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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Wellbutrin/Zyban as a tx for addition

I would like to know the most recent information available for the treatment of addiction with Wellbutrin/Zyban.  I was in a one-hour siminar on antidepressants this week and the speaker mentioned Wellbutrin as a new tx for alcoholism.  My 19-year-old son is battling an addition to pain pills.  He has been in rehab, IOP and goes regularly to NA meetings, but continues to relapse. Is it possible that Zyban might help him kick this addiction?  Your response would be most appreciated.
40 Responses
Avatar universal
I am unable to give you any specifics on recent use of Zyban for addiction per se although the doctor may reply and know this and you may also find more information on the web or directly by contacting the pharmacetical company... they will tell you of any studies and possible approvals for particular uses.

What I am familiar with, and I think it's been widespread over the last 6 or so years, is the use of this med for specifically, nicotine addiction because of it's action on dopamine.

My husband went on this medication to quit smoking... it did not help him... I think it may have to do with both the dosing and also the personal motivation needed to pick up and make changes... he expected it to work like a magic bullet.

My information also, is that Zyban is the same as Wellbutrin SR which is the slow release formula they use for the smoking. Regular wellbutrin is not slow release and has more possibility of causing seizures because of the quick release.

An antidepressant primarily and it was noticed in studies that a side effect was that people on it just naturally cut back or quit smoking with no intention or effort. So that was how it got to be used for smoking addiction.

Hope you find more information you are looking for.
Love, Brighty
Avatar universal
Brighty is right as usual. Zyban and Wellbutrin are exactly the same drug. If it's prescribed as Wellbutrin for depression, insurance companies will pay for it. If it's prescribed as Zyban for smoking cessation, insurance companies won't pay for it. It's nice to know the ropes, the stupidity, of insurance companies, what?

I used it for smoking cessation, even though I had it prescribed as for depression for the obvious reason. However, I am dependant on oxycontin as I use a maintenance dose of it for chronic pain, and I can tell you that taking Wellbutrin for opiate withdrawal would be like taking a garden hose to the Chicago fire. There are other drugs for opiate withdrawal: klonopin, buprenorphine, and if you can  find a place outside the US for treatment, the most promising medication is ibogaine. Look it up on the internet. Treatment is available on St. Kitts. Contact Dr. Deborah Mash, University of Miami. One treatment with ibogaine seems to do the trick. If I ever have to get off my pain med, it's St. Kitts for me - or some other place that's not so expensive - if I can find one.

Best,

Frank
Avatar universal
Wellbutrin is one of the current antidepressants that doesn't claim it's action from serotonin uptake inhibition. It's the closest the pharmo's have come to addressing the other neurotransmitter AND the endorphin issue with non-addictive/abuse potential drugs. Currently they are working on a new crop that is more specific. Two years ago the doc switched my very ADHD son from ritalin which is essentially speed with a much shorter half life than amphetamine / methamphetamine, to weelbutrin. It was a while before effective but once we got him titrated properly it "took" and is helping him. Everyone has their own blueprint of brain chemistry and what works for one doesn't translate necessarily. Any of these meds - in order to ascertain if helpful, take patience. If you don't chronical behavior ie., cravings - it is very subjective at best. From what my limited understanding of this drug is, I suspect it may be an aid for chemical dependency. I say this because it's a fairly accepted thought process in some circles that 'ALL" chemical dependency may be in some way related to an underlying condition resulting from low endorphin production. This is a very complex issue, and SPOOK should jump in and take it from here.
Avatar universal
Welcome back !!! That was knock your sox off information !!! I hope you and Luke keep posting here.

Love,Love,Brighty
Avatar universal
Thanks to all for your information and support.  This is, without a doubt, the most painful and difficult situation we as parents have dealt with.  Oh for the days when it was homework issues and curfew violations.  Thanks again.  Counselor
Avatar universal
Hello, my friend,
Aren't insurance carriers wierd about meds? The same med and one, you can have it; the other, you can't. Typical! Hang in there, Francoise. You're going to be OK, man. As long as there are people who care about you .....

