Should I go back on Wellbutrin?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Should I go back on Wellbutrin?
10
Mon, 04-22-2013 - 12:03pm

Hi, I'm new to this board, but not to ivillage.  I have been on the chronic pain board talking about my issues.  I'll try to make this as brief as possible.

~1988:  Got in car accident, messed up back, did lots of exercising, went on to have two more children, living pretty normal life

~2000:  Mother passed away, 4 months later I got mono (I was 37!)  I was bedridden for 3 months, could not get over fatigue.  Prescribed anti-depressants.  Ended up taking Effexor and Wellbutrin

~2002:  Fell and reinjured my back.  Been in chronic pain ever since.  Started taking Arthotec for pain.  Received many injections, tried lots of things, nothing has helped a whole lot with pain.

~2011:  Stopped taking Effexor because of high blood pressure, it helped going off of it, because BP went down

~2012:  Talked to dr. about taking Cymbalta for pain.  (went off of wellbutrin) 30 mg. didn't help much so went on 60 mg.  gained 15 pds. during this process, pain is somewhat less, but the weight gain does not make me happy!!!!!   I would rather be in pain, since it's not helping that much anyway!!

~2013:  Cut back to 30 mg. of Cymbalta because of weight gain.

So, here I am.  I'm on 30 mg. of Cymbalta daily.  Haven't lost any of the weigh I've gained, so I am depressed about that.  I am wondering if I should go back on Wellbutrin.  It seems like I am more emotional being on the Cymbalta.  I think the wellbutrin kept my moods more in check.  We just had our first grandbaby, a girl, and we are elated!  She is perfect!  We don't live far from son and DIL, about 1 hr. and 15 min., but I know I'm not going to get to see her as much as I would like.  Plus, my DIL is kind of difficult sometimes.  She used to take Prozac but couldn't when she found out she was pregnant and can't take it now because she is nursing.  So, you have a new mom who is emotional and a grandma wanting to spend more time with her grandbaby, sometimes not the best combination.  Maybe I need to go on another board and talk about that!   Anyhow, I just don't know if I'm just over emotional lately because of the new grandbaby or if the Cymbalta just isn't working for me.  Since I didn't have the issue with the weight gain on the Wellbutrin and it seemed to do the job as far as keeping me from crying at the drop of a hat, maybe I should go back on it.  WDYT?  I appreciate any input.  Thank you for reading. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2008
Thu, 04-25-2013 - 12:57pm

I would go back on the Wellbutrin asap! If it seemed to work better than the Cymbalta then go back on it and then take things from there.

Good luck

Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Thu, 04-25-2013 - 1:20pm

Ultimately you're the only one who can make the decision, but if it were me, I would be on the Wellbutrin.  For me, it's easier to control my physical health naturally; I need the medication for my head more than I need it for my body.

This is courtesy of drugs.com:

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with DULoxetine. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of DULoxetine, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Now, in my altogether and completely non-medical opinion...Your doctor or pharmacist -- probably the latter -- would know best whether you can be taking them both together, or whether there are alternatives to them that wouldn't interact.  If you haven't tried anything other than Wellbutrin and Effexor, and Cymbalta for pain, there may be something else out there that works.  As an aside, I took Prozac while I was pregnant with and nursing my oldest.  It was prescribed by a reproductive psychiatrist.  I had no problems whatsoever (except that it didn't work for the depression).  It may be that it's safe enough for your DIL to be on it, if she needs it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sat, 04-27-2013 - 11:06am

Yes, I was on the wellbutrin for many years, and it seemed to work fine for me.  It kept my emotions better controlled I think.  I also didn't have the weight gain.  I have ADHD, inattentive type, and I don't think I realized it that much when I was on it, but I think the wellbutrin was helping with that, and it's supposed to.  With the Cymbalta I feel scatter brained and disorganized, can't concentrate.  I talked to my doctor about this and she said I should just be able to stop the Cymbalta and start the wellbutrin the next day.  I don't think so!!!!   I know better than to just stop an anti-depressant even though I'd start taking another one, it still takes a week or two for that one to begin working.  I'm seriously thinking about switching doctors because there have been a number of things she has said that I'm not comfortable with. 

Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Fri, 05-03-2013 - 10:56pm

Welcome to the board!!

I have been on Wellbutrin years ago like you and was also on Effexor.  I have not ever been on Cymbalta.

