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Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)


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#1 Altostrata

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 12:28 PM

Wellbutrin (buproprion) is a relatively weak antidepressant and has a low reported rate of withdrawal syndrome compared to the SSRIs and SNRIs such as Paxil, Effexor, or Cymbalta.

However, patients have reported withdrawal symptoms, sometimes severe, from too-short tapering.

Buproprion is a bit of an oddball because it "is thought to be" a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and a nicotinic receptor antagonist, which is why it is sometimes used to help people stop smoking.

It is energizing and often causes anxiety, agitation, nervousness, loss of appetite, and insomnia as side effects.

Like Chantix, as a smoking cessation aid (Zyban), buproprion has been found to cause suicidal thoughts or actions and displays an FDA black box warning accordingly.

Buproprion usually is not an appropriate treatment for withdrawal symptoms, as it can aggravate them.

While it is less likely to cause sexual dysfunction like other antidepressants, other side effects are: lowers the seizure threshold (very bad for brain zaps), increases blood pressure, tremors, tinnitus, unusual behaviour changes, agitation and hostility.

It is metabolized by P450 cyp2B6 liver enzyme, and conflicts with alcohol metabolism. Its half-life is complicated because it has a number of active metabolites and various versions that prolong release of the active ingredient.

The names of the medications are also confusing. "Sustained release" and "extended release" are generally interchangeable terms, but in this case Wellbutrin SR is intended for twice-daily dosing and Wellbutrin XL is intended for once-daily dosing. Immediate-release buproprion is taken 3 times a day.

From the manufacturers' and the FDA's information (see below), the different versions are bio-equivalent. The only difference is the frequency of the dosage. If you are taking 300mg XR, you can take two 150mg SR tablets twice a day or 3 100mg immediate-release tablets 3 times a day.

How gradually should I taper buproprion?
There is little information about tapering off Wellbutrin, probably because it is assumed not much of a taper is needed.

As with all other psychiatric medications, do not skip doses to taper. If you're susceptible to withdrawal symptoms, this is an excellent way to trigger them.
 
If you are very sensitive, you may wish to start with a 10% reduction per month, as we recommend with other antidepresssants. Base your decrease on the last dosage: The amount of the decrease keeps getting smaller.
 
If you find 10%-per-month decreases cause no problem, you may wish to make them more often.

Personally, I found a 50mg taper per week to be sufficiently gradual. I had been taking 150mg-200mg for about a year and had adverse effects (blood pressure spikes). Although I had Paxil withdrawal syndrome at the time, quitting Wellbutrin in this fashion did not increase my symptoms. (Getting off Wellbutrin was a relief. I found ramping up on it a lot harder.)
 
If you wish to be moderately cautious, you may wish to taper at 18.75mg every two weeks, cutting up 75mg immediate-release or sustained-release tablets into quarters (see below).

If you get withdrawal symptoms when tapering by 18.75mg every 2 weeks, reduce the amount of your dosage decrease to 10% and extend the tapering interval to 4 weeks.
 
How to taper off Wellbutrin XR or XL or Budeprion XL (extended release)
From FDA information Wellbutrin: http://dailymed.nlm....21-2081cfd5ae3e
- Available as brand-name only [Wellbutrin XR or XL] in 150 mg, 300 mg extended-release tablets
- To be taken once a day. This is equivalent to 3-times daily immediate-release buproprion or twice-daily bupropion SR.
 

Switching Patients from WELLBUTRIN Tablets or from WELLBUTRIN SR Sustained-Release Tablets: When switching patients from WELLBUTRIN Tablets to WELLBUTRIN XL or from WELLBUTRIN SR Sustained-Release Tablets to WELLBUTRIN XL, give the same total daily dose when possible. Patients who are currently being treated with WELLBUTRIN Tablets at 300 mg/day (for example, 100 mg 3 times a day) may be switched to WELLBUTRIN XL 300 mg once daily. Patients who are currently being treated with WELLBUTRIN SR Sustained-Release Tablets at 300 mg/day (for example, 150 mg twice daily) may be switched to WELLBUTRIN XL 300 mg once daily.

