Switched From Pristiq To Wellbutrin Xl

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K Says:
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I'm adding a post to hopefully help someone as reading other people's posts has been very helpful/comforting to me! I have been on 50 mg of Pristiq for 5 years and I just made the transition to Wellbutrin xl at 300 mg. My doc switched me because my libido was becoming obsolete and wellbutrin is not supposed to adversely effect this. He had me start by overlapping the two meds for Week 1...Maintaining 50 mg of pristiq and adding Wellbutrin XL at 150 mg. I felt completely fine, didn't notice anything different. Week 2-I was to go up to 300 mg of Wellbutrin XL and completely stop taking the Pristiq. That didn't work. 1.5 days in I was dizzy, minor brain zap feeling (but not as intense as when i would miss a pristiq pill in the past) feeling super emotional (weepy) so much that I had to leave work so I didn't fall apart in front of everyone! I called the doc and he told me to take half a pristiq pill for the next few days. I did that and it really helped and got me thru. The only side effect was minor dizziness at times. So then after a few days, (which was this past Saturday) it was my first day to retry no pristiq and 300 mg Wellbutrin XL.

I made a conscious decision that i would stay in saturday and see how it would effect me. I was dizzy, anxious/fidgety, I had muted brain zaps (again not as bad as simply missing a pristiq pill when that's all I was on) and again had crying spells that would come and go. The thing that got me thru was knowing "this will pass" and it's part of the process. I felt like my head was in the clouds Saturday and Sunday. My head also felt "full" almost like a drowning feeling in my head! Probably the worst part. I'm not sure if that was just my anxiety rearing up. I also woke up in pure sweat (yuck) which has alowly tapered off over the week.

Day 3 with no pristiq (Monday)- I felt like my head was steady again! I felt super relieved. Part of it was the feeling that I made it thru the worst and I could do this. However, I have had intense anxiety all week, almost an exasperated feeling at all times. At night, I would feel my body was tired but my mind couldn't let me sleep. I think the elevates energy brought on anxiety and made my breathing labored. I would definitely recommend staying off caffeine at least in the beginning (you won't need it!!!). I looked up breathing exercises, which reminded me to EXHALE so I could get a good deep breath. Apparent when you're anxiety sometimes you forget to exhale.

This past week has been manageable but tough with the restlessness, lack of sleep, anxiety. Luckily, it hasn't been to the point where anyone visibility noticed at work. If anything, I was working faster, more efficiently, being more direct (no snappy but direct--almost like that sensor that usually causes me to pause and examine what im going to say first was removed--that part has been nice. Like a remov of fear/social anxiety). It's Friday night now- day 7 complete with no pristiq and 300 mg Wellbutrin, and beginning last night, I FINALLY felt a sense of calm. That carried thru to today and I am so grateful. I will post any updates. If you're transitioning with your meds, I strongly recommend you tell loved ones bc it takes a major pressure off and you have a support team. I hope this helps!


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Jenna Says:

Hi K,

Thank you very much for your input! I'm sure the time you took to write this out will very well help someone who is struggling with switching to Wellbutrin. In fact, I'm sure that it's also inspiring to those who are struggling with withdrawals from other medications. It's great that we can all help each other out in this way!

Does anyone have any questions about Pristiq or Wellbutrin XL? If so, please reply!

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2
Barb Says:

Thank you for the post I don't feel like its just me going thru this I am on day 2 without prestiq and on 150 mg Wellbutrin untIl day 4 then up to 300 mg but today I feel like my head is in clouds and dizzy I don't like this feeling at all

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Cookie Says:

My doctor h put me on 150mg of prestiq. It is now my 8th day. I went from 100mg to 150mg. This happened because I had an intense period of increased anxiety and obsessive thinking. I am not feeling well. I feel very lethargic, anxious, and I have a tendency to cry more. Is this normal? Will I ever be well again? I am also very anxious about the day when I wll come off this med. I am scared about it. Please help!

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Bobbi Says:

thank you so much for your information. I too have been on Pristiq for 4+ years and I would like to switch to Wellbrutrin. Also I have experience weight gain with Pristiq and almost impossible to loose

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Kearstin Says:

Oh my goodness, I just stumbled across this post today as I have just started my transition to wellbutrin xl 300 from 50 mg of pristiq, I am terrified.. like you, I started at 150 for two weeks along with the pristiq, last week I went up to 300 mg while still taking the pristiq... Today is day one with wellbutrin on its own...

I have already begun having the brain zaps and my lips are already numb, and I'm not even 24 hours in.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! You made me know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and to hang in there!

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6
Diamond Says:

why are people switching from pristiq to wellbutrin after so many years??


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7
Flea Says:

Thank you...I am going thought the same thing...change because my insurance do not want to cover pristiq anymore....

I was on 150 mg of pristiq now 150 wellbutrin ...