Thomas (Patrick)

Avatar universal
Sorry to hijack the thread, but you know how it is ... I had a rather interesting experience as the result of having another benzo-withdrawal seizure. True to form, I went through my Xanax too quickly -- ran out last week (the same week I started a high-pressure tech writing job). My wife takes Xanax from the same doctor and I further screwed myself by assuming I could refill and borrow some of hers. The doctor said no-go to both of us -- not very smart when you consider my seizure history -- but, anyway, after two days without any Xanax, I had a petit mal "absense" seizure right in front of all my new co-workers, bosses, etc. As usual. I woke up in the ambulance on the way to the ER. Of course, I assumed I had just lost another good job (and it was a very good job, too).

But, you know, people will surprise you, sometimes. My wife arrives at the ER and comes back to my room to tell me that half the company got into their cars and followed the ambulance with me in it down to the ER -- just to make sure I was OK. I was so moved I almost cried (truly). When the boss realized my company med insurance didn't start for a while longer, she told my wife that the company would pick up all my medical bills -- they valued me that much. I was humbled and more than a little overwhelmed.

Being a writer in the cut-throat software industry and an rx drug addict for more than 30 years, I'm not used to being treated even remotely like a human being by much of anyone, let alone virtual strangers. You all know what I mean: the second it becomes apparent your problem is in any way related to drug addiction, people line up for the right to take a **** on your face.

I was quite overcome, to tell you the truth. Needless to say, I owe my new friends at that company some real loyalty. When my doctor found out his staff had refused to let me come in to be seen the day I ran out of my Xanax, he reamed some major nurse ass while I stood there and watched. Something tells me I won't have any problem getting an appt after this. Anyway, I thought you guys might find this story amusing. Most places I've worked for would have just fired me for having the seizure. In fact, what's funny is, the guy who in fact did fire me for having a benzo-withdrawal seizure a few months ago is now sending me his resume asking me to help him get hired at my new company! I haven't decided what to do with him yet
Avatar universal
Shiny, if you're on regular doses of some good pain meds, then I personlly would be surprised if you had a benzo seizure. When I had lots if darvon and vicodin, I didn't really miss the benzos. I think I just took more of the pain meds to compensate. As long as you've got narcs, I wouldn't worry.

Wizard: the first (and worst) benzo-withdrwal seisure I've ever had was coming off of Ativan. Ativan is what they'll give you at the hospital if you do seizure. Either stay on them or come off very, very gradally. Ask any doctor. It's no secret about benzos.
Good luck.
Avatar universal
So. You're a technical writer?!? How marvelous.

I'm a technical writer too.

Actually, I've been managing technical writing groups (similar to herding cats in many respects) for the last eight years.

I thought I felt a certain sympaticoness.

Charmed, I'm sure.

Francoise
Avatar universal
sorry to interrupt this thread but ihave a question and of course I could not post....ok,,,,monday I called my doc for something for pain (I asked for only enough until i could get into see her) she called me in 20 ultram  1 tablet 4 times a day...on thrusday i went to see her and she is sending me for an MRI to make sure i have not herniated any more discs and she is working on trying to rule out a few other problems...ok, anyway,  there are days when it is nealy impossible for me to walk and nights impossible to sleep due to the pain so on these "bad" days she gave me 60 vicodin ES 1 or 2 4 times a day, and then on the fairly good days when i don't need the vis but do need something she gave me 100 Ultram....2 every 4 to 6 hours  so, she did up the dose for me.  I took the ultram script to the pharmacy and even with a new script and dose increase they would not fill it....i called today and they basically said in a very demeaning tone that I had just had 60 vics filled  why the ultram?  I explained the situation etc, and they basically said they probably would not fill the ultram.... they also acted really wierd about the parafon forte they filled for me also  does anyone know if they are allowed to refuse a script if they feel that since i already have the vics why bother?  they are 2 seperate drugs and the doc said I could even alternate them,,, this is the same store that on their computers if they feel you are taking too many meds they have a screen that goes up saying  "warning"  possible drug addict.....just curious as to whether or no they are alowed to do this...is this not violating something?  oh well, just curious..thanks  love to all    cin
Avatar universal
I don't know whether or not the pharmacies are technically "allowed" to do anything or not (probably are, sadly -- as private enterprises anywhere usually reserve the right to refuse services of any kind), but as a former prescription drug junkie, I have to ask what seems to me a fairly obvious question -- why not just go to a different pharmacy (i.e., not in the "chain" you are going to)?  Unless distance (or cost) is a factor or something. . .I mean, I used to have scrips all over town at different drug stores, usually multiples of the same and/or similar narcotics, at the same time, and never ran into any problems this way.  Not the most healthy answer, perhaps, however I *am* trying to help. . .just curious.  Let me know, okay?

