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Wellbutrin (Bupropion) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Do They Last?

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is a drug that is used for the treatment of depression as well as to help people quit smoking. It has become a very popular medication to treat depression because it is considered to have a minimal side effect profile compared to many other drugs. Wellbutrin is not associated with weight gain, a loss of sex drive, and loss of energy like many other antidepressants. It works as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) as opposed to most conventional antidepressants which target serotonin.

It has become a popular off-label treatment option for chronic fatigue, sexual dysfunction, and weight loss. It is also considered a popular antidepressant augmentation strategy when used in conjunction with an SSRI. The only major side effect associated with this drug is an increase in risk of having a seizure. The medication also operates as a nicotonic receptor agonist – which explains why it helps people quit smoking. In some cases, it is even used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (read more: Wellbutrin for ADHD).

Since this drug has such a low side effect profile compared to many other medications, many people try it first before SSRI’s. Although this drug has been used by many people, not everyone has a positive reaction to the drug. Others that are on it for awhile may want to come off of it and experience life naturally without the influence of an antidepressant. If you plan on withdrawing, it is important to be aware of the potential symptoms that you may experience.

Factors that influence Wellbutrin withdrawal include

As with any drug, there are various factors that are thought to influence the withdrawal process. The amount of time that you took the drug, the dosage that you took, your individual physiology, and whether you tapered all can influence the time it takes for you to recover back to “normal.”

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Wellbutrin? If you were only on it for a few weeks, you may be able to quit cold turkey without any major withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, if you were on this drug for over a year or many years, the withdrawal process will likely be more difficult. Generally the longer you are on this medication, the more gradually you should taper off of it to minimize with withdrawal effects.

2. Dosage (100 mg, 150 mg, 300 mg) + Subtype (IR, SR, XL)

The dose that you took of Wellbutrin can be significant when it comes to withdrawal. If you were on the highest possible dose, you are going to need to conduct a gradual taper to avoid most withdrawal effects. Besides the dose, you also need to recognize that there are a few different subtypes of this medication:

  • Wellbutrin IR (Immediate Release)
  • Wellbutrin SR (Sustained Release)
  • Wellbutrin XL (Extended Release)

The “IR” version stands for “immediate release” – these tend to be shorter acting than the other two subtypes. The “SR” version is “sustained release” and typically is taken twice throughout the day, while the “XL” version is “extended release” and only taken once a day. It is generally going to be easier to come off of the SR version because you can simply reduce the pills.

3. Cold turkey vs. Tapering

It is always recommended to conduct a gradual taper off of Wellbutrin to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Most people conduct a gradual taper by reducing their dosage 25 mg to 50 mg every 2 weeks. If you are on the XL version, the pill only comes in doses of 150 mg and 300 mg. Since you cannot simply “cut” the extended release version, you may want to switch over to the IR (immediate-release) to conduct a proper taper. If you notice a significant amount of withdrawal symptoms, taper at a slower rate.

Unless you have been taking Wellbutrin for a very short period of time, it is never recommended to quit “cold turkey.” Many people have simply quit “cold turkey” without any major side effects – including myself, but many people have experienced exacerbated withdrawals because they did not taper. It’s usually best to err on the side of caution and gradually wean yourself off of Wellbutrin.

4. Individual Physiology

It is important to point out that everyone reacts differently to these medications. Your nervous system, your environment, and your social support will all play a role in helping you through withdrawal. Believe it or not, there are people out there who barely even notice when they stop taking Wellbutrin because they exhibit “zero withdrawal” symptoms.

Yet there are other people who haven’t even taken the medication for a long term period and they exhibit very difficult withdrawal symptoms. Understand that everyone is different and you can’t really compare your journey through withdrawal with that of another person.

Wellbutrin Withdrawal Symptoms

Since everyone has a unique experience in regards to drug withdrawal, symptoms are subject to variation. Some people may experience anxiety and lethargy, while others may experience crying spells and body aches. You may experience everything on this list, a few symptoms, or nothing at all. This is just a collective of symptoms that have been reported during withdrawal from Wellbutrin.