From the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline http://public.gsk.co...er-information/
 

What WELLBUTRIN XR contains

The active substance is bupropion hydrochloride. WELLBUTRIN XR tablets come in different strengths. Each tablet contains either 150mg or 300mg of bupropion hydrochloride.

The other ingredients are:
- tablet core: polyvinyl alcohol, glyceryl dibehenate
- tablet coating: ethyl cellulose, povidone K-90, macrogol 1450, methacrylic acid ethyl ecrylate copolymer dispersion, silicon dioxide, triethyl citrate
- printing ink: shellac glaze, iron oxide black (E172) and ammonium hydroxide.

If you cut up Wellbutrin XR, what's inside is regular immediate-release bupropion. When you break the time-release coating, the tablet loses its extended-release characteristic.

According to GSK regarding Wellbutrin XL http://us.gsk.com/pr...llbutrinXL.pdf:
 


For patients taking 300 mg/day....the dose should be tapered to 150 mg/day for 2 weeks prior to discontinuation.

This suggests a taper of 50% for two weeks, then quit at 150mg. We recommend a more gradual taper than this.

Tapering methods for extended-release versions:

  • Cut up Wellbutrin XL or XR tablets
    If you cut up a Wellbutrin XL or XR tablet, you get immediate-release buproprion.

    Since the smallest XL/XR tablet is 150mg, we recommend converting to buproprion SR or immediate-release buproprion so you can cut up the tablets to make reductions by 25mg or less.

    If you cut up a 150mg or 300mg XL/XR tablet into quarters to taper, you will need to take some 3 times a day, as it's become immediate-release bupropion. (We do not recommend tapering this fast, do this at your own risk.)
  • Switch from Wellbutrin XR/XL to other types of buproprion
    This may be a little bumpy at first. A switch from XR/XL to SR probably would be smoother than a switch to immediate-release buproprion.
    If you want to taper off Wellbutrin XL or XR, you can:
    • Switch to the SR version and cut up tablets, take 2x a day
    • Switch to the immediate-release version and cut up tablets or, for lower dosing, make a liquid with water, take 3x a day
  • How to taper off Budeprion XL (extended release)
    From FDA information: http://dailymed.nlm....fc-e70945a352ed
    - Available as brand-name only in 150 mg extended-release tablets
    - To be taken once a day. This is equivalent to 3-times daily immediate-release buproprion or twice-daily bupropion SR.

    Same as tapering Wellbutrin XL or XR, above.

How to taper off bupropion SR (sustained release)
From FDA information: http://dailymed.nlm....00-cb4832172ece
- Available as brand-name or generic in 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg sustained-release tablets
- To be taken twice daily, "at least 8 hours between successive doses." (This is equivalent to 3-times daily immediate-release buproprion.)

According to Merck http://www.merckmanu.../bupropion.html
 

"Data from the manufacturer states that dividing Wellbutrin SR® tablets resulted in an increased rate of release at 15 minutes: “However, the divided tablet retained its sustained-release characteristics with similar increases of released bupropion at each sampling point beyond 15 minutes when compared to the intact Wellbutrin SR® tablet...” Bupropion is hydroscopic and therefore should be stored in a dry place. Splitting of large quantities in advance of administration is not advised since loss of potency may result. If necessary, splitting should be done cleanly without crushing."

I personally found you CAN cut Wellbutrin SR (sustained release) tablets up -- the timed-release mechanism is mixed in with the drug. Put the pieces in a water-tight container and use them up within 24 hours because the time-release binder can absorb humidity and degrade.

For a short time, I cut up generic 100mg bupropion SR and took 50mg in the morning, Wellbutrin XL 150mg a couple of hours later, and another SR 50mg in the early evening for a total of 250mg/day. (I never tolerated Wellbutrin very well.)

To taper, convert your dosage to 100mg SR tablets, cut up the 100mg tablets, make reductions by 25mg or less, take 2 times a day.

