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Social Anxiety: Tapering off Lexapro/Starting Wellbutrin XL

History: I have Social Anxiety and Depression. I took Lexapro 10mg. for about 1 1/2 years, but am now tapering off due to gaining 15-20 lbs. and loss of libido (Lexapro worked wonders for both Anxiety and Depression). I started Wellbutrin XL 150mg. with the Lexapro a few months ago to help counteract these side effects, but didn't have success. Now my Dr. wants me to taper off the Lexapro completely (2 more days of 5mg.) and try keeping the Wellbutrin XL 150 mg. My main concern is my anxiety returning since Wellbutrin has not technically been approved for Social Anxiety, but I'm willing to try it due to the weight gain. Lexapro withdrawal has been minimal: sleepiness (same as with the Lexapro) and minor nausea. When I first stared Wellbutrin I had severe panic for a about a week and then it went away.

Question: Has anyone switched from Lexapro (or like SSRI) to Wellbutrin XL for Anxiety or more specifically, Social Anxiety? If so, what were the results? My Dr. wants me to try Effexor if this doesn't work, but I'm not excited about the reported side effects. If I gain any more weight I'll be even more depressed. Also, my Dr. won't give me Benzos since they're potentially addicitive. I tried Xanax in the past and it worked so well! Sigh...

Thanks for any help!
6 Responses
Avatar universal
I have tried almost all of the anti-depressants on the market.  I now take only the Wellbutrin since I was tired of the weight gain and sexual libido problems.  My findings was that the Wellbutrin did not work as well for social anxiety as the others but I also would rather just deal with the anxiety than the weight and sexual problems.
Avatar universal
If depression is your primary problem, wellbutrin may help.  If anxiety is your primary problem, wellbutrin is stimulating, and may exacerbate it.  I would ask, when you added the wellbutrin, did it make you more anxious?  That should help you make this decision.
Avatar universal
I've taken numerous Anti-Depressents for depression along with anxiety and I don't recommend Wellbutrin if you are anxious.  It is stimulating and exacerbates any racy feeling you may already have.  Lexapro did that as well, but to a lesser degree.  Paxil, which I am now taking, has proven to have the opposite effect, it seems to slow me down some, which lessens, rather than increases the anxiety.  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
I was on Paxil for almost 15 years and stopped for the same reasons you mentioned. I am now on Wellbutrin 150 SR 1X daily. I have many side effects and feel as if I am on a roller coaster of emotion; unfortunately, happiness is not one of the emotions. How long before Wellbutrin starts working? Do most of the side effects go away? If so, WHEN? I am depressed and weepy after two weeks.
Avatar universal
i see this is an old thread, but i thought i might post my experience for someone else who was just searching the internet for info like i am :)

i switched from lexapro to wellbutrin for anxiety and depression (not specifically social anxiety) and i'm very happy with that choice. I have heard people say that wellbutrin doesn't work for anxiety, but for me it DID work for panic attacks. I still feel anxious sometimes, but I'm not having panic attacks anymore, and that's wonderful.

for me, lexapro = wheight gain, a feeling that my mood was flatlined, AND it interacted very badly with even 1 alcoholic drink. for me, NO DRINKING AT ALL on lexapro. it did seem to work better for anxiety, but not for the depression.

Wellbutrin, however, has been excellent for depression. I've lost wheight (also working out, but not very much) and quit smoking. Also, on wellbutrin (my experieince) heavy drinking = mild depression the next day or so, but just a glass of wine or one beer is not a problem at all. the first time I switched from lexapro to wellbutrin, I was on it for a year.

I then went 3-4 years with no meds, and when I recently realized that I needed to be back on meds again (drastic life changes that I couldn't handle) my doc recommened that we go with what worked before. I thought that was a cop-out at first, since there are so many new meds, and it's not like wellbutrin is perfect. however, I'm really happy, and didn't have to go through the trial period of trying lots of different drugs like i did the first time.
1 Comments
thanks, helpful.
Avatar universal
Hi,

PLEASE do not let your doctor put you on effexor !!!  This drug should be out- lawed.  Also,  related to Xanax that worked for you ! yet,  your doctor said no related to its addiction.  Think about this, you are already addicted to Lexapro or you wouldn't have to wean off lexapro you would have just been able to stop. Yet, your doctor will not admit to it. They call them withdraw side effects so that theydon't  sound like they put you on a med that causes addiction.    Xanax like anything else can become addictive if you take it more often than you should or double your prescribled dosage.  Lastly, Your dose of wellbutrin is a very low dose and if increased it would probably work great along with low dose of xanax. I would do more research and also start looking for another doctor that would trust you.  Good luck and never stop being your own avocate.

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