  • Anger: Many people experience anger and sometimes “rage” when they quit taking this medication. I remember when I stopped taking it I felt pretty angry and more impulsive than I usually do. If you have become crabby within the first week of stopping this drug, it is likely a result of the withdrawal.
  • Anxiety: Some people become pretty anxious when they stop taking Wellbutrin. In most cases while on this medication, anxiety tends to increase. However, some people also experience an increase when coming off of it. Although an anxious response upon withdrawal may seem counterintuitive, it’s very possible.
  • Body aches: It is pretty common to experience general muscle aches and pains throughout the body when coming off of Wellbutrin. These may be uncomfortable for a few days, but will eventually subside. If they are difficult to deal with, make sure you are getting plenty of rest, water, and consider taking some over-the-counter pain relief.
  • Crying spells: You may want to cry all day when you first stop taking this medication. This is because your emotions are running rampant and your depression may have come back full force. In fact the depression that you experience during withdrawal may be even more severe than before you started the drug. Realize that the crying is normal to experience during withdrawal.
  • Depersonalization: While taking this drug you may feel “depersonalized” or unlike yourself. When you stop taking it, you may continue to experience this symptom. It will eventually go away. If you panic about feeling this way, it may continue to make it worse.
  • Depression: Many people feel good on the Wellbutrin and when they quit taking it, their depression rears its ugly head again. Realize that withdrawal from any medication is going to result in depression – usually pretty severe. This is because your neurotransmitter levels have not stabilized. Some people mistakenly think their depression is “worse” after the medication when really it’s a result of a chemical imbalance caused by withdrawal.
  • Dizziness: Nearly all antidepressant withdrawals are associated with feelings of dizziness. If you feel dizzy when coming off of this drug, you are not alone. Most people experience some sort of dizziness and in some cases vertigo as a result of their withdrawal. This is just a sign that your body was expecting the drug and it is no longer receiving it so it reacts by making you dizzy.
  • Fatigue: Since this medication has a stimulating effect and tends to give people a lot of energy, it is common to experience fatigue, lethargy, and sleepiness when someone quits this drug. For most people, the fatigue will subside within a few weeks. This is because this drug was inhibiting dopamine reuptake and norepinephrine – now you no longer have that going on.
  • Headaches: During withdrawal, many people report feeling headaches – some to the point of migraines. If you are struggling with a withdrawal headache, the best thing you can do for yourself is rest, drink plenty of water, and relax.
  • Increased appetite: Being on this medication tends to make people have less of an appetite.  When they quit taking it, their appetite returns to normal and they eat more.  This is associated with a weight gain that people experience when they quit Bupropion.
  • Insomnia: Although most people experience insomnia while on Wellbutrin, it is also possible to experience it while coming off of the drug. During any withdrawal, your body and brain are trying to restore normal function without the drug. Therefore you may have difficulty falling asleep at night.
  • Irritability: Many people become irritable when they come off of an antidepressant. Wellbutrin tends to do a great job at making people feel less depressed and more energetic. When you take away the antidepressant effect and reduce a person’s energy, they may become irritable.
  • Lack of coordination: During the withdrawal period, your coordination may become “off” and you may have difficulties performing tasks. Not everyone experiences this, but if you notice that your coordination seems off, you may want to stay away from heavy machinery and/or driving until it returns.
  • Libido changes: Some people report that their libido decreases during withdrawal from Wellbutrin. This is due to the fact that while they were on the medication, it actually increased their sex drive – in some cases to the point of “hypersexuality.” When quitting this medication, you may notice a temporary drop in sexual interest.
  • Nausea: Many people report feeling nauseated when they quit taking Wellbutrin. This goes hand-in-hand with vomiting that people experience. The nausea may become so extreme that it causes a person to throw up. This symptom may last for awhile before you feel less nauseated.
  • Seizures: One tricky symptom that needs to be highlighted is that of seizures. If you are susceptible to seizures, you should have never taken this medication in the first place. Anyways some people end up taking this medication for awhile, withdraw too quickly and experience seizures. Although these aren’t common, they do happen which is why you should always withdraw gradually with caution.
  • Vomiting: It has been reported that some people end up vomiting during their withdrawal process. This is simply a natural reaction to the body trying to respond to no longer having the drug for functioning.
  • Weight gain: Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that causes weight loss in many people that take it. It does this by speeding up the body’s natural metabolic response while simultaneously decreasing appetite. It has a stimulating effect for most people which also promotes activity. When people quit, their metabolism returns to a baseline, their full appetite returns, and they may become lethargic – a recipe for weight gain.

Note: It is understood that Wellbutrin stays in your system for days after your last dose.  The bupropion itself is eliminated usually within 5 days, but its active metabolites can take up to 10 days for elimination.  For this reason, discontinuation symptoms may become most noticeable after being drug-free for 5-10 days.

How long does Wellbutrin withdrawal last?

For most people, the withdrawal symptoms will depend on how long they took Wellbutrin and how quickly they tapered off of it. It can be difficult for someone who has been on this medication for years to come off of it without experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms. For other individuals the withdrawal process is very minimal and may last just a few days before the majority of symptoms subside. It is common to report withdrawal symptoms lasting up to 8 full weeks following their last dose of Wellbutrin.

Some individuals have experienced symptoms that persist for up to 90 days (3 months) following their last dose of this drug – this is evidence that everyone recovers at a different pace. I personally have been on this medication and for me it was among the easiest antidepressants to withdraw from. Although for me there were withdrawal symptoms, they were nothing compared to my experience quitting Paxil cold turkey and withdrawal from other SSRI’s. Keep in mind that everyone is different and may experience different reactions.

One person that has been on the drug for years and decides to quit may exhibit discontinuation symptoms for months following their last dose of Wellbutrin. In order to speed up the withdrawal process and eradicate any symptoms you are experiencing, it is recommended to engage in healthy activities that promote recovery. Make sure you are getting plenty of exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting outside for some sunlight. Do your best to socialize with friends and family, and stay as productive as you can. For most individuals, they will return to normal mental functioning within a couple of weeks.

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{ 202 comments… add one }
  • Vitaly August 2, 2018, 6:04 pm

    Wow, this article was very helpful in helping me wean off of medications that I thought were helping me with my depression. I recently just left a toxic friendship and moved out of my apartment that I was sharing with my two roommates. My doctor prescribed me a cocktail of drugs including wellbutrin, and I felt worse not better.

