(Closed) Anyone heard of Wellbutrin? Side effects?

posted 8 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
555 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I have a relative who is a therapist who SWEARS by wellbutrin for smoking cessation and have known several people who quit smoking with wellbutrin. Everything I’ve heard about wellbutrin as a smoking cessation tool has been REALLY positive. I’ve heard of lots of stories of people who tried EVERYTHING else but nothing worked until finally they tried wellbutrin and presto chango magic. Naturally everyone has different reactions to drugs so there’s never a 100% success rate but from what I’ve heard it’s pretty positive with very little side effects. Now as far as side effects go, are you a person who is usually effected by them? Do you usually get all the symptoms described when you take something or not? You can usually gauge it that way (at least that’s how it works for me). In all honesty I have not yet tried wellbutrin BUT I have been on other anti-depressants. Just to give you a little background I am actually not on them for depression but for PMDD it’s a severe form of PMS. I only take my medication for a brief time each month. As for the side effects I’m actually really really sensitive to any and all side effects but I’ve learned to weigh the results. I get massive migraines (I may have to have surgery for them) the drugs I take make me lose weight (not so bad) and get pretty bad insomnia (really bad) but I’ll take the insomnia any day as long as I don’t have to deal with the migraines so you just have to weigh your options. For me the drugs help so much that the side effects are something I’m willing to deal with because they’re minimal in comparison. Good luck and here’s to your health!!

Post # 4
Member
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I took it for depression for about two years and I had very little side affects. It is not hard to get off of it either (I haven’t needed/wanted meds for four years now!) The only time I ever felt funky on it was when I stopped cold turkey without notifying my doctor instead of tapering down the dosage. I got a little dizzy and spacey but that was only because I was doing it wrong. There are a lot of hardcore antidepressants out there, but Wellbutrin is not one of them. Go for it! It’s $10/month vs. $500/month!!

Post # 5
Member
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Good for you for quitting!  I hope it goes well.  I have heard good things about the patch and the gum.

I am sorry to tell you this, but I tried Wellbutrin last year for depression and it was HORRIBLE.  I felt worse on the drug than before I tried it, which was hard to believe.  I know drugs work differently for different people, but for me it was an absolute joke: horrible cotton mouth (like dry mouth but a million times worse), unable to eat anything at all, nausea, dizziness, weakness (probably from not being able to eat anything).  I lasted five days before I gave up and called my doctor crying because I was so much worse. 

I have talked to people since then who had similar problems and most gave up like me.  However, the ones who stuck with it had positive results but had a hell of a time going off the drug because you basically go through withdrawal.

So my advice to you is do your research first.  It is not a drug to be handled lightly.  I was on the weakest dose possible and it still did a number on me.  If you read about it and still decide to go for it, I hope it works out for you and gives you the help you need to quit!

Post # 6
Member
2237 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

It gave me weird dreams, but having weird dreams isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes it’s amusing, haha.

Post # 7
Member
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@MandaMack: How could I forget the vivid dreams?! Those were pretty cool for the most part. If you’re prone to nightmares you might have a different opinion on the matter of course!

Post # 8
Member
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Be very careful and if you decide to stop taking it, be sure to discuss it with your dr so that they can gradually reduce the amount you’re taking.

I have a co-worker who took it and it caused her a lot of problems, made her extremely irritable, and didn’t help her quit smoking or with depression.

My fiance was prescribed it a couple years ago and it almost destroyed our relationship, lives, everything. He took it and had a sudden change in personality, was angry all of the time, couldnt control his rage at other people, stopped sleeping, stopped eating, had delusions of grandeur, thought God was speaking to him…after a very scary altercation with the police, he was admitted to a mental hospital for 2 weeks, where they pumped him with even more drugs to sedate him until his insurance would not cover anymore…

It took more than a month for all of the prescribed drugs to wear off and he eventually returned to his normal sweet self, but it is by far the worst and hardest experience of either of our lives. Read the warning label on the prescription, and if you decide to take it, make sure you have people watching for these signs. This is just a short explanation, but there are so many horrible things that this drug can cause; I really urge you to consider any and all other options for quitting smoking before you try Welbutrin (especially since both of my examples werent able to quit smoking, but just had the side effects.)

