I want to withdrawal from wellbutrin
February 1, 2012 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Can you tell me your Wellbutrin Withdrawal Stories

I am attempting to withdrawal from Wellbutrin XL. I am currently on a dose of 300 mg a day, but will be taking a lower dose of 150 mg a day soon. I have been taking 300 mg once a day for 10 months now. What can I expect from cutting my dose in half? What are your stories? So far on the internet all I see are horror stories, but I think that's because "what bleeds is what reads." I am very nervous about cutting my medication, but I don't want to depend on meds for the rest of my life to be happy.
posted by BettyBurnheart to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You're doing this with your doctor's input, right?

This is, obviously, completely anecdotal, and IANYD, IANAD:

I was on 300 mg/day of Wellbutrin for about 8 years, and stopped cold turkey 4 months ago. I personally experienced zero side effects, I didn't even notice I had stopped.

This is not medical advice, please consult your doctor.
posted by tristeza at 7:17 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I experienced no side effects from stopping, but I was only on 150XLs for about 6 months. You may very well be worrying about nothing as long as you wean responsibly. Ideally you should be cutting it out under doctor supervision, but I didn't. I simply took a few alternating days on and off before I finally stopped taking it altogether.

This was not my experience with the citalopram I tried for 3 months. Brain zaps, fatigue and headaches there.
posted by sunshinesky at 7:18 PM on February 1, 2012

I didn't notice any withdrawal side effects either and I've gone off it twice (both times because it made my hair fall out in clumps - a bummer because that stuff worked awesomely for me otherwise). I was also on 300mg.
posted by cecic at 7:21 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was on 300mg of Wellbutrin XL for a few months and stopped cold turkey. No side effects.
posted by sm1tten at 7:24 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Same, I stepped down with no withdrawal symptoms twice after having been on it 6-12 months at a time, one of which was at 450. But as tristeza says, your mileage may vary and please consult a doctor before changing or stopping your medication.
posted by echo0720 at 7:25 PM on February 1, 2012

Posted too soon:

Previously, possibly helpful.;
posted by sm1tten at 7:25 PM on February 1, 2012

Yep no side effects for me either, other than my hair stopped falling out. However, tristeza is right, you shouldn't be doing this without a doctor's supervision.
posted by patheral at 7:31 PM on February 1, 2012

Response by poster: Yes, my doctor gave me permission to cut my medication. For the most part the medication works great, but occasionally I get headaches, anxiety, overly violent thoughts (that I never used to have), and difficulty sleeping. After I told him these side effects, he said okay to the lower dose.
posted by BettyBurnheart at 7:34 PM on February 1, 2012

I had zero side effects stopping cold turkey.
posted by birdherder at 7:36 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I stopped taking Wellbutrin XL (without consulting anyone) in mid-March last year after about a year on 150mg a day. I stopped because I didn't think it was doing anything. Initially it made me feel fantastic, but after about six months it seemed to lose effectiveness, so that by the one year mark it seemed totally useless. I was feeling depressed and didn't see the point in taking it and thought I'd quit it and try something else.

I spent the next three months in a severe depression and suicidal. I tried two other anti-depressants, both of which made me gain weight (15% of my body weight in 6 weeks) and had me sleeping 16+ hours a day. Eventually I went back on Wellbutrin XL, ramping up to 300mg over the course of 8 months or so. I feel much better.

(Looking back, it's obvious the Wellbutrin was, in fact, doing something, and that probably I should have upped the dosage rather than dropping it.)
posted by looli at 7:38 PM on February 1, 2012

Response by poster: Oh shoot, I didn't realize that this thread already existed. I looked for threads like this one before I posted, and forever reason couldn't find one. Oh well, I guess I have even more information now!
posted by BettyBurnheart at 7:38 PM on February 1, 2012

I too went off Wellbutrin XL with no side effects at all.
posted by gjc at 7:46 PM on February 1, 2012

When I miss a dose or lower my dose, I get ABSOLUTELY THE WORST CRAVING FOR CIGARETTES, which is I guess not surprising because they also prescribe the stuff as a quit-smoking aid.

Oh, and also, if I quit taking it for long enough, the depression comes creeping insidiously back. Which isn't technically a withrdawal symptom, I guess, but it's definitely relevant to the "Should I lower my dose?" question. Keep an eye on shit and make sure the lower dose is still doing its job.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:00 PM on February 1, 2012

Response by poster: I get depressed every now and then anyways, even though I'm on Wellbutrin. So I might as well try to wean off of this stuff and solve my depression other ways - even if it does make a monstrous come back.

Thanks for the warning though.
posted by BettyBurnheart at 9:15 PM on February 1, 2012

I was on Wellbutrin to quit smoking about 10 years ago. I weaned off it and noticed nothing.
posted by Miko at 9:22 PM on February 1, 2012

I quit taking Wellbutrin 150 mg a few weeks ago. It may be too early to tell, but I seem to be doing fine. I slept like a rock the first week after quitting it, and was very blah and cry-ey, but so far I'm not *hideously* depressed. The headaches and insomnia while on Wellbutrin just weren't working for me.
posted by indognito at 4:39 AM on February 2, 2012

Wellbutrin has the least withdrawal effects of just about every anti-depressant on the market. It's also got some of the least severe side effects. It's pretty awesome, I gotta say. From smoking cessation to its efficacy in treating ADHD, it's a pretty damn fine medication.

However, in some cases there's what I guess are called paradoxical reactions. These happen a lot in anti-depressants from what I've read. Wellbutrin's paradoxical reaction for most people is exactly what you described. A very good friend of mine had the same problems. Weird stuff.

Good luck, though! Don't worry so much about withdrawal effects. They're minor, at worst.
posted by Modica at 7:24 AM on February 2, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! You've really made me feel better! All the stuff I was reading on the internet sounded like a complete horror story: hallucinations, endless headaches, blurry vision, fatigue. This was stuff published on the main, health websites about withdraw experiences from Wellbutrin, but I think these sites purposely publish the worst of the worst because they want to scare people into staying on the drug.

I'm on day two of half my medication, so I guess I have a few more weeks to see how bad withdraw truly is. I'm not worried though, sounds like it won't be too bad.
posted by BettyBurnheart at 12:42 PM on February 3, 2012

I've found (with my doctor's supervision) 150 mg of WB SR + enough fish oil to equal 4 g EPA+DHA to be far more effective (with fewer side effects) than 300 mg of WB SR alone. YMMV, IANAD, etc.

Also, I've found supplementing iron (I use Floradix) and vitamin D to be immensely helpful. Again, YMMV, IANAD, blah blah.
posted by Lexica at 7:22 PM on February 4, 2012

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