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paxil to wellbutrin

I have decided to switch from paxil to wellbutrin because of the weight gain & sexual side effects of paxil.  My doctor said that I should go every other day paxil for one week, every 3 days paxil for the next week, 5 days of nothing & then start the wellbutrin.  I'm not real confident in this doctor because at one time I was thinking of switching to prozac & they had me go directly from paxil to prozac & I became a blubbering mess of tears.  Needless to say, after 4 days, I went right back to the paxil.  I wanted to get a second opinion on how to make the change from paxil to wellbutrin so I don't go crazy again.  Also, will I gain weight on wellbutrin?  Thanks for your help!!!
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Most doctors combine paxil and wellbutrin, so you should ask your doctor about starting the wellbutrin right away while you decrease the Paxil on the schedule he gave you, which is a reasonable weaning schedule.
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I have no idea about the transition from one medication to wellbutrin. I am taking wellbutrin... it seems to have the effect of a stimulant...thereby I have been losing a little weight.
It also got rid of my appetite which is a bummer, but I can deal with it =P.  I am not sure if it is supposed to have this much of a "caffine-like" effect but for me it is very much like drinking a few cups of coffee.
I am at the stage of depression where I dont really eat a lot to console myself though so I basically make sure I eat a few times a day so I dont get sick, as well as taking a multivitamin =P.
Being depressed and having to finally deal with this hurts but its fixing my diet! hehe.
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Avatar universal
There is a big difference between Paxil and Wellbutrin. I would not stop taking Paxil; just start low Wellbutrin while on Paxil. You may find the combo much better than quitting Paxil altogether. You can always gradually lower your Paxil dose [very, very slowly]. I would not skip a day or you will have Paxil withdrawal.  Wellbutrin may not work well for you, but combined with Paxil at the right doses it may help.
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I would like to know if anyone on wellbutrin has experienced any hypersexual feelings. The doctor put my teenage son on it last month and it seems thats all he can talk about.
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I did.  It turned me into a sex addict.  I almost cheated on my husband because of it.  It's not that we were having problems, our relationship is great minus the little bickering most couples have occasionally :), and our sex life is healthy.  I just...well...couldn't get enough.  I didn't actually cheat, but if I didn't have the commitment to my husband that I did, I probably would have let things go much, much further than they should have.

It also gave me horrible insomnia.  I was only sleeping a 1/2 hour a night.  They gave me Ambien to try to counteract it and see if it would go away, but I might as well have swallowed sugar pills.  I took 3 and was still up all night.

Wellbutrin works great for some people.  Unfortunately, for me, it was poison.
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I hope the wellbutrin gives me some sexual feeling cause i have none at all with the paxil, not even a desire to have sex.  I was pretty sexual active before i started the paxil and now nothing.
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All the SSRI's can lead to sexual compulsion. If your son is in that state then is more than likely in the early stages of mania.
You should always taper off the drugs slowly and it may take as long as you were on them. The following article helped my family get off the stupid drugs. Your Guide to the World of
Alternative Mental Health

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Conquering Anxiety, Depression and Fatigue Without Drugs - the Role of Hypoglycemia
by Professor Joel H. Levitt
The Anxiety & Hypoglycemia Relief Institute
web-page: http://www.travelersonline.com/anxiety/

(For questions regarding anxiety & hypoglycemia and New York City
classes, contact Prof. Joel H. Levitt ***@****)

Stress is often blamed as the root cause for anxiety, depression and fatigue, but, although stress can make any problem worse, the source of such problems is often physical in nature. And hypoglycemia is one of the major physical causes.

This article covers the following:

What is Hypoglycemia? - the cause of hypoglycemia and its effects.

Typical Hypoglycemia Symptoms - the wide range of mental, emotional and physical symptoms.

Testing for Hypoglycemia - standard medical testing and why it is often unreliable.

The Solution to Hypoglycemia - a list of dietary and nutrient recommendations, with special notes and cautions.

Recommended Reading - books and other references that will give you a more complete understanding.

What is Hypoglycemia?