Taper with a mix of sustained-release (SR) and immediate-release (IR) tablets
As immediate-release tablets come in the smallest dosage of 75mg, which can be quartered into pieces of 18.75mg, you might want to convert part of your daily dose to IR tablets.

This will enable you to taper by 18.75mg at a time.

You might be able to get by with taking the SR tablet in the morning and the IR tablet at night.
 
Taper with immediate-release buproprion
From FDA information: http://dailymed.nlm....8d-647855c53dbb
- Available in generic form as 75 mg, 100 mg immediate-release tablets
- Half-life of 10 hours, plus some extension with the active metabolites, for a total half-life expressed as 21 (±9) hours
- "Bupropion should be administered 3 times daily, preferably with at least 6 hours between successive doses."

To taper, cut a 75mg or 100mg tablet into quarters, make reductions by 18.75mg-25mg, take 2 or 3 times a day.
 
If you get withdrawal symptoms at any point, slow down.
 
You may wish to taper more cautiously, by 10%. Using a liquid to taper makes measuring very small decreases much easier and precise. To make a liquid from immediate-release buproprion:


Edited by Altostrata, 04 September 2014 - 02:59 PM.
updated

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

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#2 Altostrata

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:28 PM

http://www.healthcen...armacology.html

Wellbutrin SR - Clinical Pharmacology

....
Pharmacokinetics:

Bupropion is a racemic mixture. The pharmacologic activity and pharmacokinetics of the individual enantiomers have not been studied. The mean elimination half-life (± SD) of bupropion after chronic dosing is 21 (± 9) hours, and steady-state plasma concentrations of bupropion are reached within 8 days.

In a study comparing chronic dosing with WELLBUTRIN SR Tablets 150 mg twice daily to the immediate-release formulation of bupropion at 100 mg 3 times daily, peak plasma concentrations of bupropion at steady state for WELLBUTRIN SR ® (bupropion hydrochloride) Sustained-Release Tablets were approximately 85% of those achieved with the immediate-release formulation. There was equivalence for bupropion AUCs, as well as equivalence for both peak plasma concentration and AUCs for all 3 of the detectable bupropion metabolites. Thus, at steady state, WELLBUTRIN SR Tablets, given twice daily, and the immediate-release formulation of bupropion, given 3 times daily, are essentially bioequivalent for both bupropion and the 3 quantitatively important metabolites.


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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#3 Barbarannamated

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:05 PM

TEVA generic of Wellbutrin XL deemed ineffective by FDA. Shipments stopped. "Patients with a prescription for Budeprion XL 300 should contact their doctor for instructions on how to proceed, the FDA said." Budeprion is TEVA generic name for Wellbutrin/bupropion. http://survivinganti...3582#entry33582
Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

#4 Barbarannamated

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:53 AM

FDA press release about Budeprion XL, FYI http://www.fda.gov/D...s/ucm322161.htm
Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

#5 dianajl

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:24 PM

I have been taking welburtin (bupropion) 150 mg for nine months and I am planning on tapering off of it.. since it is one of the weaker antideppresant is 10% still necessary? I was reading a post and the person that wrote it said that they reduced 50 mg a weak.. Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks, Diana

#6 strawberry17

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:08 AM

Really that's like asking "how long is a piece of string" because the thing is, we're all different, some can taper off a drug relatively fast or even cold turkey (but that's not recommended) whilst others, like me and many others can take years. I would suggest making a 10% cut to start with and wait for a few weeks and listen to what your body/nervous system is telling you. If you start to feel rubbish, you maybe made too big a cut. Never make another cut in dose until you feel really well or you end up compounding withdrawals. There is lots of info pinned at the top of the taper forum which you might want to read, but here's a really useful article to start with: http://beyondmeds.co...taper10percent/ I don't personally know much about wellbutrin so hopefully someone who does might have something to say about it.

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/

Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.

Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. Been on the antidepressant merry go round since November 1998.