Peace,
Pelle
Avatar universal
I probably will end up at a different pharmacy but back in 1995 I was arrested, charged and indicted by a grand jury on 12 felonies which included theft of narcotics (diverted from the hospital where I worked) and deception to obtain a dangerous drug...i think i stated somewhere else that the board of pharmacy does not like me very much and has investigated me in various drug stores,,,I never had any illegal scripts at these store, like I said, my drugs were stolen from the hospital but,,do you think that if I did go to another drugstore, (something I very rarely do for that reason) that the pharmacy board may want to stick their noses in?   liek if they saw my name at one store and then another do you think they could start stirring up some ****?  I was told my the prosecutor that the board really wanted to see me locked up,,they hate what is called impaired nurses....thanks pelle, I appreciate your input...love to all    cin
Avatar universal
Like you I usually run out of my Xanax before I should. It will be 48 hrs. tonight from the last Xanax.  I am on 1m 3 times a day and have been taking it for about 8 yrs.  I have run out before and not had any seizures, but after reading your post I am a little worried.  Actually I knew I was going to run out so the last 5 days I cut them into 3rds and only took them when I had to.  I am also on pain meds.  The withdrawal this time dosn't seem as bad as last time (can't sleep though) do you think it's because I am taking pain meds?  Can you tell me the signs to look for before a seizure?
Avatar universal
Wow what a trip Thomas. Does Anyone know can the same seizure thing happen with Ativan (lorazapem)stoppage?
Hope all is well with you Thomas.
Peace to you and God Bless us all,
Wizard
Avatar universal
Thanks for the brief history.  Being new here, I was not aware of your legal issues.  I wouldn't want to say for sure that the feds are *not* watching all the computer systems for possible issues with you regarding narcotics, but in this modern world of Big Brother I could not in all good conscience tell you to throw caution to the wind either.  Your post has actually helped me to discover something I will need to watch very closely in my recovery -- namely the way my mind will still turn almost instinctively to a dishonest solution to problems.  Until you presented your reasons to me for not "pharmacy hopping", the thought I am about to share as a possible solution never even entered my mind.  Perhaps your physician could, either by phone or in writing (or both, ideally), speak to the head pharmacist at your pharmacy and explain his or her rationale as far as your medication (that is, one being for maintenance and the other for breakthrough pain).  I don't know if this is feasible, but at least I am encouraged that I was able to have a "clean" and honest thought.  My personal recovery is as dependent (no pun intended) on recognizing and changing my thought patterns as it is on not taking the first drug, for if I cannot do the former, it is only a matter of time before I do the latter.  Thank you for unknowingly helping me to discover a serious danger signal tonight which I can now focus more clearly on in the future.

Peace,
Pelle
Avatar universal
Thomas, you have never failed to answer me. I love you for that.
Thank you for the Ativan warning. I will take heed of your advice when the time comes to wean down.......so many things to do....First it was the Somas, Then the Vics, now the oxy's....
when the Ativan is gone I might not know myself at all!!! ;-)
LOL
peace to you brother,
God Bless us all,
Wizard
Avatar universal
The toughts are there for me also and I have to say I did consider going to another pharmacy...I still may ....the script is legal and I can have my doc call but i am really sick of these people anyway......they can check the computer system and see that it is not very often I get scripts filled for narcotics.....we all have these "dishonest" thoughts  but  if a person were normal and decided to go to another pharmacy for one reason or another would they refer to it as dishonest? so, my friend don't be hard on yourself.....love to all   cin
Avatar universal
I don't even bother with the chains. No way.

I got myself known by all the people who work for a small pharmacy in a very small little town about fifteen miles from where I live. It's NOT that they are going to do anything illegal. Far from it. But they do know me; they know my problems and my issues. And I've never gotten any bullshit from them and no lectures and no nonsense either.