    I was spiraling out of control and my thoughts were dangerous and erratic. I was beginning to fear that I was pushing away the people who cared most about me, my family, my friends, my brother, my sister, my mother, my father. I probably would have ended it if I hadn’t stumbled upon The Secret, a weird movie on Netflix that seemed like a bunch of horses***.

    A lot people probably would say that it is, but I watched it and it CHANGED MY LIFE. I don’t believe in God or life after death or any of that crap – I’m a self-defined cynic but I was at the end of my rope. The law of attraction is real.

    Anyone who is going through a rough time in your life I recommend to watch this. Take it with a grain of salt – I know I did, but then think about your past and how you don’t want to continue living that way into the future.

  • Kathleen June 26, 2018, 2:09 am

    I just recently switched to a new doctor who I was told was into more holistic approaches and very attuned to women’s issues. I’m 56 and got remarried to the love of my life less than three years ago. At almost the exact same time, I started menopause.

    When I first went to my new doctor, I told her I was gaining weight without changing anything in my diet/exercise regimen, was having ridiculous hot flashes and had zero sex drive. She immediately suggested Wellbutrin and said it wouldn’t impact sex drive and might help with weight loss.

    Well, a month in and all I’m noticing is irritability/edginess/lashing out toward my husband, and no difference in my sex drive whatsoever. NOT good for a new-ish marriage and not what I wanted.

    I’m ready to just quit cold turkey. I’m thinking that since I only had negative effects while taking it, I might not have any issues just quitting. Curious to hear what others think.

  • Ann June 25, 2018, 5:04 am

    In the first week or so lowering 300mg XL to 150mg XL my coordination was off I kept dropping things. Like my cup. I was filling it in the sink then I dropped the cup and it fell into the sink.

    I dropped another thing that day but don’t remember what. It’s as if I just forgot how to hold the cup. I was on the dose a year.

  • Michael April 16, 2018, 6:54 pm

    I have been taking Wellbutrin on and off for years. Early on I used it to supplement an SSRI. It gave me a little extra pep, but I never felt it did much for me.

    Over a year ago, my doctor prescribed it as my primary daily medication (300mg of XL) with Ativan as an emergency backup. This combination worked very well for me, but after a year I was experiencing some minor side effects (dry mouth) that started to bother me.

    I decided two weeks ago to go cold turkey, and had no issues for that period of time. Now I’m dealing with periods of intense anxiety that the Ativan does help with, and am now fighting some depression.

    I am going to try to stay off in hopes the current symptoms are withdrawal related and will eventually subside. If anyone has a similar experience, please share. I’m trying to figure out generally how long this is going to last.

    Also, what signs should I look for as indicators to get back on something?

  • Arneita March 14, 2018, 2:20 am

    I’ve been off the WB and stayed off since my last post Oct 2016. I was on it for over 6 yrs and decided to taper off myself. I never felt better. I don’t understand all these posts where people had such bad experiences getting off of it. Sorry you had to go through that.

    I am so happy to be off that drug. Hang in there. It will get better. Just eat right, get plenty of rest, exercise, work on spiritual, physical and mental balance. Life is to wonderful to have it seen through drugs that make you think and believe you can’t cope without it. Take care.

    • Kat April 16, 2018, 5:09 pm

      Thank you! It’s so nice to read an uplifting comment. I had already decided I wanted to stop Prozac and Wellbutrin after 6 months. They served there purpose and gave me the motivation to quit smoking and change my coping habits for dealing with stress, regret and sorrow.

      I have found amazing relief from meditating, exercise, healthy diet, gratitude and daily affirmations, and now I want to live without meds before I get overly attached to them. Finding out that Prozac (fluoxetine) is fluoride with parallel side effects to the toxin, quickly motivated me to do it sooner than later.

      After reading your experience, I have faith that positive outcomes are possible. Best wishes to everyone reading this, sending blessings of peace, health and happiness.

    • Tammi July 4, 2018, 4:11 pm

      Thank you, that is so true. I’m weaning off of just 3 months and yes you’re right diet is extremely important. I’m going to start taking reishi extract, can’t wait for the results. :)

    • Melissa September 28, 2018, 2:52 pm

      Arneita, I need to get off this as well. Would you tell me what dose you were taking and if it was IR or XL and how you tapered yourself off the bupropion? Thank you so much.

  • Patty Weir March 1, 2018, 8:47 am

    I’m on 450 XL – the highest dose and just don’t feel like I’m really existing anymore. Almost numb. I was recently put on the extra 150 XL And I am wondering if I should discontinue 150 XL first or the 300 XL. I’ve been on WB for over 7 years and I am worried about going into a deep depression if I get off of this medication. Also I’m petrified of gaining weight. Any advice?

    • Miriam Urie March 11, 2018, 6:02 pm

      Note: I’m not a doctor, but a patient that was on antidepressants for a very long time. I got off them over last summer and I have a good portion of my life back. They were causing me problems, turns out.

      You probably will go into a depression when you get off of it, but if you’re on the highest dose and feel terrible that means it’s not working, or not working anymore. You should not feel numb on the highest dose.