#7 strawberry17

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:12 AM

Just found this thread for you: http://survivinganti...ch__1#entry7534

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/

Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.

Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. Been on the antidepressant merry go round since November 1998.


#8 compsports

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:53 AM

I have been taking welburtin (bupropion) 150 mg for nine months and I am planning on tapering off of it.. since it is one of the weaker antideppresant is 10% still necessary? I was reading a post and the person that wrote it said that they reduced 50 mg a weak.. Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks,
Diana


Hi Diana,

When I was on 300mg Wellbutrin XL, initially, I used a compound pharmacy to taper it. Fortunately, I had a good one as they got the ingredients right in spite of my psychiatrist's concern that they couldn't replicate the medication.

I was also fortunate to have decent insurance coverage at the time. Many insurance companies will not cover compound prescriptions so your mileage will vary.

I just found having one alot easier than worry about how much to take and when to take it. It seemed like a royal pain in the neck:)

Anyway, as about 200mg, I decided to see if using the supplements of chlorella and spirilina would help me cold turkey it. For some reason, I thought they would be helpful and I was right. After a day of being tired, I didn't have any symptoms.

Of course, what I did as a method of cold turkeying has not been proven so if you try it, you would be doing it at your own risk.

Good luck.

CS
Drug cocktail 1995 - 2006
Tapered off of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin for nearly 4 years
Drug free since June 10, 2010

#9 Altostrata

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 09:06 AM

I merged the Wellbutrin discussions.
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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#10 dianajl

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:22 PM

Thank you everybody for the advice.. Yes we are all very dif.. I found this out when I quit cold turkey smoking almost a year ago and that was not fun at all...Thank you so much.. I am very nervous about all of this, but i really need to get off of this medication.. I am planning on getting pregnant... Thank you strawberry for finding this thread for me and thank you CS for sharing your experience I really hope that I i can come off of this with out any wd symptoms... I had a questions for the admin.. on top of this discussion it stated that this medication is sometimes used for smoking cessation.. it also says that it should not be used for WD symptoms because it can aggrivate the symptoms were you speaking about quiting smoking wd symptoms? Thanks again guys, Diana

#11 Altostrata

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:23 PM

Wellbutrin can aggravate psychiatric drug withdrawal symptoms. It has a stimulating component. Listen to your body, you should be able to go off Wellbutrin with systematic tapering.
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.

#12 dianajl

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:08 PM

thank you for your prompt response.. I will be sure to post an update... I went to the doctors office and I feel confident in the way we are going to be tapering off of it.. thanks, Diana

#13 Altostrata

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

blurred, I moved your post here http://survivinganti...off-wellbutrin/
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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#14 Altostrata

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:21 PM

I've revised the tips in the first post, to make them easier to follow. This topic and the one about tapering Pristiq are the most viewed in our Tapering forum, will about 40,000 views each to date.
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.

#15 Meimeiquest

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:11 AM

I feel like a real weenie, but I am having (manageable) WD symptoms on my second cut of Wellbutrin, as well as the first. So I'm going to have to find a way to accurately take smaller, more accurate doses. Do you think I should weigh fragments of the SR tablet with twice daily dosing, or make a solution of immediate-release tablets to take three times a day (major pain in neck)? Or is there another option? Thanks, Meimeiquest
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, 1.17.14 DIY Liquid 28.5 mg, 1.23.14 27mg, 2.10.14 26.5mg, 2.25.14 26mg, 6.1.14 27mg 20mg capsule at bedtime, 7mg liquid during day, 8.11.14 19.4mg, 9.3.14 18.9mg
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
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
Lotensin 20mg till I get my BP straightened out
7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol
54 years old

#16 strawberry17

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:17 AM

Is this any help? http://survivinganti...ch__1#entry7534

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/

Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.

Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. Been on the antidepressant merry go round since November 1998.


#17 strawberry17

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:19 AM

BTW not a weenie at all, very sensible. Not sure about twice or thrice daily doses though, someone else asked about this and I would have thought for practical reasons when you get to lower doses and the maths gets fiddly once daily dose would be easiest to manage?

