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Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, IR, SR, XR, XL (bupropion)


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#73 Mjau

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 09:31 AM

Thank you Addax for sharing the information!

I'm on this combination of drugs and tapering so this is very valuable info for me.

I knew Wellbutrin "increases" the plasma level of SSRI but didn't know this would affect the tapering process. 

 

How long did it take for your withdrawal symptoms to appear after tapering?


1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 


#74 Altostrata

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 04:45 PM

That is very useful information, Addax, thank you.

 

Are you finding your psychiatrist is more understanding of withdrawal now?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#75 Wondering

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 02:17 PM

I have been taking 300xl Wellbutrin for a year. Since the xl can't be cut, what are the dosages for a slow taper and how long do you hold until the next cut? Thanks so much to anyone who can help. Wondering
Trazodone 150-300 nightly
Ambien CR. 3-5 times a week
Taking Klonopin crossing over to Valium started 6-25-15

#76 Altostrata

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 02:33 PM

Hello, Wondering. Please read this topic from the beginning and start a topic for yourself in the Introductions forum if you have any questions.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#77 Wondering

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 03:36 PM

Ok, I had already read all the other posts and the more I read the more confused I got. So I thought if I asked a direct question I could get direct answers. I will try this question on Introductions and hope they don't send me over here to this thread (which I have already read). Thank you.
Trazodone 150-300 nightly
Ambien CR. 3-5 times a week
Taking Klonopin crossing over to Valium started 6-25-15

#78 Meimeiquest

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 06:20 AM

I have been taking 300xl Wellbutrin for a year. Since the xl can't be cut, what are the dosages for a slow taper and how long do you hold until the next cut? Thanks so much to anyone who can help. Wondering


You can use SR and IR tablets to make the smaller amounts. For example, from 300mg XL you could take 150XL, 100mg SR, and 20mg of IR made into a liquid to make exactly a 10% cut with a dose of 270mg. If you are overstimulated in the a.m. or running out of mood &/or energy in the evening you can spread it out, for example taking XL early a.m., SR at noon and IR at 4 p.m. Some people are able to round it out in the early stages, using SR or IR tablets cut into quarters.

Feel free to PM me if needed...Wellbutrin was my toughest taper to manage, so I have lots of compassion for people on that journey! But writing on the forum is good as well because many people understand this better than me.
1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.
Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12
Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13
Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15
11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)
9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol
7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol
56 years old

#79 HikingAlong

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 06:58 AM

Hi Wondering,

 

I've got experience with this. To start my taper, in August 2014, I went from the 300 xl to 4 75 mg tablets, spread out through the day. I think I did every four hours. That was really the worst of the tapering, as far as symptoms. I got really depressed for about a month while my brain readjusted to a different pattern. Headaches. And my sleep went very wonky. I cried a lot. Weird deja vu. Suicical thoughts. (I'm reading all this out of my tapering journal) That all lasted about a month.

 

Once I started feeling like living again, I started slowly cutting down. I replace oned 75 mg with a half of a 100 mg. that was a little under a 10% cut. Then I replaced another 75 with a 50, etc etc. 

 

I do 2-3 cuts(every two weeks), then wait a month until I feel really stable.

 

I'm down to 175 now. 2-50s and 2- 37.5s

 

I can get down to 150 just by using halfs of 75 or 100 mg pills.

 

Then I'll have to start dissolving. 

 

So there you have my experience. It's hard to believe it's been only 8 months! It's been really difficult, but I'm so glad I'm on the way to a drug free brain.

 

The great things are that

I feel a real sense of accomplishment in getting safely down to a lower dose.

I now can have an orgasm without crying uncontrollably

I'm making plans to make changes in  my life.

My memory is better.

 

I recommend that you keep a journal, and write down a list of what you hope to gain from your taper. Because it gets really hard sometimes and it's good to remember why you're doing this.

 

Hiking Along

 

 


1984 Elavil, then Zoloft, followed by wellbutrin, elavil, other ADs

1995 wellbutrin. Light therapy in winter.

2000-2002 Tapered wellbutrin very very slowly

2003-2008 No ADs, no therapy. Felt good, vital, motivated.

2008-July 2014 citalopram, escitalipram, zoloft, 300 mg wellbutrin, XL

August 2014      300 mg wellbutrin, immediate    1200 mg neurontin     200 mg tramadol

Sept 13, 2014    275mg                                        1200                          200

April 15, 2015    175 mg                                       1050                          200
June 15, 2015    150 mg                                       900                           200
April 18, 2017     112 mg                                       600                            150

Treating depression with FeelBright Light visor, green smoothies, green tea powder, fish oil, TDCS


#80 HikingAlong

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 07:03 AM

And also, I have to argue with what Altostrata says about Welbutrin being a weak antidepressant. It's different from other ADs and for some of us, very effective at first, and very difficult to taper.

