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Successfully quitting Wellbutrin XL 150

Was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue.  Anxiety was more of an issue than depression, but was put on Wellbutrin 150 XL because dr. had had success with it and said "depression and anxiety are different sides of the same coin" when I questioned being put on an antidepressant when I was anxious.  About 8 months later, my anxiety is worse and while my dr. has supported me in my goal of trying more holistic methods, neither dr or pharmacist can give me advice on weaning off since I am on the lowest dose of the XL.  Pharmacist said try just taking every other day, that's not working.  About 26-32 hours after taking last dose, get more anxious and edgy.  Am looking for natural supplements that will be mood balancing, neither depressed or anxious.  In the meantime, any advice of weaning off smallest dose of Wellbutrin XL since pharmacist said it was dangerous to split this type of time released drug and I'm taking smallest dose already.  I don't feel too bad the first 12-18 hrs after taking but after that the anxiety I originally wanted a drug to get rid of is worse and I'm starting to feel a little obsessive compulsive.  Also can't sleep while taking Wellbutrin unless I take ambien. Thanks for any advice on the least painful way to wean off without bad side effects.
20 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
Ask your doctor about klonopin while you are weaning yourself from wellbutrin...but observe,the wellbutrin did help with anxiety, that is why you have more anxiety when you cut the dose.  end the last week of weaning with every third day.
Avatar universal
Wellbutrin XL is not good for anxiety trust me I know. I was 300xl and my anxiety only got worse. I hear zoloft is a good way to treat both anxiety and depression. Just something to think about
Avatar universal
When I took Wellbutrin, I was extremely anxious. Always on the edge. And one cup of coffee with the Wellbutrin had me shaking like crazy. My son has panic disorder and anxiety and the doctor would not even consider giving him Wellbutrin. I think that if doctors took the antidepressants, they would have some idea of the side effects. You know how you feel...if you are more anxious on the Wellbutrin, you probably are.  I hope that you feel better soon.
Avatar universal
Just a note to Wellbutrin patients: Make sure you read the printed information that comes with your prescription. Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided when taking Wellbutrin.  I read a posting on this site where someone said a cup of coffee in the morning after her Wellbutrin had her shaking pretty badly. I think it is vital to remember that these substances--Wellbutrin, caffeine, alcohol--are drugs, with specific and proven chemical properties. They combine with other chemical substances in various ways, often harmfully.

Also, why go to the doctor if you choose not to follow his/her professional advice? When the doctor prescribes a medicine, either say right then and there that you don't plan to take it, or get it filled and take it as prescribed.  Don't leave the office seething, and thinking that you know better than these medical professionals.  Be responsible.  Act as an adult. You cannot blame the doctor if you are the one who is not following the proscribed advice and schedule of medicines.  You are playing Russian Roulette with your life.  Do you really want to do that, to yourself, to your children, to your parents, to your friends?

A couple winters ago, here in the Midwest, a physician's wife wasn't feeling well at bedtime. She was on some sort of medication, and asked her husband if she could self-medicate with some cold medicine or other.  He said, "Well, it probably won't kill you."  She died in the middle of the night.  He was wrong.  Doctors have information about medicines, but they must double check that info with pharmacists, as far as interactions with other meds go.  Stay alive, be reponsible, carry out the doc's orders, live happily.
Avatar universal
Forgot to add one important point.  Children should not be prescribed Wellbutrin.  Read the results of research on the Internet.  It has not been tested satisfactorily on children, and they should not be given Wellbutrin. Remember that physicians and pharmacists have studied these chemicals and followed their research for a decade before being allowed to practice in their field.  And they are required to keep current by reading medical/pharmaceutical journals to follow current and ongoing research, and the introduction of new drugs.

We tend to forget that we are a very specialized society.  In general, each of us has a rather narrow field we are experts in.  But we study that field deeply, and have a great deal of knowledge in it.  Laypeople--such as you and I--do not deal daily with these topics in the same way these medical pros do.  I would not ask my doctor to build and install my kitchen cabinets, and I would not want my carpenter to perform my heart bypass surgery.
Avatar universal
I'd like to add four more questions to this thread.

First of all, is there a preferred pattern for quitting Wellbutrin? I'm taking SR 150 once a day in the AM, but my supply is going to run out in about 2 weeks.

So far, when I skipped 2-3 days, the only symptoms I had were decreased energy (not restorable with light exercise, caffeine, or other chemical methods), and sleeping for 14-16 hours (weekend off and no one bothered me, but it was disturbing to go from 7-8 hours to twice that).