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/

Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.

Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. Been on the antidepressant merry go round since November 1998.


#18 Meimeiquest

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:00 AM

That thread has a lot of info that helped me get this far, but doesn't go beyond quartering tablets. I guess I'm the first to need it :). The drug has a short half-life in the immediate release version, hence the TID dosing if a solution. My only defense for being so high-maintenance is that it's the 4th drug I've come off starting last summer, first on this website. I would wait longer, but it is too stimulating for me without Zyprexa sedating me. Thanks, Meimeiquest
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, 1.17.14 DIY Liquid 28.5 mg, 1.23.14 27mg, 2.10.14 26.5mg, 2.25.14 26mg, 6.1.14 27mg 20mg capsule at bedtime, 7mg liquid during day, 8.11.14 19.4mg, 9.3.14 18.9mg
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
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
Lotensin 20mg till I get my BP straightened out
7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol
54 years old

#19 Altostrata

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:27 AM

I merged the Wellbutrin discussions. How much Wellbutrin SR are you taking now, Meimei? What kind of decreases have you been making?
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.

#20 Meimeiquest

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

Starting 2/15, I am taking 100 mg SR (whole pill) in the morning, and 75 mg SR (cut pill) in the early afternoon. The first cut was from 300 mg XL to 200 mg SR once a day, started that 1/18, did recover completely between. First WD symptoms this round were yesterday 2/19. I was dizzy and "waterlogged brain" 2 hrs. before 12 pm dose today, and now at almost 1:30 p.m. it's starting to come back. Thanks, Meimeiquest
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, 1.17.14 DIY Liquid 28.5 mg, 1.23.14 27mg, 2.10.14 26.5mg, 2.25.14 26mg, 6.1.14 27mg 20mg capsule at bedtime, 7mg liquid during day, 8.11.14 19.4mg, 9.3.14 18.9mg
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
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
Lotensin 20mg till I get my BP straightened out
7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol
54 years old

#21 Meimeiquest

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

OK, I'm thinking "scale" for the Wellbutrin, and later for the oxazepam. I just don't feel totally comfortable with the info I could find on their solubility, and I don't want to screw up. Meimeiquest
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, 1.17.14 DIY Liquid 28.5 mg, 1.23.14 27mg, 2.10.14 26.5mg, 2.25.14 26mg, 6.1.14 27mg 20mg capsule at bedtime, 7mg liquid during day, 8.11.14 19.4mg, 9.3.14 18.9mg
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
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
Lotensin 20mg till I get my BP straightened out
7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol
54 years old

#22 Altostrata

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

Starting 2/15, I am taking 100 mg SR (whole pill) in the morning, and 75 mg SR (cut pill) in the early afternoon. The first cut was from 300 mg XL to 200 mg SR once a day, started that 1/18, did recover completely between. First WD symptoms this round were yesterday 2/19. I was dizzy and "waterlogged brain" 2 hrs. before 12 pm dose today, and now at almost 1:30 p.m. it's starting to come back. Thanks, Meimeiquest

That does sound like a reaction to the decrease in dosage. Did these symptoms last for only a few hours?

I added this to the first post in this topic:

As immediate-release tablets come in the smallest dosage of 75mg, which can be quartered into pieces of 18.75mg, you might want to convert part of your daily dose to IR tablets.

This will enable you to taper by 18.75mg at a time.

You might be able to get by with taking the SR tablet in the morning and the IR tablet at night.


Does that give you any other ideas?
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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#23 Altostrata

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:18 PM

Chris777, I moved your post here as your Intro http://survivinganti...off-wellbutrin/
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.

