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Two Weeks In And Still Having Major Anxiety


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#1 In_Remission_Anneimal32

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 11:28 AM

My doctor prescribed 300mg of Bupropion SR for my seasonal affective disorder.

He didn't have me do any sort of ramp up, just started me on the 300mg. I was a complete basket case, so I was told it was okay to just do 150mg until I got adjusted. A couple of days ago I started taking the full 300mg (150mg in the am and one in the pm). I feel way worse on this medicine than I did before I started. The ups and downs during the day are terrible. I'm constantly anxious. I've majorly wigged out like 5 times (my poor boyfriend - what a saint he is!). Just when I think I'm starting to do okay, I feel completely apathetic about everything. I feel like my emotions are really muted - I don't want to be depressed all winter, but I also don't want my normal enthusiasm and perkiness to be shut down either. A lot of times I feel like I'm just out of it - like I'm watching my life happen to me. And then, to top it all off - I backed my car into my parents house while pulling out of their driveway!! I guess that is why they put that "do not operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you" warning on this stuff.

Is this all normal? I just want to feel like myself again. At this point, I don't know what is worse - the SAD or the med side effects.

I was on some form of Wellbutrin last winter as well, but I don't remember if I had XL or SR or if it was generic, but it seemed to work well. This year is a completely different experience and I don't know if I should continue with it for another couple of weeks, or just give up and finally give a light box a try.

Thanks for any input and Happy New Year to everyone!



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#2 Anna

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:02 PM

Well, some generic SR formulations are highly uneven in their effects, so if you're on the generic now, it might be worth trying the brand to see if it helps.

That being said, some people plain get anxious on WB, and for those folks, it's best to move on to something else. Is this the only AD you've tried for SAD? You may do better on something else.

I think everyone with the SAD dx really should try a light box first, if they can afford it, for the simple reason that if it works, over the long haul it's going to be cheaper, and you mimimize the risk of most side effects.

Anna
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#3 daisie

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 06:10 PM

Light therapy is really good stuff. I don't have a light box, but in the years where my agoraphobia would let me sit in a sunny room or even outside, my winters were much, much easier.

Wellbutrin wasn't what my pdoc ever reached for first for SAD, but it did help kick my mood up a notch when I started it last February, which is always my worst month.

My pdoc and pharmacist said the exact same thing that Anna said about the generic SR. It's apparently something to do with sustaining the release just right over 24 hours.
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Current psych meds:
Wellbutrin XL 300mg

Meds of days gone by:
Seroquel (I refuse to get fat again), Geodon, Saphris, every one of the benzos (my body hates them all), most of the SSRI's and tricyclics, Dexedrine, and I have lots of experience with the anticonvulsants (husband has a brain injury).
As of September 2013, I have gone off of my antipsychotic, Latuda, because I just can't freaking afford $1000 a month. I also said goodbye to Celexa, and I'm also off of my Topamax. Also off my Adderall, the lack thereof which is giving me huge impulse control issues leading me to overdose and end up in repeated comas. No fun at all.

What makes me crazy:
Schizoaffective: bipolar, rapid cycler, treatment resistant depression, and my schizo psychosis will knock your socks off. Or eat them. Or take them out to lunch. Asperger's, ADHD, Panic Disorder w/ Agoraphobia, OCD, and seasonal affective disorder. And my biggie is borderline, which supercedes them all.


"They say I'm crazy, but I have a good time."
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#4 In_Remission_Anneimal32

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:59 AM

Thank you for the responses! I am now three weeks in and everything is still pretty much a roller coaster. One hour I'm fine, the next hour I feel like I'm stoned, anxiety ebbs and flows depending on how long it has been since the last xanax.

The funny thing is that when I started this, my winter depression was just starting to creep up and not even that bad, and I thought I was doing something good for myself by taking action early. I feel like this drug set me three giant steps back. The anxiety is just too much to take. I am constantly over analyzing every feeling I have and start cycles of thoughts I can't shut off that I never would have had three weeks ago and tightness in my chest. I would think if this side effect was going to go away, it would have subsided or at least significantly reduced after three weeks, right?

I ordered a light box last night and am calling the Dr. today to find out how to wean off of this stuff. Thank you very much for the input. Reading about everyone's experiences helped me to convince myself I was not crazy!

#5 creepy

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 07:49 AM

Ive tried a bunch of generics in the SR and XL versions. Have also tried the name brand. The SR is good for about 8 hours or so, but it didnt get me through a day Id need to take it 2x a day. The XL is good for 12 hours or so.
Taking it at night to cover the whole day didnt seem to do anything for me. In that way, im taking half the max dose all the time. I had better results with the whole amount at once in the morning. I dont think this is one of those drugs that stays in your system for long. sure never felt that way.
Check with your doc on the following, Ive never asked a doc about this I want to make sure no one follows erroneous advice and has a seizure... I think when they say 450mg is the max safe dose, they mean in your system at one time. So technically you could take 400mg of the SR every 8 or 10 hours, or 450mg xl in the morning and at night.
Wellbutrin can provoke agitation, irritability and angry outbursts. If its not helpful you may want to move on to something else.
I have SAD as well and its tough. This winter has been the worst in many years.

Edited by creepy, 08 January 2010 - 08:17 AM.

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#6 Katyusha

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:01 AM

My doctor prescribed 300mg of Bupropion SR for my seasonal affective disorder.