First of all, let's be clear on one major point - hypoglycemia is not a "disease" in that you either have it or don't, it is a condition, and, in most cases, it is fully reversible.

Some types of hypoglycemia are caused by a tumor or other physical damage to a gland. However, that is rare, and not the focus of this article. The more common type of hypoglycemia - called "functional," "reactive," or "fasting" - is your body's reaction to what you put in it.

Hypoglycemia is the body's inability to properly regulate blood sugar levels, causing the level of sugar in the blood to be too low or to fall too rapidly.

Blood sugar, in the form of glucose, is the basic fuel for all brain operation and physical activity, including muscular. If the available fuel is too inadequate, any marginal physical or mental system may start to shut down. In addition, the glandular imbalances that result, as the glands struggle to regulate the sugar level, cause their own symptoms - especially high adrenaline, which is usually perceived as anxiety or panic, but, in some cases, can lead to violence. (Am I saying this has something to do with domestic violence and street crime? YES! And there is expert congressional testimony to back this up.)

Here is a typical pattern:

1. You eat or drink excess sugar (the average American consumes well over 100 lbs/yr.).

2. The body releases insulin to put sugar into storage, but the insulin response is excessive (due to ADAPTATION and/or chromium deficiency).

3. About 2 hours later so much sugar has been put into storage that there is not enough left in the blood, and you get a low-blood-sugar emergency.

Symptoms such as weakness and mental fog begin.

4. The body responds to the emergency by dumping adrenaline into the system.

More symptoms follow from the high adrenaline, such as racing heart, anxiety, etc., etc., etc..

5. The roller coaster rises and falls in critical hormones, causing an unbalance in all the hormones and often resulting in ongoing symptoms.

Many Americans have hypoglycemia to a greater or less degree. The symptoms comprise a remarkably long list and range from mild discomfort to being completely incapacitated.

Typical Hypoglycemia Symptoms

Following is a list of symptoms I've drawn from multiple sources, plus my own observations. The list is long because symptoms result not only directly from low blood glucose but also from the glandular imbalances that result, especially high adrenaline. Only one or two symptoms may be present, but most often, you will find several.

Note that although I've listed mental and physical symptoms separately, they often overlap.

Mental Symptoms

Anxiety - ranging from constant worry to panic attacks.

Phobias - claustrophobia, agoraphobia, acrophobia, and so on. This is anxiety tied to a particular issue.




Depression - especially with females

Violent outbursts - especially with males

Obsessive Compulsive Behavior

Forgetfulness - this may just be choline/inositol deficiency.

Inability to concentrate

Unsocial, Asocial, Anti-Social behavior

Crying spells

Nightmares & night terrors - terror can continue after you wake up. It is especially indicative of hypoglycemia if you wake in a cold sweat, if the terror continues, if there is pressure on the chest, or if you are unable to breathe.

Physical Symptoms

Headaches - especially if a meal is missed.

Tachycardia - racing pulse due to high adrenaline.

Fatigue, weakness, "rubbery" legs.

Tremor or trembling of arm, leg, or whole body (outside or inside)

Twitching, jerking, or cramping of a leg muscle - cramping may be just calcium or magnesium deficiency or food allergy response.

Waking after 2-3 hrs sleep

Tinnitus - ringing in the ear, due to high insulin in about 70 % of tinnitus cases.

Abnormal weight - too high or too low.

Compulsive craving for sweets, colas, coffee, alcohol

Lack of appetite

A diagnosis of "mitral valve prolapse"  

Crawling sensations on skin


Blurred vision

Smothering spells - gasping for breath

Red blotches on skin or circular arcs of red skin

Lack of sexual drive

Chest pain - severe, but EKG normal.

Can't tolerate bright light or loud sounds

Joint pains

Another clue is that the symptoms are usually worse in the early morning after waking, and get better after being up and around a full day.

It's a remarkably long list and for very good reasons!

Many of the above symptoms can be found in the standard PDR
(Physician's Desk Reference) as the typical expected side effects
for a NORMAL HEALTHY person given an injection of adrenaline
(alternate name epinephrine).