#24 TrishF

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:04 PM

Dear Altostrata,

I have a question about the Wellbutrin that I have been prescribed by my new pdoc to help me with my Pristiq withdrawal.  He told me that the Wellbutrin would help with my fatigue and malaise, which it has.  I am currently taking 150mg XL in the morning.  It has seemed to help, especially with enabling me to be able to work, which I have to do since I am completely alone here and have no support system (which I tried to explain in my intro).  I also was not aware until researching here it was a smoking cessation drug as well...I had been smoking about a half a pack of ciggarettes a day, because I was so anxious, and after almost 4 weeks on the Wellbutrin I have lost almost all desire for smoking. That said, I really want to get to the point of no meds at all.  How long can I stay on this med without having to go through a prolonged withdrawal from it as well?  I am just starting to be able to actually function again after 3 months off the Pristiq, and I am terrified of going back into that black hole of despair again.  I feel like the Pristiq had cost me a year off my life, and I don't want to lose anymore.  Thank you!!


Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 


#25 Rhi

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:31 AM

Hi Trish--

 

I'm not Alto, but I'll tell you what I think anyway. :-)

 

If you've just been taking Wellbutrin for four weeks after a CT of Pristiq and a hellish withdrawal, I would highly recommend giving yourself a few more months of stability before beginning your next taper. I see that besides the Pristiq experience you have been on and off many drugs in the past. In my experience, both of these indicate a high risk for more difficult tapers in the future. 

 

I doubt that waiting a while would make your taper off the Wellbutrin harder than it would be if you did it now. Regardless of when you do it, you need to do a slow taper; I would start at 5% cuts at the most, then wait three weeks between, and see how your symptoms play out; then and only then gradually you can speed it up to the level that you can tolerate without worsening withdrawal.

 

If Wellbutrin was the only AD or psych med you had ever taken and you weren't still recovering from a CT of Pristiq, then yes, I would recommend starting soon. But given your history I think the risk of starting too soon is worse than the risk of waiting a while, especially since the Wellbutrin seems to have helped with your Pristiq wd.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, due to side effects and attempted withdrawal. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease" as I was told. Long and tragic story...lost everything.

Now tapering, healthier and more functional than I ever was during the years on the "meds" and getting gradually better all the time. On an extremely slow multidrug taper, as below.

 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  March 2010 added 2 mg Valium in (failed) attempt to cross over from Xanax.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 14 2011:   86 mg Neurontin   144 Lamictal,    5.5 Celexa   0.42 Xanax      1.9 mg Valium

Feb 16 2012:   10 mg Neurontin   115 Lamictal     3.7 Celexa   0.285 Xanax     2.0 Valium

Feb 22 2013:   86 Lamictal    2.05 Celexa    0.23 Xanax     1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa      0.135 Xanax   1.8 Valium

Now:                55                  0.94                0.118              1.64


#26 Meimeiquest

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:13 AM

Hi Trisha...I would agree with Rhi (not that it is needed, she has way more experience). Any taper will go better when you start from a place of stability. I am finishing up a Wellbutrin taper. From what I've read, many people are able to step off at fairly high doses, so it apparently is not as hard as some ADs. I would just concentrate on getting well now, and not dread the Wellbutrin. Good luck! Meimei
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, 1.17.14 DIY Liquid 28.5 mg, 1.23.14 27mg, 2.10.14 26.5mg, 2.25.14 26mg, 6.1.14 27mg 20mg capsule at bedtime, 7mg liquid during day, 8.11.14 19.4mg, 9.3.14 18.9mg
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
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
Lotensin 20mg till I get my BP straightened out
7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol
54 years old

#27 TrishF

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:04 PM

Thank you so much for the encouragement, and just for listening.  That means so much to me right now, I feel so alone in all of this and you all are truly a Godsend. I suppose I will just stay with what seems to be working for now. I am so thankful for this forum!


Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 


#28 cellogirl44

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 03:29 AM

I am currently taking Bupropion HCL, 75 mg and want to taper off, I have been on for 6 yrs. I'm not even sure wether this is time release or not or how to go about it. So one question is, is it time release? Then how do I do it, can I cut it? I sometimes take it only 6 or 5 days a week and was going to do it that way, but once when I got to 5 days, started getting an excess of nasty, self-critical thoughts. Any advice?