Can anyone recommend the "proper" way to get off Wellbutrin SR? Decrease dosage gradually (take sections of a pill), or increase the time between doses, or skip doses completely? I've been unable to find any information on this.

Second, while I'm aware that increased anxiety is a listed side effect of Wellbutrin, has anyone else experienced a severely decreased sex drive? Is this an unlisted side effect, or is something else going on? I'm a 26-year-old male, and while I don't have any *performance* issues, I've lost all interest in the opposite sex.

Third... I've noticed the increase in general energy and concentration after a few weeks on Wellbutrin, and tried taking it before bedtime, after a few days of not getting enough sleep. My reason for this was thinking that its energy boost would help me to wake up easier.
Problem is, I had *severe* anxiety-based nightmares, and discontinued the experiment after 3 nights of waking up randomly from a dream where everything that could possibly go wrong, did.

Does anyone know if this is the partial withdrawal due to switching WB intake from the AM to the PM, or is it known to cause anxiety-type nightmares in general?

And fourth and last (thanks for sticking with me so far) - is there any noticeable difference between the XL and the SR formulations, as far as the final effect is concerned? I've had to switch to SR because it's available as a generic (and my financial situation demands that), and I'm wondering what I should expect. Same amount (150mg), same AM intake.

Any help would be appreciated.
Avatar universal
I am day 3 of taking half of a tablet of Wellbutrin SR 150 mg (so in essence am taking 75 mg in the morning).  I am very dizzy, have vision issues (distortions would be the best way to describe them), and feel somewhat naseous.  I slept 12 hours last night.  I am very cold for awhile and then I get very hot.  Has anyone had any of these withdrawal effects and if so, how long can I expect them to last.  Thanks for any help.
Avatar universal
I would like to know, what is the best way to wean yourself off of 300mg of wellbutrin xl? If anyone has any idea please let me know. Thanks
Avatar universal
Can Wellbutrin XL cause nightmares? I have noticed since I have been taking it since November 16th that I have nightmares every night.
Avatar universal
hi_im new  here but not to wellbutrin or psych drugs--I am pretty sure that it is not safe to break apart SR or XL forms of wellbutrin as they are timed-release and will release all wrong and do "who knows what" if you break them--not good I don't think.  Annie
Avatar universal
I currently take XL 150, and am wanting to get off of it for 3 reasons.  1.) It has helped with my slight anxiety problem, but has done nothing for my ADHD--- Has anynoe else had WB prescribed for ADHD-- just curious.  2.) I have gained 15-20 pounds on this drug--- Has anyone else had this happen to them?
3.) Decrised sex drive