In fact, I have to drive right past eight or nine chain drugstores to get to my little one out in the country. And I wouldn't change that for any amount of convenience.

As for the chains: **** 'em. If you have to use them, why not have your doctor call the people you're having trouble with and give 'em hell?

Frank
Avatar universal
you left out the most important thing: THE NAME OF THE PHARMACY. If it's a chain, it's the last one I want to walk into. Do us all a favor and reply with the name. Or, if you don't want to do it "publically," please send the answer to

***@****

I'd appreciate it. I've had some trouble with a pharmacy, lately. If you were refilling early, the Monday thru Wed pharmacist didn't give a damn and filled it no matter what. The Thurs thru Sunday pharmacists acted like it was their job NOT to fill prescriptions (a job they did well). Same pharmacy, same script, opposite outcomes!
Avatar universal
what type of stuff do you write? I'm writing what's supposed to be the be-all and end-all of on-line XML certification courses. It's been a backbreaker so far with the usual impossible deadline and one-too-many "directors."

How's the methadone working out? How are the side-effects for that stuff?
Avatar universal
I have had trouble with rite aid  (the same one who said whe was not filling anymore oxycontins she was tired of it) and CVS  wall mart are pricks too..but this one was CVS,  they were total pricks about it all...I took the script back today  i can't take it anywhere else because they wrote all over the top of it,,,,"too early  filled  5/1" yada yada...I told them i want it filled and if there is a problem I will have my doc call them first thing monday...mind you this is a whole new scrip different dose and everything,,i just don't get it,,,yeah I do,,,they are all just a bunch of God Playing, goody two shoed little pricks who are probably digging into the **** themselves....sorry everyone,,my tone and attitude today is a little out of whack started off with some bad e-mail and just got worse..I think i'll go out and dig in the flowers for awhile..thanks for your input guys..i appreciate it.....love to all               cin
Avatar universal
It costs more, of course, but I never use pharmacies like Walgreens, Rite Aid or Sav-on with their intrusive computer overseers. I look for truly "private" pharmacies -- hard to find and, as I said, always charging top buck. The next trick if your employer's insurance includes computerized rx coverage -- use the insurance only for the really expensive stuff. Grit your teeth and pay "I've got no insurance" full, cash price at the few mom and pop pharmacies left around. The chain pharmacies get you two ways: one, they can see what you've purchased at other members of their same chain; two, when they log on to your insurance carrier's site, they can see everything you've ever purchased on that insurance - when, what, where, how much, doctor, the whole deal.

Most of you probably know all these things. But for those who haven't had the pleasure ...

By the way: Most patients are under the impression that, between the doctor and the pharmacist, that the doctor is "in charge." Not so. The pharmacists function, in part, as adversaries to the doctors -- gatekeepers to all the riches. Sure, only the doctor can OK a refill or change instructions or initiate the rx to begin with, but the pharmacist has complete authority to refuse to fill the rx for virtually any reason. Remember that.
Avatar universal
The trials and tribulations we go through!!!!!!Who put those pricks in charge! If ANYONE said to me "I'm not filling this legit oxy rx because I'm tired of it".  I guess I'd be W.D.ing in jail! Now I'm not a violent man, BUT!!!! **** THEM!!!!!!!!!!
I'd come over the counter rip some minimum wage head off and, and, and ....................WHoa there, sorry everyone, Day 7 winding down was getting a little testy and read my new friends Cindi and Thomas' comments and was jut ripe to blow a hooty! Sorry for my outburst..Again I must thank you Thomas and Cindi for as always you have given me an opportunity to put the "DRAGON" at bay. Worked again! ROFLMAO! Cin, thanks for the
e-mail it was nice to hear from you in a differant venue also.
Thomas, is that your e-mail address above? Cin tells me you are on the west coast like me. Okay to write?
Power & Magick from the Wiz to all of you,
May God Bless his little children!
Wizard
Avatar universal
I'm using a (Re: thomas) mom and pop pharmacy, request of my new pain doc.  Maybe if I have problems, I should take you w/ me! lmao rotf, at you post.
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