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V Says:
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This really comforted me. I've been on 50mg pristiq for 3 weeks but after reading about all the side effects causing loss of libido, I told the doc I wanted to try wellbutrin (I'm only 21 so I really don't want a repressed libido). This is the second day of 150mg of wellbutrin. I just cut my pristiq in half and took it after reading about how you tapered off that because my side effects are AWFUL. I feel like I'm processing everything 2-3 seconds late. I'm getting the zap things. I literally cannot function. And the crying. I have cried for 3 days straight. I'm really, really nervous about all this. I think I'm just going to try to wean off the pristiq and continue with the wellbutrin but I'm not going to be able to handle this much longer. Help?

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9
Cham Says:

I just started my transition 3 days ago and it's hard to describe how your head feels...You get super dizzy if you move your head quickly, I feel nauseous all the time (which I could stand to lose a few pounds anyways) but I am sitting in a house set at 70 degrees and sweating like I am in a sauna. I already have trouble sleeping at night because I have neuropathy in my left side of my body which causes me to hurt constant so I take prescribed meds to help me sleep but noticed I was awake every hour or two all night last night. I haven't noticed an increase in energy but I also take adderol for adult A.D.D. (I know, I am a mess!) so those help me with energy. I will say that I have noticed if I drink a caffeinated drink I feel sicker so I would recommend staying off of them. I am worried about these side effects and how I will feel at my job until my body gets acclimated to the Wellbutrin as it's seriously hard to function with your head all strange feeling and nausea and sweating so badly. Unfortunately my doctor wont be back into the office until Monday for me to call him so I just have to make the best of the days ahead of me until then. In the first post, I noticed you said you felt like your head was a bit "off" when you missed your pristiq, I have experienced that too and it was bad enough. I had thought about quitting my meds cold turkey once and was so sick I couldn't function... I never knew the addiction/dependency our bodies would have on these meds. I just hope this passes and soon... The only reason I was switched was because he was concerned about my weight as it's slowly creeped up in the 5 years I was on pristiq. Has anyone noticed a weight change for them going from pristiq to wellbutrin? Did you lose or gain or just stay steady because this change is not worth it if people are seeing an increase in their weight! Keeping everyone going through this in my thoughts and prayers.

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10
CABeepBeep Says:

I have to because my new insurance (new job in new state) refuses to pay for Pristiq, which I'e been on for about 5 yrs., after trying many antidepressants that did NOT work. I don't remember their names or the Docs (moved a lot) so I can't prove I tried the others or even remember the duds. I've now switched to Wellbutrin (started) and the horror's begun. GREED is the reason most of us are being put through this hell. My Dr. is angry about it too. NOT RIGHT! If you're rich, you can pay for it yourself but I'm not so lucky...I don't think most of us are. Something is WRONG here!


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Rich1 Says:
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Just wanted to share I have been on pristiq for 5 years and before I was on wellbutrin. Now I'm switching back because I haven't been feeling the happiest. I also gained about 30 to 40 pounds since I started pristiq 5 years back.

I've been on wellbutrin for 10 days now and taking 50mg every other day and not feeling the best. I've been very down, very lethargic, and not very hungry. I live alone and haven't been on the phone talking to people. I've been laying low and mainly home watching Netflix. I did go out yesterday for the afternoon with a friend to a coffee shop, but I didn't have coffee. I was glad I got out after a few days of being in and today I'm staying in. I tried to exercise a bit, but couldn't take more than 10 minutes before feeling dizzy and out of breath. I'm not suicidal or anything at all. I'm just tired, not sleeping the best, and just bla..

I am wondering who may have went through this and came out on the other side. I want to know if you feel better on welbutrin than with pristiq and in what ways. My appetite is somewhat suppressed so that's great and hope it continues.

Fyi I have bipolar II and ADHD. I'm on 200mg of lamictal and 70mg of vyvanse (I switched from adderal a few months ago). And coming off 50mg of pristiq and now 300 mg of welbutrin.

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k Says:

In my case, my new insurance carrier, which is Blue Cross Blue Shield, refuses to pay for the Pristiq. They want me to switch to a less expensive medication. I am scared to death to switch.

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Ellen Says:

I have been on Pristiq for only 2 months, switching off of Serzone (nefazadone) which I was on for 15 yrs. The first two days made my head foggy, I was indecisive and just feeling really crappy, my Dr. assured me it would pass if I could ride it out, and by day 3 all was good.
However, after the first 4 weeks, I felt toooo laid back, but the idea was to give my brain a chance to learn how not to 'freak' and it was working really well for that. I wasn't so overwhelming to others and that was noticeable. By week 7, I realized I had become too apathetic, I really didn't mind the laundry on the dining table, and looked the other way at work instead of fixing problems. So, I really liked not feeling affected by others, and generally feeling ok with the world around me. What I found to be a problem was I was ok with ANYTHING in the world around me, and easily ignored things thay would have driven me to action before. I've never cared for apathy in others and didn't like realizing I was behaving that way now.

So, I decided to start cutting the Pristiq in half the week before my next Dr appt. The first two days I had a low grade headache, but my head felt clearer and more 'ready to go'. I saw my Dr today, and apparently there are no studies on halving the Pristiq, so it isn't clear what combination of med levels are in the half and if there is any effectiveness to it therapeutically, so the advise was just get off it instead of seeing how it turns out. I had thought I would stay on the 1\2. After a week of it though, my obsessive re hashing of my day began to creep in a bit.

