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Avatar universal

Wellbutrin and anger/paranoia?

I was put on 150mgs of Wellbutrin XL roughly a month ago.  In addition to Wellbutrin XL, I was also taking .5mgs of ativan 2x daily prn, 150mgs Straterra, and 100mgs Lamictal before bedtime.  Shortly after taking the Wellbutrin, I began to feel very irritable and angry towards others.  I would get extremely angry and could not pinpoint a trigger thought as to why I was angry, not to mention my anxiety had come back (I was originally on Paxil--he took me off of it bc of sexual side effects and because of a recent dip in my depression--I'm beginning to think I was better off on that).  I went to my psychiatrist and explained the increased anxiety and agitation, and he increased the Wellbutrin to 300mgs daily and the Ativan .5mgs to 3x daily prn.  Since this change, the anger and agitation has increased dramatically and I keep having fits of rage and feel as though people are constantly judging me negatively.  This med change just happened a few days ago and my therapist suggested I wait it out another week, though I don't know if I can handle this anger much longer.  After the fits of rage, I beat myself up and feel like a total idiot.  I don't want to hurt others around me.  Will these side effects dissipate with time, or will the agitation just maintain at this level?  
10 Responses
408802 tn?1202256012
Cute nickname! :)
I recently added 150mg 2x day to my daily dose of Effexor, and man, let me tell you, I am one hostile *****! Which IS NOT ME!  I work in the at a hospital in the ICU and rely on my tolerant, friendly nature to get through the 12hour days....
Lately my co-workers have been saying things like "I've never seen you like this"....which hurts cause I can't seem to explain why.
I've only been on it for 2 weeks, and I will say I feel more energetic and slightly happier, but OMG, I'm gonna start making enemies if I can't curb this attitude!
It's nice to know I"m not the only one though....
I TOO hope this side-effect wears off!
Best of luck!
209384 tn?1231168306
Both of you keep in mind that all of these meds have side affects and they canbe increased irritation, high anxiety, or increased thoughts of suicide.  I had this really bad on one AD and after about 2 months got to the point I couldn't even leave my house b/c of the paranoia.

Not suggesting you go against your dr's orders, but just be aware of what they can do and make sure your drs understand how bad you really are.
293964 tn?1200413869
hi pezrocksmysox  --  My wellbutrin was recently increased and i had similiar symptoms as you: agitation, anger, rage.  The pissed-off reaction is kinda expected in some people.  To counter the agitation, my doc did not lower my wellbutrin, but increased my seroquel.  Your drugs may not have in your blood very long.  Any bp med will take at least 4 weeks to settle in.  bummer, but true.  shawn
Avatar universal
If your experincing anger on wellbutrin you need to see your doctor as soon as possible and ask to be put on somethingelse or to be helped in tapering off it entirely. Here is an article posted in 2001, frankly as somone whos used wellbutrin I find it very disturbing...

Wellbutrin can be very helpful to some people,, but in others this and other SSRI's can be dangerous as the seritonin overload acts as this article states much like LSD on the brains seritonin receptors.

Correlation seen between antidepressants, violence

While Southwest Florida reels from news that yet another mother is accused of killing her child, a handful of doctors and researchers say the link to antidepressant drugs cannot be ignored.

Leslie Wallace, 39, of North Fort Myers, is one of a startling number of people whose unexpected acts of violence are being correlated to depression and the drugs prescribed to curb it.

Wallace shot and killed her 6-year-old son Sept. 2 on a shooting spree in North Fort Myers, investigators said. She failed in her attempt to shoot her 16 year-old.

The woman was taking the prescription drugs Wellbutrin and Tegretol.

Her husband, Bill Wallace, said his wife had been seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis, was taking her medication and assured him the night before she killed their son that she was on track.

“She seemed stable, was handling things just fine,” Bill Wallace said last week. “I thought she was taking her medication. She gave me every indication she was.”

Many doctors swear by antidepressant drugs — such as Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox and Effexor — but a growing number of scientists and physicians say it’s not the depression that’s making people snap — it’s the drugs themselves.