Why should anyone not injected with adrenaline have such symptoms? To understand what is going on, we have to understand how humans have been designed to survive emergencies. Suppose you meet a tiger on the road. What happens? Immediately an emergency situation is detected and the adrenal gland dumps adrenaline. The adrenaline prepares you for vigorous
muscular activity. It brings sugar out of storage for muscular action. It raises the heart rate so your blood circulates faster and turns off digestion. You are now prepared for FIGHT or FLIGHT.

Some people will fight, their adrenaline response will be ANGER, most people will run, their adrenaline response is felt as FEAR.

In most cases, the simplest WORKING DEFINITION OF ANXIETY is the way you perceive HIGH ADRENALINE. If adrenaline is moderately high for too long a time, people feel anxious and wonder why. This is called "free-floating " anxiety.

If, on the other hand, adrenaline shoots up to a very high value rapidly, and
then decreases rapidly, the anxiety is brief but intense. This is called a "panic attack." If you regularly pick a particular thing to tie the anxiety to, such as high places, that's called a "phobia." What's the problem? What's wrong with the life-saving response to a tiger on the road?

The human body, because it's a wonderful self-adjusting system has a mechanism called ADAPTATION. If you repeatedly have emergencies the body learns to dump larger and larger amounts of adrenaline at the slightest hint of an emergency. The adrenal gland puts out about 60 different hormones- repeated requests for adrenaline dumps will affect all the others.

A hair-trigger adrenaline response is not what you want in modern life. What happens in modern life is that several times a day many people have low-blood-sugar emergencies. This leads to adrenaline dumping and ANXIETY, it also leads to hormonal imbalances.

NORMAL SUGAR PROCESSING: Eat food including sugar; pancreas
releases insulin; insulin puts excess sugar into storage for use later.

"REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIC" PROCESSING: Consume excessive sugar food
or beverage; pancreas dumps excess insulin (remember ADAPTION);
About two hours later blood sugar crashes to emergency level; adrenal
gland dumps excess adrenaline (remember ADAPTION); RESULT=ANXIETY

The saving grace is that hypoglycemia, even early-stage diabetes when the pancreas starts to give up, is fully reversible with diet and nutritional supplements.

Testing for Hypoglycemia

Standard medical testing for hypoglycemia is the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). The person being tested is required to fast for 12 hours, then have a drink with a super-high sugar content - a disaster plan for someone with hypoglycemia. The blood is then tested every 30 minutes, for 6 hours. Unfortunately, the test is unreliable as it is frequently done in an inadequate way or is misinterpreted.

The most frequent problems with the GTT are:

The test is run for less than 6 hours - a 3 -hour test certainly can't catch a drop at the 5.5 hour point).

The test measures glucose level but fails to measure insulin and adrenaline - your blood sugar may be holding up because your adrenal gland is dumping huge amounts of adrenaline. Glucose alone can't tell the full story.

The symptoms are not carefully observed during the test - the classic story is of a man who went for his test, drank the sugar solution, became violent, and smashed the furniture in the waiting room. Upon leaving, he was given a bill for the furniture, and a test stamped "normal!" His glucose level didn't go below the level that lab used as an absolute criterion! If you become violent during the test, or faint, or break out in a cold sweat and start shaking you have FAILED the test REGARDLESS of the NUMBERS!

The rate of drop in blood sugar is ignored - the lowest glucose level is important, but the rate of drop is just as important. Falling too rapidly from high-normal to low-normal represents poor regulation and will give symptoms.

Because of the above testing problems, hypoglycemia is best diagnosed by its symptoms.

The Solution to Hypoglycemia

To reverse the condition, the glands must be allowed to recover. This is done by eliminating all foods and beverages that deliver sugar rapidly. Thus the cure for "low blood sugar" is to AVOID sugar and simple carbohydrates, like white wheat flour, that convert rapidly into sugar.

Stress, of course, makes all problems worse. And if you can eliminate all stress - fine. But, realistically, it is much easier to simply control what you consume.

My recommendations for handling hypoglycemia consist of diet, and nutritional supplements. There are also excellent full-length books available in the Recommended Books list at the end of this article. I especially recommend books 1 and 2.