#29 Altostrata

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:04 AM

Ask your pharmacist if it is timed-release. Read this topic for tips on how to taper with various types of Wellbutrin.

 

Take your dosage consistently to avoid withdrawal symptoms.


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.

#30 Meimeiquest

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:54 PM

It's immediate release...that is all 75 mg comes in. You can split tablets or make a solution by dissolving in water. It has a short half-life so you don't want to skip days.
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, 1.17.14 DIY Liquid 28.5 mg, 1.23.14 27mg, 2.10.14 26.5mg, 2.25.14 26mg, 6.1.14 27mg 20mg capsule at bedtime, 7mg liquid during day, 8.11.14 19.4mg, 9.3.14 18.9mg
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
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
Lotensin 20mg till I get my BP straightened out
7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol
54 years old

#31 TrishF

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:24 PM

Hello to all of you that have helped me so much.  Some updates...

I was on the Wellbutrin 150 mg for about a month, but it started really agitating my system, making me feel wired and tense all the time.  After advice here I switched to the 75mg immediate release, took that in two does daily for about two weeks, then took a quarter of a pill twice a day for another two weeks, and have now stopped completely for about two weeks.  I feel relief in many ways without being so wired, but I find I feel malaise and generally unwell since. It is better than what I was feeling previously when in the worst of the Pristiq withdrawal, but I just never seem to fell well.  I had a battery of blood tests done just a couple of months ago, when the Pristiq WD was at its worst, to rule out physical problems, and I am so reluctant to go to the Dr. again, just to find out it's all in my head if you know what I mean.  I guess I just want to know if this malaise is part and parcel of this whole withdrawal thing.  Maybe I tapered the Wellbutrin too fast, but since I was on it such a short time, and the agitation was getting so miserable, I really wanted to be done.  I also have been trying not to take the Clonazepam, fearful of having to taper from that as well...I have never taken more than two .5 pills in any 24 hour period, and have never taken them every day.  I actually went three days taking nothing at all, including supplements, to kind of see where I am, but this malingering sense of just being vaguely ill, and easily tired, just doesn't stop.   The other biggest symptom I have right now is feeling in dread, or fear, most of the time.  I do want to say, though, that I am 100 times better than I was, considering all I thought about there for a while was just giving up.  Anyway, just putting this out there.  


Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 


#32 areyouthere

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:41 PM

I had trouble tapering from 300 mg XL to 150 mg XL. I assumed it would be easy but it was not. It took about a month to get used to not having that extra little bump in energy that I think I got from the extra 150 mg XL and even longer to consistently feel like I did in all ways when I was on 300 mg XL.

 

I felt so crapy for those first week ( very very tired) I entertained the thought of going back up to 300 mg but hung on and did not and I am glad that I didn't. I eventually leveled out and can't tell the difference anymore. 

 

Hope this helps a little anyway. 


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone
1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.
b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]
2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax
November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b
Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax
My mantra " go slow & with the flow "
3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13  3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms. 

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.


#33 findingme

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 04:40 PM

I'm currently taking buproprion 150 XL (as well as generic Lexapro 20mg). and although I was originally going to start weaning off the Lexapro first ... that seems more complicated than the buproprion wean. However,I want to be sure that I'm understanding this correctly. Are you saying that at first I should switch from the buproprion 150XL to to a 75SR taken twice a day ... and then cut those pills in quarters so that I can take 3/4 of each pill 2x a day for 2 weeks and then reduce again etc ?

#34 Altostrata

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:09 AM

That would be one way of doing it.


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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#35 findingme

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:17 AM

Hi Altostrada, Your response sounded a bit lukewarm. Am I misreading, or do you recommend a different taper? Thanks so much for your input .

#36 Altostrata

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:30 AM

Please read post #1. You can mix and match different dosages of Wellbutrin. If you cut up any type of Wellbutrin tablet, it becomes immediate-release Wellbutrin.


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.