That’s a concern when millions of people take the drugs every day.

“Antidepressants are the closest thing we’ve seen to LSD — they affect the same receptors in the brain,” said Ann Blake Tracy, executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness.

Tracy, who holds a doctorate in health sciences, is the author of “Prozac: Panacea or Pandora?” and has researched the adverse effects of antidepressants and similar drugs for 11 years.

A person’s mind is altered by these drugs, which increase serotonin levels in the brain and decrease the metabolism of it, she said.

Serotonin is a chemical in the brain called a neurotransmitter. It carries messages between nerves in the brain and has been associated with mental illness, hallucinogenic activity, muscle contraction and regulation of body temperature.

The drug has also been associated with feelings of well-being and chemicals that affect serotonin levels are used in many antidepressant prescriptions.

“It keeps you in a dream state and you start acting out your dreams and nightmares,” Tracy said. “They should change the name ‘bipolar’ to ‘sheer hell on earth.’”

Leslie Ormandy Demeniuk, 31, was charged with murder last March in St. Augustine after police said she shot and killed her twin 6-year-old sons.

Demeniuk, in the process of seeking a divorce, had been taking the drug Zoloft before switching to Paxil, her boyfriend told the 911 dispatcher.

In June, Texas mother Andrea Yates systematically drowned her five children in the family’s bathtub and told police she believed she was a bad mother and that her children were hopelessly damaged.

Her husband and other relatives said Yates had suffered from severe depression for several months and had not responded to several brief hospitalizations, multiple combinations of anti-depressants and an anti-psychotic drug.

“These drugs make you psychotic — you’re in a different state where you no longer have responsibility for yourself,” said psychiatrist Peter Breggin with the Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology.

Breggin, who said he never was a big fan of prescribing drugs, has testified in numerous criminal trials and is the author of the recently published “The Anti-Depressant Fact Book: What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Luvox.”

Violence and suicide

“I can certainly verify that antidepressants can cause mania and psychosis and cause violence and suicide,” Breggin said. “I’ve been a medical expert in numerous criminal cases — people who never committed an act of violence in their lives who became violent on these drugs.”

Some studies have shown that increased serotonin levels contribute to violent behavior, but most studies about antidepressant drugs — many sponsored by pharmaceutical companies — show no such proof.

Researchers report finding elevated serotonin in patients who had psychosis or schizophrenia, mood disorders, organic brain disease, mental retardation, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

University of Southern California School of Pharmacy researchers and Pasteur Institute scientists in Paris created and studied a strain of aggressive and violent mice that was linked to increased serotonin levels.

Malcolm Bowers Jr., a psychiatrist at Yale University in New Haven, reported that serotonin-induced psychosis accounted for 8 percent of all general hospital psychiatric admissions over a recent 14-month period.

But millions of Americans take the drugs.

(article exceeds the 8000 character limit,, please follow this link to read the rest..

209384 tn?1231168306
Please, do not read the article above and take it to mean that you should go off your meds.  That is the absolutely wrong thing to do.  I know that meds affect different people in different ways and they are using the information they have to say they are all bad and shouldn't be used and the drs not trusted.  NOT SO!

Many of us have been on meds for bp for many many years and have no such experiences with them.  We need them to be able to live a normal life.