My Dr explained that Pristiq has more serotonin than nefazadone, and the higher serotonin is probably the reason for the apathy. Tomorrow morning I start 100mg of Welbutrin and will continue the half Pristiq for a few more days while I transition. Welbutrin has less serotonin. We also did a med DNA profile that showed my metabolism processed serotonin better at lower doses. Everyone should ask for this profile.

I also take 90 mg Vyvanse daily, and this past week it felt more effective with the lesser Pristiq. It is expected that if the Welbutrin does well, the Vyvanse may be effective enuf to decrease too. I hope so, just for the copay saving. My insurance makes me fill 2 separate scripts for 60 and 30 - ie: 2 copays.

Everyone has a different experiance, and after reading all the threads, I felt I needed to share my story so others don't fear so much. It isn't always so difficult, knowledge is power, but I think as long as you know the symptoms will pass, it has GOT to be better than you were feeling before trying the meds.

This is my third drug, if I don't feel 'normal', there are so many other choices. (Don't miss the irony of an ADHD, PTSD patient knowing 'normal'). It's all relative.

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NeedANap Says:
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I am glad I stumbled across this! My dr is switching me back to Wellbutrin after being on pristiq for many years. Weight gain, no libido and effectiveness seeming to be less are the reasons. Due to the stress of life I was taking my regular pristiq dose (100 mg) and just added 150mg dose of Wellbutrin to it. I've been on this since Nov.
life calmed down and this past week I stopped the pristiq. I can't say I feel different. Maybe more tired and less motivated. My dr told me I can double the Wellbutrin if I don't notice anything. I plan to do that after giving this a week.
I also have sleep apnea, which I take 250mg Of Nuvigil for and ADD which I take 50mg of Vyvance for. And can you believe I still nap during the day???
The messages here give me hope that removing pristiq will help my other Meds work better and make me feel better.
Thank you!

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Sheri Says:

I switched from pristiq to wellbutrin in March. I was changing primary healthcare physicians and thought that between weight gain and lack of libido it would be a good move. At first i also noticed i felt like crying all the time but my physician doubled my dosage which seemed to help. however i am having a very difficult time with anxiety now. I have trouble with my breathing and having pressure in my chest and cannot catch my breath. I have gone from walking 7 miles 3 times a week to barely being able to walk 3 miles a couple times a week. this has caused me to be more depressed. I talked the doctor into giving me Xanax for 2 weeks to help me when i was going to have a big event and found that it improved my breathing. however since it is so addictive i cannot get it refilled so she is putting me on buspar which takes a couple weeks to get into your system and after one day without xanax my breathing problems are back i have had many tests done to rule out other issues that could cause the breathing problems. so now i wait hoping the buspar works. but i have started to wonder if this all came about because of the decision to change from the pristiq?

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Jean Says:
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I am with Blue Cross Blue Shield and I afraid to change. Pristiq cause me to be normal again and able to cope with life ups and downs. Yes! If I get off my family and friends will notice the difference. Xana, Buspar, Well whatever, never was able to help me cope like Pristq. I thought I was having a heart attack. My breathing was labored and I was having panic attack one after another. Pristq save my life and I'm afraid to get off. I have gain weight but I'm a much nicer person to be arou nd.

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Artchick Says:

I've been on Wellbutrin in the past with no problems but the past 5 years have been on Pristiq. I have the exact problem with the weight gain and a terrible time losing it. I want to go off of Pristiq and back on Wellbutrin mainly for the energy and expense. My therapist said that many times she prescribes BOTH together. I'm not going to do that.

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Artchick Says:

I'm switching because with the Wellbutrin, I had more energy, less side effects, costs a lot less and the weight gain makes me super depressed!

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Kim Says:

I'm happy that i found this post. Due to a new job and new insurance, the cost of pristiq was over $200 a month and just not affordable. I was on 50mg Pristiq for around 6 years or so? I'm 31. My doctor has advised to switch to wellbutrin 150mg. She did not want any weaning though, and said to stop pristiq, and take the wellbutrin. Today is day 1, i took it last night. It's almost 3pm and i'm starting to feel the same withdrawal symptoms of when i would miss a dose of pristiq. I have an uncontrollable want to cry, and starting to feel slightly dizzy with a dull headache. What do you think the timeframe will be before i feel like a "normal" person with this cold turkey pristiq approach? Any thoughts or suggestions? If i could see myself through to the end, i know it will be worth it. I'm in a good place, great job, want to re-focus on my health at the gym which is so supportive of me, but am afraid that something like this which i feel is not in my control, will hinder me. Appreciate any feedback please

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Mimi Says:
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I would really like to know what exactly can we as consumers do about being forced to take prescription drugs from India, and other countries when we have some of the best pharmaceutical companies in the world right here in America? Plus the fact, if I understand right, that these drugs have less percentage of the original drugs. I realize that these cost less and and therefore save us, the consumers, less to purchase them, but, to what end? I know I'm not the most educated person around, but, isn't there something we can do?

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