Has anyone had a successfull run quiting this drug?  WHat side affects should I expect?
Avatar universal
One more note... I forgot my meds recently when on a 4 day trip, and by the 3rd day of no WB XL 150 I had the worse, blinding headache I have ever felt...
Avatar universal
Have been on WB300XL since about Thanksgiving.  Now it's New Year's Day and I can't help but think that it's making things worse, not better, but the problem with anti depressants is you never know whether you would feel even worse if you weren't taking them...I hate the idea of switching to another AD because this is the only one I've ever taken that didn't make me gain weight, and I've noticed I've lost a few pounds, even tho my eating habits haven't changed, which is a nice thing (at least in my case).  But obviously it's not worth staying on an AD that isn't working just to keep off a couple of pounds.  I'm starting to think I should stop taking an AD altogether and go back to just trying more natural forms of mood elevation -- exercise, etc.  But I'm scared to death to take nothing, because I get three or four BAD PMS days per month if taking nothing.  Have taken Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil (ugh, the worst), and Zoloft in the past.  I'm a female, close to 50, stressful career, two fairly young kids.  Anyone have a magic bullet for me?
Avatar universal
I have been on Wellbutrin 150 for A LONG TIME.  Upon complaining about all the weight gain my dosage was bumped up to 300mg. "That is when Wellbutrin starts to supress your appetite and help anxiety." It did help with anxiety and concentration to a point but 2 1/2 months later I had gained 11 lbs. My dr. wasn't convinced that I needed to come off so STUPIDLY I have taken myself off.  Gradually starting with every other day then every 3 now nothing.  I have taken nothing for 3 weeks.  Weight loss has already started but I am having HEADACHES and often cold chills.  MAJOR HEADACHES.  Has anyone else every experienced withdrawal symptoms from this medicine?
Avatar universal
I have been thinking about quitting Wellbutrin XL 150 for a long time, too.  I've looked and looked, and had difficulty finding information online about the best way.  I have a new doc, who I do not have a good rapport with, and I told her I wanted to quit taking it.  She said same thing another person's doc said on this thread, no, not during the winter.  She also said she would make me come in more often than my old doc to monitor, I guess.  I've been taking Wellbutrin for about four years.  My financial situation is deteriorating, and I just can't afford to continue it.  I feel like it's ok, I'd stay on it if I could afford to, but I'm not particularly depressed or anxious.  I think if any of those symptoms return, I'll deal with it then.  For now I want to stop.  Well, the doc said no, so I quit on my own.  (I will have to get a new doc; I just really don't like this one at all.  She doesn't seem to hear me, and I just don't trust her.  My old doc had been writing my scrip for 12 months at a time.  I always called and told him when I'd need a new scrip, and that I was doing ok but I'd go see him if he wanted before renewing the scrip, but he felt fine about it and so did I.  The new one decided, no, I would have to come in every 3 months.  Even if I could afford to do that in terms of time and money, who would *want* to go to the doctor's that often?  That's horrible, that's no way to live.  Wish my old doc hadn't retired.)  Anyway.
  I feel very, very tired after quitting cold turkey about a week ago.  I sleep and sleep, and it just doesn't seem to satisfy.  I'm not feeling particularly depressed or anxious, but I wish I had more energy.  Very tired.  I hope to feel better soon.
  In response to another person's question about antidepressants and nightmares, I took SSRIs off an on before trying the Wellbutrin.  I ALWAYS had rotten nightmares with the SSRIs.  I tried Prosac, Zoloft, Paxil and Lexapro.  I also had other crappy side effects from all of them, and just couldn't tolerate them.  Wellbutrin really did well for me for a long time, I'd go back to it if I had to.  Never gave me nightmares like the others.  I wish the medical community were more responsive to us when we say we want to stop taking Wellbutrin or whatever meds, and I wish information about withdrawal were easier to find.
Avatar universal
I stopped (cold turkey) taking the 150xl and about seven days later I was crazy. Anxious, angry, complusive and edgy. I felt out of control. I also gained 10 lbs. If I had to chose between depression and these side effects, I'd take the dreadfully dark depression.
Avatar universal
I've been on Wellbutrin 300 for about a year now. I've noticed it does effect my throat- makes it feel like it's closing or tight feeling when I'm trying to sleep. Yes, it does seem to make me want to sleep a lot more than usual. But, it also seems to act like Viagra and makes me way too horny. I don't know if anyone else has this side effect.
Avatar universal
I stopped cold turkey as well along with the other med being prescribed (lithium) and while the first week or so was somewhat rough, I feel so much better overall.  The wellbutrin made me feel terrible and gave me tremendous headaches...I don't know how this is all going to workout so I am trying to document it through a blog...mushmemoirs.blogspot.com
Avatar universal
I slowly tried to ween myself off of XL 150 by taken a dose every other day. I wouldv'e been fine until 2 months into my plan,  I gained 15#'s. I really had no other side effects. I'm also on Lexapro. Ok should I let me Dr. know what I'm doing, of course I should. What is my Dr. going to say, lets put you on another drug while weening you off. No more damn drugs!! I'm not going to see some yahoo for 5min. Pay $250 for his "expert opinion" just to put me on another drug which I wont let them and they will just say well try going to every other day dosage. Heck half of these Dr's you can't understand as they  clearly arn't from the good ol'e USA. Yes indeed there are alot of great Doc's  out there and am I taking a risk in trying to ween myself off YES. Oh well life is full of risks, and dealing with the entire beurocratic b.s. thats involved in the med care biz is enough to put anyone on AD by it's self. Don't even think about looking forward to Gov. run healthcare, It will be 100x worse. What great program has the feds offer us that is the majic bullet to anything?????
Avatar universal
I am very surprised to hear all this negativity about wellbutrin. I've been on it for 6 months and am feeling so much better. I am sleeping better, less stressed. I still get anxious at work but it comes with my job.
Its not caused by the wellbutrin.
It has helped me stop smoking, I just stopped and have no desire to smoke.
Alcohol-i can drink on wellbutrin and I'm fine;
Wellbutrin may not work for everyone, doesn't mean its a bad drug. Each person responds differently.
I've tried many other antidepressants which I thought were awful!!
Wellbutrin has helped me improve my life, you can't simply rely on a drug to make you happy, only help you along the way.
Its a conscious decision to be happy!
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