I do know that some of the medications (not foresure on Cymbalta) but that some medications, anti depressants that is, can be switched.  If I remember correct, I was switched from Effexor to Pristiq, then back to Effexor in a few weeks.  But, don't quote me, I am not a doctor.  But, your psychiatrist may be correct about the switching topic.  But, what is most important is YOU and what YOU are comfortable doing.  Which ever medication seemed to help in the past, may help you again. 

Congrats on the grandbaby!!  I hope you and the new mommy can get the right med for each of you.  Hey, I take Prozac now and it helps me greatly.  Good luck in whatever you decide and please come back and let us know how your doing :)

 

Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Sat, 05-04-2013 - 12:47pm

http://byee.hubpages.com/hub/Weaning-Off-Cymbalta-What-The-Doctors-Dont-Tell-You

http://www.cymbaltawithdrawal.com/

http://www.drugs.com/answers/how-do-i-wean-myself-off-cymbalta-21004.html

It looks like Cymbalta should NOT be stopped cold turkey -- I'd get an opinion from another doctor.  Is there a psychiatrist that you can go to?  A good psych will know what the weaning process should look like and what you can take in the mean time to support yourself as you go off it.  Best of luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 7:05pm

Hi and thank you for your response!  I spoke with a pharmacist and she suggested going every other day on the Cymbalta while I start the wellbutrin.  So I'm going to do that and then go every 3rd day, etc. It seems to be working every other day right now. 

My son and DIL came this weekend with the baby and I got to spend some quality time with her.  It didn't quite go how I would have liked, at first.  DIL was criticizing me, very subtly, but still criticizing things I was doing with the baby.  She hid out in my son's old room with the baby, because she was nursing, but then after she fed her she stayed in there.  They were going to go shopping and when I suggested they leave the baby with me DIL said they were taking her with.  WHY???   Why couldn't grandma spend some time with her??   My son caught me crying and I explained how I was feeling and he said they had decided to leave the baby with me while they went shopping.  If I had already known that I probably wouldn't have started crying.  Is this weird?  Is this normal for me to be upset by this?  I might only get to see her about once a month because they live about an hour and 1/2 away.  I can go there to visit but I don't want to smother them either.  They also have a ton of weddings this summer and won't be home a lot.  I'm hoping to babysit when they go to some of the weddings.  Anyhow, I did apologize to him today.  He understands about the whole anti-depressant thing because he takes Prozac too.  He knows his wife is overly emotional and that she's being very protective.  I just wish she could get back on her meds. 

Thanks for listening to me rant! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sun, 05-05-2013 - 7:11pm

So, you probably read my last post.  I will take the Cymbalta every other day, then every 3rd day.  I started the Wellbutrin at the beginning of this week.  I'm hoping this is going to be a good thing.  It should because wellbutrin worked for me before.   My oldest son got married last summer and my second son is getting married in December, and I just want to weigh what I did before (at first son's wedding)  or less if I can!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Mon, 05-13-2013 - 11:57am

So, yeah, that dr. was crazy for telling me that I could just stop the Cymbalta and start the Wellbutrin.  I did the Cymbalta every other day for about 10 days, then started every 3rd day.  By the 3rd day, I'm definitely feeling it,  tired and in a fog.  I have been on the Wellbutrin now for 2 weeks, and I feel good for the most part, I feel my focus is coming back.  It's only when it gets to the 3rd day when I start to not feel well.  So, I guess I'll stay on the every 3rd day for a bit yet, then go to every 4th day.  As I get more wellbutrin in my system, it should get better.  I changed to another dr. for my physical, because that dr. (a PA) obviously has no clue what this is like. 

Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Mon, 05-13-2013 - 4:50pm

I'm glad you let us know what's going on.  :)  And I'm glad you're going to see a different doctor!  Have you read or heard any reviews about the new one?  You might try rateMDs.com if you haven't already.

Hopefully those withdrawal symptoms will fade sooner rather than later.  Keep us posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Wed, 05-15-2013 - 12:20pm

Hi!  This doctor has had favorable reviews and she has been with this group of doctors for about 15 years.  I know what I'm looking for at this point.  I have a family history of cancer and also the emotional issues and backpain.  If she doesn't take these things seriously, I'll find another one!  I'm not saying I need to be completely paranoid about the cancer and have a battery of tests done for every ache or pain I feel, but I feel that my other dr. paid no attention to my family history.  Tomorrow will be my "3rd day" again, we'll see how I feel!  I hope I feel O.K. and maybe after tomorrow I can start doing every 4th day.