Be aware of the signs of a med affecting you in a way it should not and getting immediate help for that.  Keep in mind that you can always call your pharmacist to find out the side affects of any drug and any combinations of drugs and their side affects.  Ask how long a symptom may last and if you should be concerned and contact your dr immediately.  Be honest above all to any dr or pharmacist you are talking with.
Avatar universal
Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Pharmaceuticals are neither good nor bad; helpful nor harmful, that's determined by user and prescriber characteristics. The efficacy of a drug is determined by statistically significant GROUP differences, ususally comparing fairly homogenous (single diagnosis) population samples, which means, the efficacy is not determined in individuals who may be diagnosed with one or more different conditions taking multiple medications. These drug-drug interactions coupled with INDIVIDUAL differences vs. GROUP member similarities results in a matrix of diagnosis/treatment cells. Which means that we have strayed from treating apples with one pesticide to treating apples, organges, and pears with one plus two or more pesticides: the results will show predictably large variations.
For some, psychiatric medications are life savers, especially for persons with a significant biologically determined conditions, for example, schizophrenia or bipolar I. In the midst of a psychotic episode talk therapy will not snap them back into a shared reality. But a population of psychiatric drug users might benefit equally well from talk therapy or a combination of both. Just a few thoughts: if your medications make you feel abnormal, if people report that your behavior is a radical departure from your normal behavior (in a bad way), then why not seek help sooner than later? Consult your doctor about a workable treatment plan, including risk management if you are concerned; get a second opinion, and try to be proactive.
Note: Wellbutrin is not a SSRI, it is a norepinepherine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI).
398920 tn?1218779347
I haven't been on here for awhile, because I have been so (bipolar) it is not funny. I read these articles. When I was put on Welbutrin, I  was in Heaven for the first 3 days. THEN, I told my husband if he didn't leave I would kill him in his sleep. OK, WAIT... he was very very abusive, I took it for years I have always been a very kind and submissive person always helping others. I have been a very loving person. I waited on him hand and foot. He did things to me that you can't even put on the Steve show. Anyway, I got scared and called the doctor he said it would pass. I wondered if he thought it would just pass if I gave HIM a visit. Sorry not funny. This has been several years ago, I took my self off. I was fine. I even let the abusive husband stay another year. I had to say something about this drug, the way it worked for me. I believe it works for some, just not others. It is also used to help quit smoking, so of course I was thrilled when he prescribed it to me. My bipolar is getting worse and worse. I can't even get out the door to go to the therapist. I haven't been in a while. I just want this to go away or I wish I could just die. It is not fair that the doctors can not even help me. I have no insurance so they don't care. No money no service. If they could go through this for just one day, they wold be trying to find every bipolar person to help. I have come to the end of MY road, I hope you guys find the help you need.
212753 tn?1275073111
I feel for you but  it wont go away by itself. you have to find a way to get to your therpist and you psychiatrist get someone to take you bi polar is totally treatable I have been stable now for 7 years the docs can helpo you but you have to be honest with yourself and them to get the help you need and the therapy will give you the tools you need to deal with being bi polarI will also add that i both antidepressent and a mood stabilizer to kick bi polar Please dont give up you can be well normal and happy.           but as someone asked me when I was in my worst bi polar moment How bad do you wnat to get well? you are in my prayers.
Love Venora
Avatar universal
I actually was only recently diagnosed with bipolar a year ago after 3 years of trying to figure out if it was manic depression or something else.  I was put of wellbutrin and had barely any side effects.  I had to stop taking it because of military duties i had to perform and couldnt be on medication. .. anyhow I recently started taking it again and last night nearly caught a panic attack in the elevator because the other guy standing there was making me so uncomfortable to a point where i told him. So while im standing there all hutched up in the corner of the elevator the guys looking at me like im stupid and wondering what is going on with me. About an hour later I knew i had felt overly paranoid but couldnt really and still can't comprehend why I was feeling this way i dont know if it could be the medicine or something to do with my diagnoses.
Avatar universal
I went on Wellbutrin three months ago. I thought it was a good choice for a while. My odd side effects are jealousy/paranoia/crying spells. I was not a jealous spouse before. The first jealousy rage happened four weeks after starting  Wellbutrin 300xl. It has become more frequent and is really stressful for my honey (and crazy-feeling for me!).  I really wish these bad side effects weren't happening because the Wellbutrin is so good in other ways.
Okay, so... I have a call in to my Dr. because from all I've read (especially the article above!) it is dangerous to "just stop". I am grateful that I have started to exercise again in my life, and know that I will continue my road to recovery. My life is precious.
Thank you for having this forum whoever you are.
I wish us all "peace inside"
PS for what it's worth,  www.thework.com it's helped me quite a bit and it's free :)

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