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Question
Posted by: VERY ANXIOUS | 2009/11/25

Wellbutrin for anxiety

Oh Lord please help me - I can' t take this anymore. I have been on 75mg Effexor for about a year (this time) to help me with anxiety. It helped a bit, not great, but some relief. I did find that lately it was not helping as much anymore, and I am gaining a lot of weight. I reported this to Dr and my options were to change it to something else, or increase the dosage. I wanted to change because I have been through Effexor withdrawak before and was too scared to one day have to withdraw from a higher dose. I have also been drinking excessively, and have founf many references to Effexor increasing a person' s urge to drink too much (although doc doesn' t believe me ... then again Doc says Effexor doesn' t cause withdrawal - yeah right!)

Anyway, I did the fantastic treatment swap on Saturday. (apparently just a straight swap - no need to wean) from 75mg Effexor to 150mg Wellbutrin SR. Now I feel like I am dieing! I expected the vertigo (such an innocuous little word for the way it feels!!), the nausea, the upset stomach and the crying bouts. What is really bothering me is that my anxiety is 10x worse.

Is this just Effexor withdrawal? Is it the Wellbutrin? Does Wellbutrin actually work for anxiety? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? I am trying to be brave, but I am not winning! I go from crying, to being irrationally angry, to panicking .. fell like I am going mad. I JUST WANT THIS TO STOP.

I have suffered anxiety for many years, and I cannot bear it anymore. I have really tried everything and I just can' t TAKE IT. I have been to GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists and even a homeopath, I have tried multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Aropax, Remeron, Effexor, Trepiline, Imipramine, Zoloft) - just don' t work. Remeron was the best but it made me put on even more weight than the Effexor. I have been for three years of psychotherapy, changed therapists and tried a few months of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy....... and look where I am now! NONE OF IT WORKS FOR ME AND I WONT DO IT AGAIN!

I was on Valium - that actually helped - but apparently " it' s not good for you"  .... I mean really?? No kidding?? So, in other words, " SUFFER WOMAN"  .. and at least we don' t have to worry about prescribing something addictive - at least their conscience is clear. But what about me? Do I have to feel panic for the rest of my life? Self-medicate? Drink like a fish? What are my options?

I really think Jack Nicholson got it spot on ... " did you ever think that maybe ... this is as good as it gets?"  What a terrifying thought?

So, do I go on Effexor at a higher dose? Do I just hold on and hope the Wellbutrin kicks in? Does Wellbutrin help for anxiety? Not the references I' ve seen.. Sorry about this long post, but I need help.....

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Anyone who can still quote Jack Nicholson must be doing better than they think !
Almost all antidepressants can also be useful in anxiety ( we call the anti-depressants not because that's the only thing they do, but because that's what they were first developed to do ). Howeverb, Effexor is about the last one I would consider using in someone who is complaining of anxiety symptoms, as it can worsen those.
Then, as you surely know, drinking heavily, though it may be tempting at times, is bad when combined with antidepressants, and may undermine their effectiveness anyway.
Withdrawl symptoms when coming off various antidepressants surely do occur, though they're not like the withdrawal from more typically addictive drugs.
As for Effexor increasing someon's desire to drink, I haven't come across it, but I don't prescribe it, so I wouldn't, would I ? And simiarly, I have never taken someone through a swap from Effexor to Wellbutrin, and have not come across any good studies recommending this.
( By the way, are you being treated by a psychiatrist or a GP ? ) Maybe these curent symptoms are indeed due to Effexor withdrawal.
There are good reasons to be cautious about prescribing long-term valium ( or one of its relatives ) but it suits some people well, without particular problems. And where other methods have been tried, without success, there's no reason to reject it outright as a potential treatment. Of course that family of drugs has effects in some ways similar to alcohol ( which is why they can be used to treat alcohol withdrawl ).
YOu'll have gathered that I don't like Effexor, and especially not in higher doses, when it can, unlike others, raise some blood presure problems.
Wellbutrin is at least as likely to help anxiety as Effexor, and tends to help people who want to stop drinking, to stop.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/11/25

Anyone who can still quote Jack Nicholson must be doing better than they think !
Almost all antidepressants can also be useful in anxiety ( we call the anti-depressants not because that's the only thing they do, but because that's what they were first developed to do ). Howeverb, Effexor is about the last one I would consider using in someone who is complaining of anxiety symptoms, as it can worsen those.
Then, as you surely know, drinking heavily, though it may be tempting at times, is bad when combined with antidepressants, and may undermine their effectiveness anyway.
Withdrawl symptoms when coming off various antidepressants surely do occur, though they're not like the withdrawal from more typically addictive drugs.
As for Effexor increasing someon's desire to drink, I haven't come across it, but I don't prescribe it, so I wouldn't, would I ? And simiarly, I have never taken someone through a swap from Effexor to Wellbutrin, and have not come across any good studies recommending this.
( By the way, are you being treated by a psychiatrist or a GP ? ) Maybe these curent symptoms are indeed due to Effexor withdrawal.
There are good reasons to be cautious about prescribing long-term valium ( or one of its relatives ) but it suits some people well, without particular problems. And where other methods have been tried, without success, there's no reason to reject it outright as a potential treatment. Of course that family of drugs has effects in some ways similar to alcohol ( which is why they can be used to treat alcohol withdrawl ).
YOu'll have gathered that I don't like Effexor, and especially not in higher doses, when it can, unlike others, raise some blood presure problems.
Wellbutrin is at least as likely to help anxiety as Effexor, and tends to help people who want to stop drinking, to stop.

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