Dietary Recommendations
Best foods to eat
raw vegetables
raw mixed salad greens
seeds and nuts (not peanuts)

Next best
cooked vegetables
cooked greens (Collard greens, Mustard greens, Spinach etc.)
organic eggs (hardboiled for safety)
organic beefliver
organic beef
whole grains (one at a time)

Best snack
carry seeds & nuts.

Best beverages
Freshly made vegetable juices. Most hypoglycemics should probably limit carrots in juice form to about 1/day or less, as a sweetener for other veggies.

Spring or filtered water.

Herbal tea - from one or two herbs, not "naturally flavored" blends.

Worst food ingredients

The packaging for some foods can be misleading. For example, many packages will say "Sugar Free." However, if you read the ingredients, you will find types of sweeteners just as harmful. Therefore, it is important to read all labels carefully.

Hypoglycemics should avoid the following:

Sugar - this includes sucrose, fructose, raw sugar (sugar + dirt), brown sugar (sugar, dyed brown), corn syrup, "dried cane juice", "raisin juice" etc., molasses, malt, malted barley, even maple syrup and honey.

Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils - including vegetable shortening and margarine. These are hormone imbalancers.

White wheat flour and white rice - nutrients that prevent heart disease & cancer are removed from these products to give longer shelf life. Fiber is also removed, therefore the starch rapidly converts to sugar.

Peanuts & Corn - high mold sources which tax the immune system.

Special Notes and Cautions About Diet

The above list represents my personal current opinion, and is periodically modified. Consideration was given both to the influence on sugar metabolism, and on general health. Many foods not listed above as best or worst can be eaten in moderation, assuming of course that you are not allergic to them. Additionally, the following factors need to be observed

Organic Foods
If you can't get "organic" foods, use non-organic foods less often.

If you are a vegetarian, of course eliminate animal foods. The vegetarian route requires more knowledge and more work; but I currently believe that, in the long run, it gives the best health in most cases - for hypoglycemics as well as "normals."

Food Allergies
Food allergy and reactive hypoglycemia frequently go hand in hand. If you are allergic to one or more of the best foods, then they are not acceptable for you.

Individual food allergies must be carefully considered with any restrictive diet. For example, a grain-based diet can be a disaster for someone with grain allergies, even if the carbohydrate level can be tolerated. Another example is eggs, which are a common allergen.

To find out what you are allergic to is a gradual process of learning which involves primarily selective elimination, for at least 5 days, with careful observation of symptoms.

Likes and Dislikes
I also believe that you must be reasonably comfortable with your food choices to assimilate the food properly, i.e. foods you hate won't make a good diet for you.

Beware of Liquids Containing Sugar
Liquids containing sugar deliver sugar to the body too rapidly. In addition to obvious disasters such as sodas, colas, sweetened coffee (a double whammy if caffeine is present), and alcohol (behaves like liquid sugar), you should also AVOID FRUIT JUICES (an exception is grapefruit which can usually be tolerated in moderation, perhaps 4 oz./day)

AVOID SKIM MILK. Milk would be O.K. for hypoglycemics, but a harmful enzyme, Xanthine Oxidase, makes it a bad choice for all. Consider instead organic yogurt, from whole milk, NOT skim or low-fat. The harmful enzyme Xanthine Oxidase is de-activated when yogurt and cheeses are made.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners have been a major American health disaster, especially aspartame, and should not even be considered as a substitute for sugar. They make recovery for hypoglycemics much more difficult and are a major health hazard.
Nutrient Recommendations
The most important of the supplements are high level vitamin C - which is the primary support for the adrenal gland - and a good multiple formula containing chromium.

Vitamin C
The best type of vitamin C, and the easiest to take in my opinion, is POWDERED Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).

I recommend Allergy Research (Willner stock # 10004), or Freeda (C PWD "Dull"- Willner stock # 14267, 4 oz & # 14268 16 oz).

Solgar Vitamin C Crystals do not dissolve as well but are still effective, and widely available.