      Go to your doctor, tell them it’s not helping you and you want off it, and then endure. It’ll be like having the flu and it’ll feel like you yourself are the problem, like you need that medication, but that will be the withdrawal. It’ll be terrible, probably.

      I don’t know if you can take time off to do it, but it’s clearly not helping you as it should. Taper very slowly, whether you take time off or not. IT. WILL. BE. HARD.

      If you are past withdrawal symptoms and still have depression, you can get another medication, but this one clearly isn’t working for you, and may be causing some of your problems.

    • john March 12, 2018, 5:12 pm

      Hello Patti, I’ll start by saying that I am not a doctor but wanted to give you some input to consider for your situation. I will add that I am on Wellbutrin, and have been for years. In the times I have forgotten to take it, I wound up super dizzy.

      I’d say before tapering and quitting, talk to your doctor. Let them make the decision, so the pressure is off you. They should be able to monitor your progress, and address your concerns. In terms of your worries, I will ask you to consider this: Instead of calling them worries, you may want to re-name them Concerns.

      I’m not trying to sound like a therapist, but it may help you. This will give you a way to look at the possibilities of the side effects without the added stress from worry. Remember “possible side-effects”. We cannot read the future. Talk to your doc, listen to their advice, and choose not to “worry”.

      If these side effects from withdrawal present themselves, address them if they come up. Remember… anxiety is worry of the future, depression is worry about the past. Tomorrow will have its own challenges, so do what you can with today :) Best to you, I hope this helps! J

  • PacNW December 16, 2017, 11:41 pm

    I’d been taking WB consistently for 15 years. I slowly tapered off WB for months with my last dose 8 weeks ago. I’m still struggling daily with irritability and almost persistent urge to verbally snap at loved ones and housemates…

  • Jen December 12, 2017, 6:35 am

    I was on 150mg extended release WB for about a month. I had terrible side effects while on it. I was nauseous ALL the time, my head pretty much always hurt, and my eyesight kept going blurry when reading anything close up. Only thing good about it was I quit cigarettes (yay!). I will be finding a different medication for my depression.

    • Cynthia March 12, 2018, 10:08 pm

      Did you quit cold turkey? And how did that go?

  • anon March 2, 2017, 9:52 pm

    I was taking Bupropion XL 300 mg for ADHD for 3 months. then I quit cold turkey when I ran out, It sucks I had 800mg of caffeine, and I was still dragging all day I was unable to get any work done for a week, but I had 14 (500mg) l- tyrosine supplements, and it helped a lot. Withdraw sucks but this stuff is bad… way harder than caffeine withdraw. It’s about as bad a nicotine withdraw.

  • KR March 1, 2017, 10:20 am

    I’ve been on Wellutrin a couple of times in my life, and in both instances I felt it really helped me at the beginning. I had more energy and was a bit more chipper. But, after 4-5 months, other effects became common. I felt depersonalized, like a part of me was missing. I lost a lot of my charm and wit. And I was moody, quiet, and much more prone to anger or emotional outburst. And anxious. Thoughts racing through my head.

    Recently I was on it to help with some depression and burn out at work. But I kept having terrible fights with my GF. I was just mean and tense all the time. Finally, we had a huge fight and she broke things off. In the time since we’ve talked and recovered a bit. After that I stopped taking. Cold turkey. Immediately I felt much more myself. Almost a sense or relief. My girlfriend said that I seemed more relaxed and that she could see it in my eyes. A work colleague made the same comment.

    It’s been two weeks and today I’m definitely more sleepy and moodier. I’m trying to keep my chin up and be optimistic. I’m not going to go back on it, I’m two weeks clear now and that’s two weeks closer to being over it. I was only on 150mg a day, but was on it for about 7 months. Hoping I’ll bounce back fast. I’m worried about weight gain and sexual dysfunction but I’m going to force myself to limit sugar and to run 3-4 times a week. I think I’ll make it through.

  • Kristie February 6, 2017, 3:17 am

    The doctor and I added Wellbutrin 150XL to low dose Cipralex and low dose Seroquel on the recommendation of my psychiatrist when I was unable to get off Seroquel (December 2016). Didn’t change much, then I ended up sleeping more, eating more – paradoxical reaction. So we killed the Seroquel (nasty set of withdrawal symptoms to that).

    Still no change for Wellbutrin. I forgot to take it for the past three days and I’m feeling better than I have in years. I may end up with withdrawal symptoms yet but hopefully not.

    I am not sure it really did anything for me or to me and everything was down to getting off the Seroquel. Back to the doctor next week and hopefully all I will have to deal with is low dose Cipralex. Good luck to all on this journey.

  • Sus February 3, 2017, 2:44 pm

    I have been on 300XL for 10+ years and I developed tremors in my hands and then head. It is also a genetic condition (familial tremors) but I was told Wellbutrin could make it worse. I started to taper off to 150 SR but was depersonalized and very tired so went back to 225mg (150 + 1/2). My tremors came back, so with a doctors help I went slowly from 225 (2 weeks) to 150 SR. I am now on 100mg SR and hoping the fatigue gets better over time. My tremors are better, but I am exhausted!

