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matilda

Experience with Wellbutrin?

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HI all --

I'm 5 months off of Adderall, thank goodness, but I'm facing a dilemma I'm wondering if anyone has experience with. I still have a prescription for Wellbutrin, and I know some people have used it when phasing off of Adderall. My worry is that it's too similar to Adderall -- being something of a stimulant, too -- and that it'll set me right back to square one if I go on it. I've been struggling with a bout of depression lately which I think might be largely physical, exhaustion from being overstimulated for so long, and I don't want to let it go on and on if I don't have to, but I'm scared to have to reset the withdrawal clock.

Any experience with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

M

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I have no experience with wellbutrin or any other antidepressant drug but I do have an opinion, for what it's worth. You have invested the last five months kicking the influence of a heavy and addictive pharmaceutical - adderall. So have I. I have become increasingly anti-pharma for anything that is not a dire health situation. At some point, we all will need to take an antibiotic, blood pressure pill or something like that. But not the psyche drugs. There are other ways to combat depression, and until you have exhausted all the nutritional, lifestyle, and psychotherapy options which can combat depression you really don't need to go hide behind another pill just yet. Got a regular excercise program? Are you eating a healthy well balanced diet which minimizes processed foods? Tried fish oil or omega 3 supplements? How about the amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine? Vitamin D? Got a hobby?

This is the time of the year when seasonal depression can affect almost everybody at some level. I think it is as simple as lack of light - the days are short and it is more cloudy in the winter time. Bright indoor lighting that features blue hues can really boost the mood.

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Thanks, quit-once. I appreciate your opinion here for sure. I agree about the not-hiding philosophy, too -- I don't like feeling like I don't trust myself (and life in general, the divine, etc.) enough to just be who I am, unadulterated. I don't even like (occasional and minimal use of) alcohol much these days, either. And I do have L-Tyrosine supplements. Definitely worth a think in that regard.

I also don't like thinking about drugs alternating my brain chemistry -- I don't think big pharma companies are overly motivated, let's say, to be up-front about those potential effects, and I'm already worried about possible damage done by Adderall.

So the answer here seems to be either minimal use if it gets bad (and my depression can, and I"m trying to finish a dissertation, which is why I'm having this dilemma currently) or none at all.

M

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Hey Matilda,

I was on and off Wellbutrin for years while simultaneously abusing adderall and ritalin. I definitely understand the concern.

Ultimately, I think it's okay to be on some kind of anti-depressent after quitting adderall. i can say that because I was on Effexor ever since I quit adderall and it didn't have any negative impact on me during my 13 months off adderall. I've even gone up on my Effexor dosage.

From what I understand, effexor and wellbutrin are similar in how they act on the brain. And the effexor didn't in anyway trigger a desire for more adderall.

So I think it should be okay to be on Wellbutrin. I doubt that wellbutrin would reset your addiction. I think that would only happen with another stimulant like ritalin, dexedrine, concerta, vyvanese even, maybe strattera. Anyway, those are my two cents!

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HI all --

I'm 5 months off of Adderall, thank goodness, but I'm facing a dilemma I'm wondering if anyone has experience with. I still have a prescription for Wellbutrin, and I know some people have used it when phasing off of Adderall. My worry is that it's too similar to Adderall -- being something of a stimulant, too -- and that it'll set me right back to square one if I go on it. I've been struggling with a bout of depression lately which I think might be largely physical, exhaustion from being overstimulated for so long, and I don't want to let it go on and on if I don't have to, but I'm scared to have to reset the withdrawal clock.

Any experience with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

M

Hey, i've been off adderall for 3 months..I want to get on Wellbutrin so bad because it is similar to adderall in its effect on dopamine. But my doctor is refusing to put me on it at this time. I feel like a fish out of water without adderall, i was on it for 15 years daily. I think i am just searching for anything to hang on to, while I learn to "swim" drug free.

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I have major concerns about Wellbutrin. After six months Adderall-free I was still struggling with fatigue, depression and trouble concentrating. Partially in response to what I'd read on this board, I asked my psychiatrist if I could try it. It was unsettlingly close to Adderall, Provigil and other speed-like substances I'd been prescribed in the past. For the first few days I felt like my problems had been solved. That began to fade fast after the first week -- and the best I could say was that I felt more energetic, but also more agitated in an unwholesome way. Finally my heart began racing, and I took my blood pressure at the local pharmacy machine -- 145/100, way too high. So I took myself off it. I still struggle, but I'm convinced I did the right thing.

I don't know much about pharmacology -- but Wellbutrin's generic name is buproprion, which is uncomfortably close to diethylproprion. That's a weight loss drug sold as Tenuate, which is a stimulant and has long been acknowledged to be addictive. Tenuate is mentioned in many accounts of the "diet pill" epidemic of the 60's and 70's ... and I have read some Internet posts (of unknown reliability) that claim buproprion is just a derivative of diethylproprion. I know that Wellbutrin is often prescribed off-label as a weight loss aid. It is labeled an "antidepressant" but is chemically very different from most other "antidepressants." After all, some of us were initially given Adderall as an "antidepressant."