He didn't have me do any sort of ramp up, just started me on the 300mg. I was a complete basket case, so I was told it was okay to just do 150mg until I got adjusted. A couple of days ago I started taking the full 300mg (150mg in the am and one in the pm). I feel way worse on this medicine than I did before I started. The ups and downs during the day are terrible. I'm constantly anxious. I've majorly wigged out like 5 times (my poor boyfriend - what a saint he is!). Just when I think I'm starting to do okay, I feel completely apathetic about everything. I feel like my emotions are really muted - I don't want to be depressed all winter, but I also don't want my normal enthusiasm and perkiness to be shut down either. A lot of times I feel like I'm just out of it - like I'm watching my life happen to me. And then, to top it all off - I backed my car into my parents house while pulling out of their driveway!! I guess that is why they put that "do not operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you" warning on this stuff.

Is this all normal? I just want to feel like myself again. At this point, I don't know what is worse - the SAD or the med side effects.

I was on some form of Wellbutrin last winter as well, but I don't remember if I had XL or SR or if it was generic, but it seemed to work well. This year is a completely different experience and I don't know if I should continue with it for another couple of weeks, or just give up and finally give a light box a try.

Thanks for any input and Happy New Year to everyone!

That's a pretty high dose to start with, and Wellbutrin can definitely be anxiety-inducing for some people, especially when taken alone.

I took 150mg Wellbutrin XL and 40mg of Prozac for years, and it helped keep away the winter blues as well. But Wellbutrin alone felt very unbalanced to me. I think the anxiolytic effects of the SSRIs help balance out the norepinephrine effect of Wellby for many people, hence they're a popular combination.
But polypharmacy might not be the way to go just yet.

See if a lower dose works, perhaps have your doctor write for brand name (the generic release formulations can be really uneven, as was noted already), and try the lightbox every morning. With some discipline, I've found the lightbox really does help in a subtle way.
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#7 creepy

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:20 AM

Ive been taking celexa / lexapro for ages and took it along with wellbutrin. At 300mg and higher the anxiety was pretty bad. I was self-conscious when someone was behind me, paranoid about driving and had a lot of tension in my neck especially around others.
On the flip side of that, I had a much healthier and active life at that point, versus these days after trying to drug my rage attacks into submission =(
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#8 In_Remission_Anneimal32

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:49 AM

**update**

After three weeks of major anxiety, I decided to ask the doctor if I could get off of the bupropion. I requested a vitamin D deficiency test (which did come back positive for deficiency) and started light box treatment a week and a half ago. The doctor said to come off it by taking a dose every other day for the next 12 days - a total of six doses. I skipped the last two and only did 4 doses over 8 days. I have been completely off of the bupropion for 12 days now and am still feeling pretty anxious. Does anyone else have any experiences like this? Is it possible I didn't come off slow enough? If you had withdrawal symptoms, how long did they last? Is it possible this is still in my system? I know I was only on it for 3 weeks, and at the 150mg dose for half of it - but it such a number on my head so quickly. Is it possible the anxiety side effect put me into a cycle of anxious thinking that I can't break now? (I know this isn't a therapy session - will see my counselor about this in a few days, but would love to hear anyone elses' experience) I can't tell if the alternate therapy for the SAD is even working because the anxiety is driving me crazy. This has been one of the longest months of my life and I wish I had never started this drug!

Edited by Anneimal32, 23 January 2010 - 08:50 AM.


#9 Anna

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 10:07 AM

WB doesn't tend to have much of a withdrawal effect. When I stop taking it, I don't even taper. It may take a few weeks to recover from the anxiety after you stop though. Also, it's possible that the anxiety is unrelated to the WB at all, in which case stopping it won't fix the problem.

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#10 panic!

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 06:40 PM

I'm still going strong on bupropion myself - 300mg of XL so I can't speak to withdrawal symptoms.

however, according to this site:

So Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) itself has a half-life of 12-30 hours, and each of its metabolites have half-lives of 15-25, 23-43 and 24-50 hours. But wait, there's more! Another metabolite floats around after all that! However that last one is still an unknown factor. You piss it out, but does it do anything? Who knows?


here's the link it's halfway down the page.

so it's not terribly likely there's residual wb causing anxiety...

Also, it's possible that the anxiety is unrelated to the WB at all, in which case stopping it won't fix the problem.

+1

best wishes,
panic!
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#11 shiny

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 07:25 PM

Did you go directly from the Wellbutrin to the light box? Both of those things gave me horrible anxiety, you may have just switched one source for another.

I went off it cold turkey after a particularly nasty panic attack, no withdrawal, anxiety subsided within days.

Have you been on any other meds in the past? How did you react to those?

Edited by shiny, 25 January 2010 - 07:26 PM.

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Stuff I've taken (that I can remember): Trazodone (good), Amitriptyline (3 days asleep), Risperdal (instant relief), Lamictal (great), Wellbutrin (mania + panic attacks), Zoloft (good sometimes), Paxil (good but fat), Prozac (hospitalized 10 days), Ambien (awesome), Pamelor (did nothing)

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

#12 In_Remission_jess1662

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:01 AM

I started Wellbutrin XL about 6 months ago, and had similar symptoms as you (erratic moods, extreme crankiness). It did last about a month while my body got used to it, but those symptoms are all gone now. I know you said that you have decided to go off of it, I just wanted to let you know, just in case your doctor decided it was the best thing for you.

#13 KarenRB53

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 08:46 AM

I started Wellbutrin XL about 6 months ago, and had similar symptoms as you (erratic moods, extreme crankiness). It did last about a month while my body got used to it, but those symptoms are all gone now. I know you said that you have decided to go off of it, I just wanted to let you know, just in case your doctor decided it was the best thing for you.



Did you start at 150mg Wellbutrin XL and are you still taking the same dosage? I just started the Wellbutrin XL 10 days ago w/Celexa and I did expect side effects but the heaviness in my chest and feeling like I can't get enough air are bothering me and I don't know if thats a common side effect. Thanks for any suggestions.
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