  • Tricia McMillan February 3, 2017, 7:16 am

    I have been on generic Wellbutrin, bupropion XL, for about 4-5 years. I was at 150mg a day and quickly increased to 300mg. At the time, bupropion made a huge difference for me. I had zero energy, not able to work or even get off the couch and with bupropion, I was able to start university and kind of managed to complete a 4 classes per semester workload. I felt like 80% normal at the time.

    I tried many SSRIs before that and even mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics and the only pill that ever helped me is bupropion. About 2 years ago, my life went to chaos. I eventually got really really low, suicidal even, about a year ago, and got my bupropion XL increased to 450mg, so the maximum dosage. It did helped at the time. But a few months later, I’ve noticed a very scary hair loss and hair thinning.

    I bought many expensive shampoos and supplements that did nothing at all and were a huge waste of money. Eventually, I thought about my prescriptions. I stopped lamotrigine that I was taking at the time. No change. I stopped all my supplements except iron and got back on birth control. No change. So now, I panicked and decided to stop bupropion before I get bald.

    Being jobless, loveless, depressed AND bald is just too much! I have been tapering off extra slowly in the past weeks and I’m now at 250mg SR daily. One dropping step between 300mg and 250mg went bad and I got back to 300mg. But it was Christmas time and I was completely alone so the mood drop might have been due to that.

    I’m now trying again the 250mg drop because I was feeling so bad anyway at 300mg, now I feel like it can’t be worse. Before I start tapering, at 450mg, I was also feeling awful. Between 450mg XL to 300mg SR I felt no difference in awfulness. Now, I have extremely low energy. Can’t work at all (which is a huge stress financially).

    Can’t really meet new people. Can’t do much. But my life is such a limbo that I find it hard to tell if I feel like this because of the bupropion withdrawal or just because my life is sh-t. Unfortunately, I can’t really spontaneously decide to magically get a job, a life partner, and new friends to test that out. How can you tell if it’s the meds or just life?

    • Laurin Amyotte February 20, 2018, 5:49 pm

      I usually don’t comment but yours made me sad. Its been a year since your post and I hope that you are feeling better! I’m trying to get off it also feeling a little weird though. I just feel for you please be safe.

    • Kimberly Beam February 21, 2018, 4:42 pm

      Like the other reply, I don’t normally comment, but I really feel for you. I hope you are doing well and the issues you were facing have been resolved. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • NeverAgain February 3, 2017, 7:06 am

    I really wish I had never taken Wellbutrin. This is the worst ‘medication’ I have ever encountered and I am 100% convinced doctors simply want you hooked on it because of its price-tag. They are not concerned with your health and how Wellbutrin will damage you. I sincerely hope people start saying NO to it.

    My doctor put me on it without really diagnosing anything. I went to him to complain about ADHD/Lack of Focus and he immediately hopped on the Wellbutrin wagon talking about how it has ‘no bad side effects’ – yeah right. What a liar! The whole ‘Talk to your doctor’ BS should thrown out the window. I will never again trust a single doctor who tried to push anti-depressants on people.

    Call me cut-throat but Wellbutrin has ruined my life, my friendships, and my last job. It has done nothing but create more anxiety and alter my brain to the point where I don’t even recognize who I am anymore. Wellbutrin is a potent STIMULANT but also antidepressant. You know what this means! It’s both an upper and a downer. (See Speedballing).

    You don’t need to be a genius to understand how dangerous this combination is on both your heart and your brain chemistry. I beg you not to take it. I was warned about this drug by a colleague who told me that the 300mg XL dose made her lose her mind and end up at ER due to unbelievable chest pains. She also said it made her way more aggressive, angry and just unpleasant in general.

    Even with this knowledge I trusted my doctor because that’s how they condition people over the years. They don’t want you researching anything on your own, Big Pharma simply want you to go through their legal drug pushers so you get hooked on it for years. I was on the 150mg XL dose for 8 months and then he put me on the 300mg XL dose. I took this new dosage for about a week before ending up at ER due to unbelievable daily stomach pains.

    I called him to say I don’t feel normal and my heart wants to jump out. He agreed that 300mg was probably too much for me (well yeah, I don’t even drink coffee or energy drinks so now wonder a dangerous stimulant/AD like Wellbutrin wrecked havoc on my body. After that he put me back on 150mg XL which I took for a month but again started feeling way more aggressive, depersonalized with random spikes in insomnia.

    After hearing about other people who had these horror stories, I decided to trash my remainder refill. I know people should be ‘tapered off’ but that was not a possibility as I have started to hate Wellbutrin and what it was doing to my life. I lost ALL interest in sex, dating, and generally being around people. I became this dark and confused being who chose to isolate himself for months.

    This was highly unusual considering I’m a social bee. I started having emotional outbursts and random crying spells that I could not explain. I would freak out over little things and tell people off for no reason. I wish I was making this up but I hope people get a chance to read this and hopefully stay away from this dangerous drug.

