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misterguy: Coming off Bupropion


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Hi everyone, I am a 39-year old male. I've been taking bupropion or wellbutrin on and off since I was 26. In college, I was diagnosed with ADD and depression and tried a variety of drugs until the mix of ritalin and wellbutrin worked well (around 26, like I said). 


I say on and off, because I'm in the habit of frustrating psychiatrists by quitting cold turkey. This usually happens when things are going well in my life, and lasts until I hit a bump in the road. About two years ago, I had a bit of a breakthrough with cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation, though I stayed on the bupropion - 300mg, SR. I'd stopped taking the ritalin around three years ago, after experiencing regular episodes of tachycardia, on top of being fed up with the "speediness." 


I'm joining this forum and writing this post because I'd like to break this cycle and quit this thing for good.


1.) I'm concerned about the long-term effects

2.) I'm fairly certain I'm mature enough to get along without it, at least mentally. And I don't enjoy the edginess it makes me feel.

3.) Which leaves fear of the physical side-effects of withdrawal as the only reason to stay on the thing, which is a pretty sh*tty reason to take a mysterious substance with unknown long-term consequences every damn day of your life.


I stopped again two weeks ago, when my refills ran out. I'm doing ok with the fatigue and my mood is actually better (less anxiety), but the mental fog has been an embarrassing issue at work. In fact the mental fog is my number one concern. It's not all day - there are ebbs and flows to my concentration. But when it's bad, it's bad.


To put a finer point on it: I work in a creative field. I've been at my current job for just over six months, and it's a high-powered dream job. I'm doing well - just got a raise and some more responsibility, but I've never been optimal. By stopping the bupropion, I feel like I'm trading anxiety and edginess for spaciness. When my mental fog is bad, it doesn't seem to affect the higher-level creative aspects of my work, but my ability to tackle the linear, administrative, and social side of work suffers immensely (remembering who said what at which meeting, doing quick arithmetic, making small talk). I can also be little bit uncoordinated, and maybe stumble over my words a bit. 


It all sounds a little like your classic "absent-minded professor" stereotype, except when it's happening, it feels like there's something physically wrong in my brain. Like low-blood sugar or some other deficiency. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing this feeling I'm describing is the reason I was prescribed anti-depressants in the first place years ago. (emotional frustration at these severe ebbs in concentration) I asked my last psychiatrist over and over again what caused this base condition: no good answer, just that bupropion empirically seems to "fix" it. A blood test a year and a half ago showed everything ok but a vitamin D deficiency and I've been supplementing ever since. 


I didn't expect to write so much, and I guess I don't have a clear question for anyone. But if anyone would like to share, I'd love to hear similar experiences. Please don't beat me up too bad for going cold-turkey.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lol misterguy , no-one's going to beat you up here.


But I don't get it . . . if cold turkey hasn't worked for you in the past , why is this time going to be

any different?

If you want support in tapering slowly so you can stay well and keep working , you've come to the right place.


Best wishes , Fresh



1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Administrator

Welcome, misterguy.


Fresh said all that needs to be said.




Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


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

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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