Wellbutrin and constipation: has anything worked for you?
October 5, 2017 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Wellbutrin and constipation: has anything worked for you?

I'm taking 75mg of Wellbutrin/day for reactive depression. It's been amazing for my mental state but is causing fairly severe constipation that is really hard to live with. So far I've tried:

* regular magnesium supplements (no noticeable effect)
* regular fiber gummy supplements (no noticeable effect)
* 50 mg colace/day (maybe a very small effect)
* over the counter Dulcolax tablets (this works but gives me awful stomach cramps, I can't take it long-term on a regular basis, and seems to cause dramatic water retention which I would really like to avoid)
* Today I switched to Wellbutrin XR to see if that has any kind of positive effect

I am communicating regularly with my doctor about this but would really love to hear about anything has worked for you. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know this is an anonymous question but it would help to know how long the asker has been on the medication.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 1:54 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

When I was on post-surgical opiates, Colace was what did the trick for me. It's a pretty safe medication for long-term use, AFAICT, so you should try to go back to it and maybe up your dosage.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:02 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

Miralax is what doctors have recommended for similar issues in my family. Can be taken daily, does not create dependence, works pretty well.
posted by jeoc at 2:02 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]

Oh, and on top of anything else you should drink way more water than you think you need.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:04 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]

I can't recommend Konsyl highly enough. it is currently undergoing rebranding, so it's not available, but Metamucil is almost as good.

I use a tablespoon in a cup that's half water/half vitamin water (to give it some flavor). Drink it down fast. Metamucil not as much, but Konsyl will turn to glue if you don't drink it quickly.

The thing about these is that they comprise both psyllium husk and psyllium seed, so both soluble and insoluble fiber. You need both. Insoluble fiber makes your stool softer; soluble fiber makes it formed, rather than loose. It is completely healthy. Take it after your dinner and you will have a lovely bowel movement the next morning. And do it every night.

I'm speaking from the experience of ulcerative colitis, which sucks big time. But Konsyl is the thing that made all the difference for me when I was recovering from surgery, too.

When my butt doctor first told me to use it, I said, but I already take like 12 psyllium husk caps a day! He said, this is better.

He was right. So really do the thing with mixing the stuff into the water. Don't rely on capsules or gummy bears. Get you some Metamucil and start taking it tonight.
posted by janey47 at 2:09 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]

Seconding tobascodagama on higher dosage and persistence. Colace 100mg is what I've used for this. My recollection is that it has a sort of cumulative effect when you start on it -- it's not like a laxative where you take one dose and A Sudden Sequence Of Dramatic Events occurs in your digestive tract, it's more like you keep taking it over the course of a few days and gradually things improve.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:09 PM on October 5

And yes, a tablespoon, even though the container says 1 to 2 teaspoons.
posted by janey47 at 2:09 PM on October 5

If you have good insurance (and get the prescription discount card) Linzess will fix you right up if all the OTC things won't work.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:31 PM on October 5

Do you eat any vegetables? Try eating a few carrots a day, just wash them off and eat them.
posted by gregr at 2:31 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

Vitamin C and lettuce have both been things that loosen stools for me. YMMV obviously but these are both generally low-stakes.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:07 PM on October 5

Nothing increasing the colace. I often recommend that patients take up to 100mg up to three times a day, so if you feel like it's working a little, then definitely go up!
posted by eglenner at 10:45 PM on October 5

PRUNES PRUNES PRUNES. Just eat 3 a day and nature will take care of the rest.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 6:34 AM on October 6

How long have you been taking it? I've been on buproprion (generic Wellbutrin) for about a year, and the constipation went away after the first few weeks, for me. But it was excruciating while it lasted. Metamucil and eating lots of fruit are what seemed to help the most.
posted by iximox at 9:29 AM on October 6

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