    That said, I quit cold-turkey 3 weeks ago and I can tell you that it’s NOT FUN. My first week was good, I actually felt happy but then guilt got to me when I realized what kind of an ass I was to people around me. My third week during the withdrawal was probably my most brutal as I was convinced I was dying. I don’t know why the symptoms came at me during the third week of not taking it, but it has left me with following:

    – Constant pulsating headaches at back of my skull. So damn painful I can barely open my eyes.
    – WAY MORE ANXIETY. So people who already have GAD and such, please stay away.
    – Complete loss of interest in SEX. This is one thing my doctor said it wouldn’t happen. But it did.
    – Complete isolation from friends/family. I even quit my job because I couldn’t focus on anything.
    – Every BONE in my body feels inflamed now. My hypertension is out of control.
    – Stuttering! What the hell!? I never had this happen to me.
    – Short term memory is gone. I have to write notes/reminders to myself constantly.
    – Lack of coordination/Vertigo/Dizziness. There are days where I can barely walk a straight line.
    – Constant change in body temperature. One minute I’m freezing cold, the next I’m burning up.
    – Brutal irritability. Short fuse is an understatement. Wellbutrin will turn you into an asshole.
    – Shakes/jitters/sweating.
    – Insomnia.

    I have not taken any other medications while I was on my Wellbutrin episode. The most I added to the mix was Omega Fish Oil. That’s literally it. I sincerely hope these WD symptoms go away soon because if Wellbutrin has killed my desire to have sex and be intimate, I swear, I will become the biggest Anti-Wellbutrin cheerleader for the rest of my life.

    Doctors are only pushing this drug because of the fact that it costs more than most other ADs. I’ve come to terms that anxiety/depression/etc are part of life and I am seeking natural ways to deal with them. I just know I will never again trust a single doctor who tries to push antidepressants. This is all designed to get you HOOKED on very potent and dangerous drugs that alter your brain chemicals and create issues you never even had before.

    I urge and beg you all to re-consider staying on this drug. The higher your dosage goes, the worst it is on your heart so if you end up with loud or irregular heart-beats, rest assured, it’s because of Wellbutrin. Never Again. Wellbutrin is poison!

  • J Duma January 25, 2017, 6:45 am

    Worsening Symptoms On WB XL 150 quitting cold turkey (as prescribed by physician) to rectify.

    -Nausea
    -Shakes
    -Lost 20 pounds in 5 months
    -Severe constipation
    -Loss of appetite
    -Abdominal Cramps
    -Insomnia (after 1+ years)

    In the beginning this drug really worked for me. I was on 150 for a week and bumped up to 300 after which I O.D’D (intensified symptoms similar to above and then some). I had:

    -Extreme irritability
    -Shakes/jitters
    -Loss of appetite
    -Nausea after eating
    -Overall sense of feeling I’ll and “high strung”

    Once I went back down to 150 I felt much better and my symptoms subsided. Until a lot of my circumstantial depression and anxiety were dealt with appropriately (counseling, lifestyle changes, healthy relationship, financial stability, surgery to remove kidney stones). Now the feelings of overdosing have returned and with it, sever constipation. My doctor said to quit taking the drug immediately and that I should have no side affects.

    I’m hoping with adequate hydration, physical activity and a positive support system I can make this transition and smooth as possible on my system.

  • Imqoe January 10, 2017, 3:16 am

    I was on Wellbutrin for most of the past 10 years. The last 9 months included Prozac as well. I decided I needed to get off both and see what I would be like totally drug free. I stopped the Prozac a week or so before stopping the Wellbutrin. I know I should have tapered off but, I ran out and just decided not to refill them.

    I’ve had some difficult days of anxiety and emotions but, I expected that. What I didn’t expect is the extreme leg and body pain. I used to have some leg pains at night and a really painful hip but, since quitting cold turkey I am experiencing severe pains in both legs and hips, also in my shoulders, elbows, etc.

    It’s progressed from nights to all day and night. This is brutal! I went to my PCP today because I thought it must be vascular or nerve damage and she prescribed Cymbalta! I only realized it’s all due to the Wellbutrin withdrawal from deciding to research side effects of Cymbalta and it led me here.

    Thank God I found this site before I started taking another drug! I pray this pain is only temporary and I can get through it using CBD oil and natural pain killers. I think my doctors just push drugs without any concern of consequence.

  • Larry December 22, 2016, 6:54 pm

    Been on bupropion 300mg XL for 2 years. Quit cold turkey about 10 days ago. I had one day where I was very sleepy and achy. Since then I’ve been fine.

  • Hawley December 3, 2016, 12:56 pm

    I have been on anti-depression drugs for 50 years for bi-polar. I just retired as a lawyer and figured now was the time to get off. I was doing 400 mg wellbutrin, 40 celexa and 200 lamictal. It has been 5 months and I am 50% . Wow, this is a trip. Had plans to go out today, but felt like a weighed a ton (I do not). So this is going to be a long trip. Good luck to everyone trying to get off meds.

    • Kyle December 5, 2016, 8:50 am

      I am in the same boat as Hawley. Even after a half year, my body is still having a difficult time restoring homeostasis. The worst is the slowness of my brain and muscle depletion. Both causes of epinephrine deficiency. Also blood sugar crash exactly after eating which is reactive hypoglycemia again from this epinephrine deficiency. Does anyone else feel like sh-t after eating?