The dosage depends on how serious your symptoms are. A general guideline for most people having uncomfortable symptoms would be 10 grams (10,000 milligrams) per day. A level teaspoon of powder or crystals gives about 4 grams, a heaping teaspoon 5 grams. Therefore two heaping teaspoons per day would give 10 grams. This should be split into two or more servings at different times during the day, preferably with meals. If you are not used to these levels, start with less and work up over a few days. An extra teaspoon can always be taken if you start to feel bad - indigestion, a headache, dizzy, a panic attack starting, etc.

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Avatar universal
I'm in the process of discontinuing Paxil CR usage and it has literally been hell.  I was taking 25mg for a number of months with no real problems and wanted to try increasing to 37.5 to see if I'd do better.  I only took the increase for 6 days and have been a mess for over a week without much noticable improvement.  It was a nightmare just getting the doctor to understand the problem and it took a trip to the hospital due to fear of a stroke when my arm and head were tingling and feeling numb to finally convey that it was serious.  The hospital was the worst when I had to convince at least 5 different people that it wasn't stress, etc.  I was extremely weak in the muscles in my arms and legs and dizzy and couldn't function for even half a day work.  The doctor first gave me Wellbutrin because even though I told him the lack of energy was not a problem before, he was trying to blame that on depression too.  After one day of that I was at the hospital and now he's taken me off all medication until it clears out and I can't work or drive.  I'm sure that it must be withdrawal symptoms now too because the dizziness is a big problem now but it's all kind of run together from what I consider an overdose to withdrawal.
I can barely manage to leave the house for other than short trips, my head's spinning and ears ringing and kind of that tingling feeling in my head that's hard to describe.  The state I've been in has me depressed which I don't think has anything to do with withdrawal but just hopelessness about this although I don't even feel like I can trust my thoughts all the time now.  I'm an adult and called someone in tears because I was exhausted and the person I was with had to run a few errands before we could get home and even staying in the car was tiring.  It's scary because it feels like no one understands or can help.  It's not like being sick and I can go to a doctor and get something to help.  The hospital couldn't even help me and all I can do is rely on the psychiatrists advice because there is nowhere else to turn where I feel anyone understands what these drugs can do.  To sum that up, I know I'm in worse shape because I/we didn't really feel we could take the time to wean me off so if it's at all possible, I think it's important with Paxil. It's been really frustrating.
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Avatar universal
I can totally relate to your problems getting off the Paxil. I hated being on it and getting off of it was quite painful. I have adult ADHD (I am 35 years old and I've suffered undiagnosed all my life, until recently) and everyone I tried to turn to for help just decided I was depressed and/or anxious. I actually went to the docs saying "I think I have ADHD, and here are my symptoms...!"
I was on Paxil for about a year and I had so much trouble keeping my moods in check and would often blow up at my kids over the simplest of things (they didn't understand because they are only 2 and 5...they just thought mommy was mean all the time). I also had absolutely NO sex drive...I could have cared less if I ever had sex again. I described it as being "dead" below the waste. It was very emotionally disturbing to me and was beginning to cause stress in my marriage.
I tried to taper down from it a couple of times but always went back up in dosage due to withdrawal. I was dizzy, I felt like every time I moved my eyes the whole eye socket hurt, and I would get a pusating feeling straight up the back of my head several times per hour, everytime I would turn my head or change direction! And I only slept for about 1-2 hours per night.  I cried to my doc's staff to please get me in for an appointment and they set me up for one for about 1 month later! I finally could take it no more and decided to detox myself once and for all.
It was a painful two ar three months (less pain with each month), and I am not ashamed to say that I became a 1-2 beers/day girl to keep some of the pain at a tolerable level.  I laugh about the "beer detox" now, but it really did end up being my saving grace.
I have found an excellent psychiatrist who agrees strongly with me, based on much discussion, that I have ADHD and has put me on Wellbutrin. It has made a world of difference for me...my family is much happier and at ease...and I have my sex drive back!
Whatever you have to do to get off that Paxil, do it. Get off of that Paxil!!!
Good luck to you!
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