I know that this drug has helped a lot of people (the posts above show that), but consider the risks very carefully. Congrats on deciding it’s time to quit smoking though and good luck!

Post # 10
Member
7053 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I have a friend who went on it and she gained weight.  Not sure why.  I know of a few folks who have gained on antidepressants.

Post # 11
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

My husband works in the pharmaceutical research industry and specifically worked on Wellbutrin. He has reviewed all the scientific studies about its use as a smoking-cessation drug, and it really does work!

Post # 12
Member
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I took Wellbutrin last year for 3 months to help me quit smoking, It did wonders to even out my mood. When I would be all emotional quitting cold turkey, the Wellbutrin really took the edge off. One of the side effects was that I felt a bit dizzy in elevators and on trains and had a loss of appetite.

Post # 13
Member
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@tammyt112: Unfortunately, there are patients who get hit with the worst possible sides affects. Most warning labels of any drug have a troubling list of side affects but only a certain small percentage of people will actually experience them. Certainly take what the previous posters are saying into consideration but don’t be scared away from a solution that could possibly work for you!

Post # 15
Member
2859 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

I took it for depression for about a year. I smoked as well, and it caused me to quit, at least while I was on it. I just didn’t enjoy cigarettes at all while I was taking it.

I didn’t gain weight, if anything, I lost it. I got jittery on it once in a while and I had very vivid, weird dreams the whole time I took it.  Out of all of the antidepressants out there, Wellbutrin is on the very low end for side effects.

Post # 16
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I took Wellbutrin for many years for depression and credit it with my current happiness. I experienced a loss of appetite with it if I took it without having eaten that day, but as long as I took it after breakfast, I didn’t have any side effects. Wellbutrin (real name of the drug is Bupropion) is also marketed under several brand names for several purposes. It is called Wellbutrin when it is prescribed for depression and it is called Zyban when it is prescribed as a stop smoking aid, but it is the same drug on the inside. It’s all a matter of packaging, and for your doctor to prescribe one brand name over the other means nothing.

If you’re curious as to why he would prescribe it, here is how it works: Bupropion’s primary function is to increase the amount of available dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is the pleasure-related neurotransmitter that is implicated in both depression and nicotine addiction. When you are depressed your dopamine levels can be too low, and Wellbutrin/Bupropion helps by increasing the level of dopamine to a normal level. When you smoke cigarettes, the nicotine causes your brain to release dopamine, which is why smoking feels good. When you quit smoking, your brain does not have enough dopamine and so you experience cigarette cravings—because what you are really craving is more dopamine in your brain. Your brain has quit producing enough of its own dopamine and is dependent on the cigarettes for it. A person who is stopping smoking is experiencing the same lack of dopamine in their brain as a depressed person is. That doesn’t mean that you will feel depressed while quitting smoking necessarily, it just means that chemically the conditions are very similar.

Wellbutrin/Bupropion helps with quitting smoking because it supplements the dopamine in your brain that you would normally get as a result of smoking. Gradually you wean down your dosage and your brain resets to a normal level of dopamine production. For some people they can wean down the number of cigarettes they smoke and quit smoking that way. For others, they need to quit  cold turkey but the side effects are too much. In that way, a drug like Wellbutrin allows you to quit the behavior part of the addiction (actually having a cigarette) immediately but to wean yourself slowly off the chemical part of the addiction.

I would at least give the Wellbutrin a shot. Your doctor is more educated on the subject than most anyone on Weddingbee or most anecdotal Internet stuff. If you experience side effects, talk to your doctor about it and decide if it’s worth it to continue, but don’t give up before you’ve even tried it. Wellbutrin may be an antidepressant, but it is also a legitimate stop-smoking drug. Good luck!

 

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