  • Karen December 1, 2016, 2:48 pm

    I went cold turkey off of wellbutrin XL SR last January. I was on this drug for over 30 years. It has now been almost one year that I have been off it. I am still experiencing anger, anxiety, and disassociation, mostly in that order. I am so tired of being angry all the time, I can’t even sleep because of all the things going on in my head rehashing them over and over. Will this ever stop? Or did I just take it too long and my brain can never recover? I really don’t know what to do. Please offer some advice.

    • Dr jiss December 5, 2016, 8:44 am

      Hey Karen I would suggest going back on Wellbutrin at least just to taper or mitigate the effects you most surely will experience coming off. Many side effects can be unbearable as you can see from others. Being on it for that long, I’m sure right now you have all kinds of imbalances in your body and it can take a long time to restore balance. Months.

  • Laura Zimmerman November 15, 2016, 5:30 pm

    Thank you so much for this information. I was taking a combination of Wellbutrin and Prozac for several years and recently got off the Prozac with pretty good results. I then started tapering off the Wellbutrin (150 mg/day, XL) and have noted agitation, aching in my joints, muscle pain, depression, and cravings like I haven’t had for a long time.

    I was starting to think that I’m just doomed to taking WB for the rest of my life–remember the commercial for an antidepressant med that said “depression hurts”? I thought the pain I was feeling, along with the other symptoms, was my depression coming roaring back. I now feel like I’m on the right track and that I should absolutely continue tapering off. Thank you!

  • Judi F November 3, 2016, 8:24 pm

    11/3/16. Hi. I’m Judi F. When I am on Wellbutrin, I have a tendency to be more agitated. My tongue has had nerve damage for almost 30 years ago, when a dentist, Not a surgeon, traumatically removed a wisdom tooth. I was having a hard time deciding whether to get off of the Wellbutrin, because I absentmindedly chew my numb tongue almost constantly. I also jitter a lot with my tapping feet and my shaking knees.

    I have gone cold turkey off of 100 mg time released for four days. I have a lot of joint pain and muscle pain, headaches and lethargy, but I also have been throwing up with a 102° temperature, so I think I had the flu at the same time. The fever is gone, but the joint pain, headaches and nausea are still there. I really want to stay the course and stay off of this medication. It means a lot to me to kick this one.

    Thank you for your help and any suggestions, although I will follow what you have already suggested in your notes. I have told one daughter, but will tell the rest of my family so they can support me in this. They’re good people. Thank you for being so thorough! Judi

  • Gloria October 27, 2016, 2:16 am

    I had no choice but to stop taking Wellbutrin 300 mg XL cold turkey. My doctors office refused to refill it. In order to have it refilled the doctor office wants full payment up front. My ins deductible is 10 grand. I can’t afford to go see him. I have been on the medication for three years. I was told the reason I was on it is because I have manic depression and borderline bipolar. At this point I don’t know what to do.

    • Laurin Amyotte February 20, 2018, 6:01 pm

      So this Dr. Is only interested in money what a prick! Why become a Dr if you don’t care about people? Man this really pissess me off big time. Good luck to you hope you are better!

  • Nathalie F October 23, 2016, 12:19 am

    I have been taking Citalopram for years at 40mg per day. Nine months ago, my doctor added Bupropion XL 150mg to my regime… We then decided to take me off Citalopram slowly. I took 30 mg for two weeks, then 20mg for two weeks, then 10mg for two weeks and came off citalopram completely 5 weeks ago. had severe withdrawal symptoms for the first weeks I was completely off citalopram, the it seemed to be better but I had bronchitis and had to take antibiotics for that.

    Since I have finished taking the antibiotics and the bronchitis has resolved 6 days ago, I have been feeling like I am having withdrawal symptoms again: headaches, feeling nauseous all day, even vomited a few times three days ago, and finding it hard to function at all, really tired, but I have also noticed dry mouth and weird taste in my mouth, especially at night and early in the morning. Now I just don’t know anymore if this is withdrawal symptoms from the Citalopram still, or side effects from the Bupropion I am taking, or both even…

    Now I just wish I could get off bupropion too… My doc had told me this one wasn’t addictive… your site suggests the contrary… what’s the point in going from one to another? I am feeling so down…

  • Arneita October 9, 2016, 2:40 am

    Wow. I read most of the comments and I’m not going through any of those symptoms while weaning myself off. I’ve been on this medication for about 6 yrs. Don’t subscribe it because I expressed going through depression and wanting to stop smoking. I stopped smoking, loss some weight, etc. But I made lifestyle changes with better healthier eating, exercise, spiritual relationship made the difference.

    I kept telling my Dr I wanted to get off the medication but she kept saying I might as well stay on them for ever if I want to?!! That’s a bunch of crap. That’s when I made up my mind to get healthier, physically, mentally and spiritually. I started weaning myself from 300mg everyday then to every other day for a couple of weeks. After that, down to 150mg every day after a couple weeks every other day.

    I will complete the process for about 2 more weeks then I’m done. I feel great, sleep better, feel alert at work, etc. Get your bodies back on track. There’s others ways to handle things besides popping pills.

    • Robert April 11, 2018, 3:58 pm

      I tapered for a year from 150 all the way down to 18.75. And like you, was feeling really good about my progress. I’d been on it for nearly 20 yrs. But unfortunately, it’s been 4 months since completely going off and I am still having “zaps” lethargy and some other symptoms.

