription to taper off slowly, but my Dr. said that most people just stop taking wellbutrin without tapering. I said I was not most people, and given my withdrawal symptoms from stopping Abilify, which took me several months to recover from and were very severe, that I was concerned about just stopping wellbutrin without a taper. So the Dr. said she does not prescribe the IR tablets because they give the body a more immediate release  which can be shocking to the system (as if just stopping altogether doesn't shock the system). I tried to make my point, but she seemed unmoved. She then suggested that I just skip dosages with my 150mg, like take every other day. I read that people should never do that with this drug. I am so confused. She also suggested adding Prozac for awhile, to which I said no. She also said that some withdrawal symptoms would be normal and might take several weeks to even out. This is what I am trying to avoid!! 

     

    I ended up leaving with a prescription for 100mgSR. My question is now, how do I use this to taper safetly? Can I go back and forth between 150mg and 100mg like every other day for awhile? Should I then taper further with just 100mg every other day? It seems as though I won't have the opportunity to taper off below the 100, that I will just have to stop? Unless I cut the 100 into halves and take half in the  morning half in afternoon?  I am frozen in fear of how I might feel/react during this time. This really sucks!!!!

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    HikingAlong

    DaisyCa,

     

    You do have options.

     

    I did most of my Wellbutrin taper by making a solution in water. It's complicated at first, but I got really used to it, and ended up doing my gabapentin taper that way, and now I'm using a solution to taper off Tramadol. There's a post somewhere on this board about how to do it.

     

    You could talk to a different doctor.

     

    If you have insurance, you could keep going back to your doctor to talk to her over and over until she gets it.

     

    Trust your gut.

     

    HikingAlong

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