 

Take care of yourself. This won't be easy, but it will be worth it.


1984 Elavil, then Zoloft, followed by wellbutrin, elavil, other ADs

1995 wellbutrin. Light therapy in winter.

2000-2002 Tapered wellbutrin very very slowly

2003-2008 No ADs, no therapy. Felt good, vital, motivated.

2008-July 2014 citalopram, escitalipram, zoloft, 300 mg wellbutrin, XL

August 2014      300 mg wellbutrin, immediate    1200 mg neurontin     200 mg tramadol

Sept 13, 2014    275mg                                        1200                          200

April 15, 2015    175 mg                                       1050                          200
June 15, 2015    150 mg                                       900                           200
April 18, 2017     112 mg                                       600                            150

Treating depression with FeelBright Light visor, green smoothies, green tea powder, fish oil, TDCS


#81 nancy2

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 01:39 PM

Really appreciate this tapering post.   :)    I'm meeting with my doctor tomorrow, and requesting the new RX as stated above to begin tapering off 300mg xl buproprion.

 

I expect her to tell me that tapering is not necessary. I expect her to pressure me to stay on the meds.

 

My intention is to politely stand firm and simply continue to make this personal request, noting if needed that I have different views about pharmaceuticals than she does and so prefer to do it this way. :excl:

 

DO OTHER PEOPLE HAVE THIS KIND OF PROBLEM WITH DOCS, OR IS IT JUST ME???? This one is not even, by any means, the worst I've had -- though certainly not the best either. :wacko:

 

I'll let you know how it goes.


went to dr for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and situational depression 2014

She put me on both Venlafaxine (Effexor) and Buproprion (Wellbutrin)

Found this forum (yaay!) and tapered off 300mg Buproprion to 0 June 2015 -Jan 2016

Now tapering off 150 mg Venlafaxine Nov 2016

 


#82 HikingAlong

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 09:39 PM

Glad to hear you are looking for a new doc. My doc is okay with my tapering, but my therapist worries. Keep pushing forward.

 

Hiking Along


1984 Elavil, then Zoloft, followed by wellbutrin, elavil, other ADs

1995 wellbutrin. Light therapy in winter.

2000-2002 Tapered wellbutrin very very slowly

2003-2008 No ADs, no therapy. Felt good, vital, motivated.

2008-July 2014 citalopram, escitalipram, zoloft, 300 mg wellbutrin, XL

August 2014      300 mg wellbutrin, immediate    1200 mg neurontin     200 mg tramadol

Sept 13, 2014    275mg                                        1200                          200

April 15, 2015    175 mg                                       1050                          200
June 15, 2015    150 mg                                       900                           200
April 18, 2017     112 mg                                       600                            150

Treating depression with FeelBright Light visor, green smoothies, green tea powder, fish oil, TDCS


#83 Altostrata

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 11:45 AM

nancy, most people report that having a reasonable discussion with their doctors is difficult. You are doing it exactly the right way -- state what you want clearly and firmly, say you'll take responsibility for doing it your way.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#84 Gerberas

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 07:51 AM

Perhaps because I haven't been on Wellbutrin long (5 months) I seem to be able to cut the dose without too much of an issue.

 

Going from 300XR to 150mg XR was fine (reason was to reduce bad side effects - blood pressure spikes, irritability etc)

 

in the last month: Cutting 150mg Wellbutrin XR (which unfortunately negates the sustained release) I went from 1 tablet to 3/4 and now to 1/2 in a month.

Having read about the very varied experiences out there, and how withdrawal effects can be delayed, I will stay steady for a month now. 

 

Will report back.


Since 2003, started Citalopram 20mg. mid 2015 tapered to 15mg.

Since early 2015 Wellbutrin XR 150mg, then 300mg, then 150mg now tapering.

Joined forum 23 June 2015


#85 Altostrata

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 01:40 PM

Those blood pressure spikes were a sign 300mg Wellbutrin XL was too strong for you. You may have reduced the excess.

 

Good idea to wait before the next decrease and let your body normalize.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#86 greenwell3977

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 07:06 PM

Hello, I currently take 84 mg in the morning and 60mg in the afternoon of Buproprion SR tablets.  I cut them up with a pill cutter and measure them on a digital scale.  This process can take up to thirty minutes and has a small margin of error due to the variability of the scale.  To make things quicker and consistent, I want to start taking the capsule form from a compound pharmacy.  Unfortunately, the compound pharmacy said they can only make the Buproprion IR, not the SR.

 

My questions:  What kind of adjustment can I expect going from sustained release to immediate release?  Is it hard to do?  Also, is it easier to taper off SR or IR or are they about the same? 

 

If there is a big adjustment going from SR to IR or if IR is harder to taper off of, then I may not switch to capsule IR.