      I wish you well, but wanted to comment for the benefit of others and as a heads up for you. I didn’t get any WD symptoms until after it was completely out of my system. I came here to see what/if others were experiencing. Peace.

  • Sarah l October 5, 2016, 12:57 am

    I really had high hopes for Wellbutrin considering it is said to have low side effects, and I’ve never reacted bad to antidepressants before. It is true, however, that everyone is different, seeing that my body did NOT like this drug. I started at 100mg a day and only got up to 150mg, but even at 100mg, I experienced horrible anxiety, confusion, short term memory loss, anger, and restlessness.

    I also gained 12 lbs in 5 weeks. I craved carbs like never before, and couldn’t stop eating. I went roughly from a size 4/6 to 6/8. The brain fog was so bad, I remember losing my keys 3 times while maybe within a 15 minute period, as I was just trying to get out the front door to head to school. I couldn’t focus on anything for the life of me, or else I got extremely frustrated and irritable, and had to drop my college classes for a semester.

    I was on it maybe 4 months, the final month I tapered and went down to 100mg every other day and then just quit. Withdrawals have given me a lot of relief. In fact, 2 days off entirely, and I woke up feeling a lot like myself again, however, I’m having horrible pain and swelling in my hands and joints. I feel like it’s arthritis, except I’m too young to be riddled with arthritis, but my body may just be reacting to the detoxing.

    Now I’m really tired, too, which I’m ok with it since I get to sleep thrift the joint pain. I just thought I’d share this as I didn’t know initially, that my symptoms were side effects from being on the drug. I haven’t heard of anyone having joint pain from withdrawal, but it’s too coincidental for it to have any other cause. It started literally 2 days after going completely off, and got worse around day #7 and it hasn’t lessened except maybe just a smidgen.

    Anyway, there’s my experience with it. I wouldn’t let it stop you from at least trying it since it does have a high rate of effectiveness for many things. Odds are you’ll feel great, and you’ll probably experience weight loss. I know a number of ppl who are loving the drug. My body is just misbehaving… :)

  • Nancy Baney October 4, 2016, 5:30 pm

    I am planning to taper off of Wellbutrin after many years. I cannot take the generic and insurance will not cover the cost of Wellbutrin XL 300 mg. I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disease. I am very low in B12 and other deficiencies as well. I am reading and learning to sort through much info.

    I believe my depression and anxiety will be helped by healing my body through diet, supplements, exercise, talk therapy, my trust in God’s faithfulness, and also thyroid hormone. So much to learn but I am hopeful. Glad I finally saw an endocrinologist. So hope this might be helpful to someone.

  • Susan Jefferson September 16, 2016, 7:10 pm

    I took Wellbutrin for 11 years. The dosage was increased to 300 mgs after taking it for a couple of years. I had just renewed my prescription in May. The next month (June) I felt fine and decided to stop cold turkey. I didn’t have any withdrawal issues and felt fine. A year later (June) my depression returned and I was stressed and couldn’t sleep.

    I started taking 300 mg of Wellbutrin a day and I felt better for almost three months. Three months later I went to see my new psychiatrist because I started feeling stressed and couldn’t sleep. He prescribed Trazodone 1/2 of 100 mg to take at bedtime. He told me to keep taking Wellbutrin because it takes a while to work.

    He told me to come back in 30 days to see how I was doing. The first time I took it, it only took a few days to work. Does it take four months to work because I had quit taking it for a year after taking it for 11 years?

  • Ron Jeremy September 16, 2016, 1:56 am

    Hey I’ve been off wellbutrin for 4 or 5 months. I know it can take a while for your body to readjust, but how long does it take for your body to re-up your norepinephrine and not be deficient? I went off cold turkey and am experiencing symptoms of epinephrine deficiency like muscle loss and fatigue. It has gotten better though, but still not normal.

  • Mike September 15, 2016, 2:18 am

    On 300 extended for three years. Doc said I could quit cold turkey. Friend said he was in similar situation, and didn’t have major problems quitting cold turkey. Do some/many people quit cold turkey with only minimal side effects? I want to give it a try for a number of reason, but this blog has me seriously reconsidering. Thanks.

    • Mary September 20, 2016, 7:54 pm

      Mike, I was on 300 XL for 4 years & went to 150 about 6 months ago. I stayed on that until a few weeks ago and now am off cold turkey. I have only had a slight bit of fatigue and a few brain zaps. I had also read a lot of people having side effects going off, but I want off of this stuff. Good luck.

      • Liz January 23, 2017, 2:49 am

        How did it go? I quit cold turkey twice, once in my early 20’s and then when I was 30, both times after being on it for a few years. Perhaps my age but in my 20’s didn’t notice side effects besides return of depression and quite a bit of weight gain. When I quit the 2nd time I had a few side effects that weren’t terrible – muscle soreness (suddenly I couldn’t touch my toes like normal- muscles too tight) and some dizziness and “zaps”.

        They went away after a couple of weeks. Now I’m thinking of discontinuing d/t anxiety and heart racing after being on it again only 3 months (after a couple of years of Paxil). Not sure if the Paxil w/d is causing my anxiety or the WB. Not sure if I’ll cold turkey again or try to taper this time.

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