Anyone know any more about this topic? For now, I am sticking with strong coffee and AA meetings.

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I took Wellbutrin for a year before I got my hands on an Adderall prescription, and would take leftover pills when I was between Adderall prescriptions (i.e. ran out early). It increased my energy and focus, but it also made me anxious and it gave me horrible hangovers if I drank any alcohol on it. Even if I just drank a couple beers, I would have a terrible headache the next day. When I looked up this side effect I saw that Wellbutrin is hard on the liver, so that makes sense.

If taking Wellbutrin is the only way you can stay off Adderall than go ahead and take it. It's not addictive. It doesn't feel like Adderall. You don't have to wean off of it like other antidepressants. But I'm with quit-once: why go from one pill to another and reinforce the idea that you have a 'disease' that can only be 'cured' with medication?

Here's some food for thought, from the book "Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart" by Dr. Gordon Livingston, a rare anti-pharma psychiatrist:

"In our efforts to be commpassionate and helpful to those suffering from anxiety to depression and to destigmatize these conditions, we have equated them to physical illness requiring medication. It is true that the current crop of anti-depressants has proven remarkably effective. The downside to the medical approach is that illness in this society is a responsibility relieving state" (p.30).

"A common example of a diagnostic fad is adult ADD. Disorganized, daydreaming procrastinators now have a medical explanation for their inattention AND an effective treatment: stimulant drugs. People uniformly report that their spirits are better and that they get more done when taking an amphetamine. To which I can only reply, 'Me too.' The point is, in an effort to destigmatize genuine mental illnes (severe depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder), we have created a plethora of diagnoses that are really just descriptions of certain patterns of behavior. That some of these appear to respond to one sort of psychotropic drug or another just confirms our belief that they are 'diseases' (p.33)"

Here is one more insightful quote from the book. This is what Dr. Livingston tells his patients who come to him seeking medication:

"The good news is that we have effective treatments for the symptoms of depression; the bad news is that medication will not make you happy. Happiness is not simply the absense of despair. It is an affirmative state in which our lives have both meaning and pleasure (p. 7)"

Preach on brother, I say.

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I found wellbutrin made me a horrible agitated mess. This was pre-adderall. I am planning on asking my dr for something fatigue wise as I was already seeing a neuro for fatigue and numbness. Joanne, I heard about nuvigil and thought maybe that would help me stay awake. But you feel like provigil is too close to adderall?

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HI all --

I'm 5 months off of Adderall, thank goodness, but I'm facing a dilemma I'm wondering if anyone has experience with. I still have a prescription for Wellbutrin, and I know some people have used it when phasing off of Adderall. My worry is that it's too similar to Adderall -- being something of a stimulant, too -- and that it'll set me right back to square one if I go on it. I've been struggling with a bout of depression lately which I think might be largely physical, exhaustion from being overstimulated for so long, and I don't want to let it go on and on if I don't have to, but I'm scared to have to reset the withdrawal clock.

Any experience with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

M

Hey,

I took Wellbutrine before, it is really nothing like Adderall. It is so milde and never stimulated me much. But I was also on a cocktail of meds at the time:: Lexapro, wellbutrine, xanex, ambien, Adderall,and some other antidepressant/antipsychotic i forgot the name,but i dropped it fast..

Basically,I asked my doc for wellbutrine hopeing it would work as a stimulant and I could stay awake in times when I ran out of my prescription of adderall sooner than I should have, but it didn't really work like that. Lexapro and wellbutrine both helped with my depression, but you know what? i stopped taking them after a year or so because I felt like a total vegetable emotionally.

So with and SSRI drug (wellbutrine), my advice, is Do not even start takin it! It's really hard to quit and I had terrible headaches when I was weaning off of those drugs, I mean unless you really really need it for depression don't get on those meds. I hate all these pscyh meds now.

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Dear "checkinout" -- I was prescribed Provigil for awhile as an alternative to Adderall. It was prescribed for the same reasons: fatigue and depression. Oh boy. To say it made me a "horrible agitated mess" is an understatement. It's as near as I've come in many, many years to truly feeling I was losing my mind.

I am not against all psych drugs in all circumstances ... but my experience has been to stay away from any drug prescribed for general "fatigue". First, try giving it some time and applying sensible things like healthy diet, exercise, regular sleep schedule, getting through any crisis like breakup, unemployment, death of a loved one. If that doesn't work, try to find a doctor who can help you find any underlying medical reason for the fatigue.

Docs are getting more & more friendly to the idea of prescribing stimulants for generalized "fatigue, but it's a scary trend in my humble opinion. Some docs are using Provigil and Nuvigil to counteract the "fatigue" of patients taking large amounts of opoid painkillers or antipsychotic drugs. Really scary.

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Reminds me of a conversation I had with a nurse in the nursing home where my mother was dying. We were discussing drugs and their side effects, and she said "there's a drug...for every drug." How many times have you seen two or three new drugs prescribed just to counteract the side effects of the first drug? I think it is bad medicine and bad pharma, but really good for the business of doctors and drug companies.

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