 

Thank you for your input. 


Serzone (Nefadazone) and Wellbutrin (Buoproprin) for over ten years
Nefazadone Starting Point 150 mg
12/2 135 mg, 12/16 130 mg, 12/21 125 mg, 12/24 120 mg, 1/5 110 mg, 1/26 100 mg, 2/9 90 mg, 3/1 80 mg, 3/22 70 mg, 4/12 60 mg
5/3 50 mg, 5/15 55 mg, 8/15 70 mg, 10/15 90 mg, 11/1/12 100 mg, 10/1/13 90 mg, 10/15/13 85 mg, 10/20/13 90 mg, 3/29/15 16 mg

Buproprin Starting Point 300 mg

5/1/13 270, 5/15/13 240, 6/1/13 230, 6/15/13 200, 7/1/13 185, 7/20/13 170, 8/20/13 185, 3/29/15 170

 

 


#87 Altostrata

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 09:03 AM

Please read this topic from the beginning.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#88 greenwell3977

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 06:51 PM

Hi Altostrata,

 

I've read the topic from the beginning a few times and am still confused.  Some parts say that SR maintains its slow release when cut up, other parts say it does not (and is equivalent to IR).

 

Also, my understanding is that IR is taken three times a day.  Currently I am taking SR twice a day.  If I switch to SR, would I take IR two times a day or three times a day?  If three times, how would I allocate my two SR's between the three IR's?

 

Thank you for your help!  I am asking because my compound pharmacy says they can only make IR and not SR.


Serzone (Nefadazone) and Wellbutrin (Buoproprin) for over ten years
Nefazadone Starting Point 150 mg
12/2 135 mg, 12/16 130 mg, 12/21 125 mg, 12/24 120 mg, 1/5 110 mg, 1/26 100 mg, 2/9 90 mg, 3/1 80 mg, 3/22 70 mg, 4/12 60 mg
5/3 50 mg, 5/15 55 mg, 8/15 70 mg, 10/15 90 mg, 11/1/12 100 mg, 10/1/13 90 mg, 10/15/13 85 mg, 10/20/13 90 mg, 3/29/15 16 mg

Buproprin Starting Point 300 mg

5/1/13 270, 5/15/13 240, 6/1/13 230, 6/15/13 200, 7/1/13 185, 7/20/13 170, 8/20/13 185, 3/29/15 170

 

 


#89 Mjau

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 02:01 AM

Hi Altostrata,

 

I've read the topic from the beginning a few times and am still confused.  Some parts say that SR maintains its slow release when cut up, other parts say it does not (and is equivalent to IR).

 

Also, my understanding is that IR is taken three times a day.  Currently I am taking SR twice a day.  If I switch to SR, would I take IR two times a day or three times a day?  If three times, how would I allocate my two SR's between the three IR's?

 

Thank you for your help!  I am asking because my compound pharmacy says they can only make IR and not SR.

 

I have experience of both Wellbutrin SR and IR. I had more side effects when taking IR three times a day compared to the same amount of SR twice a day. For example heart palpitations and tremor. When I switched to SR I felt better. And I did cut the SR pills. So I guess the SR maintains its slow release when cut up. It definitely made a difference for me to change from IR to SR. 

This is only my own experience though!!

 

Good luck with your tapering!


1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 


#90 Altostrata

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 11:14 AM

Thank you for that information, Mjau.

 

greenwell, the SR form may or may not retain its time-release quality when it is cut up. This depends on 1) how the manufacturer made it; 2) how small the fragments are -- smaller fragments will come apart faster in your gut and the drug may be immediately released.

 

Both Mjau and I cut up Wellbutrin SR and took it twice a day without a problem.

 

The XR form is always immediate-release when you cut it up.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#91 felin

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 09:04 AM

A few years ago, I attempted to begin tapering off of my Wellbutrin XL 150/day by going onto the SR. I powered through as long as I possibly could (2 or 3 weeks) and just could not do it anymore. It made me extremely sick. I was horribly nauseous to the point that I had to lay down all day just to keep from throwing up. This never subsided so I ended up having to go back onto the XL.

 

Makes me feel stuck.


All that I can give you at this point is what I can remember. Will add more after I've called the zillions of doctors that I've had over the past 30 years. I have spent all day calling old insurance co's, etc to get the long list of doctors names that I once had, so will update this someday. Unfortunately, most records are no longer available. :(

 

Haven't started tapering yet. Will.

 

Currently am on:

  • Cymbalta 60 mg/ daily - actually taking the generic for it. It is called Duloxetine
  • Wellbutrin XL 150 mg/ daily - taking the generic for this. It is called Bupropion XL
  • Naturethroid 3/4 grain/ daily - this is a natural dessicated thyroid med for my Hypothyroidism
  • Relpax only take as needed - for migraines

FINALLY started tapering Cymbalta by 5% reduction May 5, 2016


#92 Altostrata

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 05:44 PM

How many times a day did you take Wellbutrin SR, felin?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#93 felin

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 08:22 PM

Sorry, Altostrata. Missed this somehow.

 

I can honestly say that I am not certain since it's been so long, but it seems as though it was 2 or 3 x's per day. Was the evil purple pill. ha!

 

Still no clue as to how I'm going to get off of the XL. Asked my pharmacist today at Walgreens, who said they can do compounding, if he could get it compounded in mg less than 150. He is supposed to call me back with an answer after he calls the compounding pharmacy that he works with.

 

In May, I finally FINALLY started tapering for the first time in all these years.

 

Started with the Cymbalta and only 5% per month, however last month the 5% proved to be too much so I bumped back up to the prior months dosage and then this month only increased that by 5 beads (haven't done the math on what percentage that would be).

 

I have been feeling increasingly anxious and have had trouble sleeping which has NEVER been a problem for me (the sleeping, that is). Beginning to wonder if perhaps the ratio of Wellbutrin XL to Cymbalta is beginning to be a problem since W can cause anxiety.

 

Was thinking that perhaps I could alternate months. Reduce one of the two drugs one month and the other drug the following month, however, I feel as though I am at an impasse at this point since I am already taking the lowest W XL available. 

 

Am up to 1 grain on Naturethroid. Guess I need to edit my info.

 

Thanks so much for your help!


All that I can give you at this point is what I can remember. Will add more after I've called the zillions of doctors that I've had over the past 30 years. I have spent all day calling old insurance co's, etc to get the long list of doctors names that I once had, so will update this someday. Unfortunately, most records are no longer available. :(

 

Haven't started tapering yet. Will.

 

Currently am on:

  • Cymbalta 60 mg/ daily - actually taking the generic for it. It is called Duloxetine
  • Wellbutrin XL 150 mg/ daily - taking the generic for this. It is called Bupropion XL
  • Naturethroid 3/4 grain/ daily - this is a natural dessicated thyroid med for my Hypothyroidism
  • Relpax only take as needed - for migraines

FINALLY started tapering Cymbalta by 5% reduction May 5, 2016


#94 Altostrata

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 08:47 PM

Please read the first post in this topic. Also, please put your questions in your Intro topic, as they're particular to your situation.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#95 triplem15

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:58 AM

I would like to add my hard lived experience to this post. I had been taking bupropion XL for 8.5 years. I began my taper at the 18.75mg cuts. I got to ten months in on a taper that obviously was way too fast and I crashed at the 10 month mark. I RI at the 18.75mg dose per direction of the mods here. Thank you to them. I have spent nearly one year on this 18.75 mg dose and am making slow progress but not at good and steady. This is my point. It is a false statement to say that bupropion is a relatively weak antidepressant. No intent for offense to Alto When she said this. The truth is it is an atypical antidepressant that targets dopamine and norepinephrine. It is a rather poorly understood antidepressant. This has been an extremely difficult medication for me to taper off of. I do believe that I am super sensitive to many things but I also can affirm that length of time on this drug makes a big difference in how one might experience withdrawal. Rhiannon posted earlier and I could not agree with her more having found out for myself, it is very wise to treat this drug like any other and begin with a 10 percent taper. The half life of bupropion is the same on all forms. Wether it be XL, SR, or IR. The problem is The metabolites do not leave the system for 5 -10 days on all forms of this drug and one dies not experience WD symptoms until 10 days out or later. Having said this, it is wise to push those cuts out every 6-8 weeks. This is personal experience speaking and research on the drug. Please be aware. This drug is often very difficult to get off for all of the reasons I mentioned. Thank you.
I do take Flonase,also take Zyrtec on and off. Maybe twice per week. I am on Vit. C, B-complex, Vit. D, selenium, Vit E, fish oil, and l-lysine and thats it. No street drugs. No alcohol. 9/2006 Welbutrin XL 150mg, Began Weaning June 15, 2015, Alternating days, changed each mos. Oct 2015 switch to Immediate release 37.5mg. mid october 2015 down to 18.75, (9.37mg twice daily. stayed there one mos.) Dec 2015 down to 9.37mg in AM and 7mg in PM, January 2016 down to 7mg AM and 4.6mg in PM. 4/5/16 cut down what I thought was 2.5 to 3mg. From 4/16/16 until yesterday, was not doing well. 4/20/16, 37.5mg yesterday for first time. 4/21/16 Two days now on 37.5mg. 4/22/16 took monitors advise and dropped dose to 18.75, split dose ,twice daily, now holding.

#96 Altostrata

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:56 PM

Thank you, triplem. Yes, Wellbutrin can be difficult to quit, particularly if you've been taking it for a long time.

 

I have revised post #1 in this topic.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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