Do you take wellbutrin?

I've been taking 450 mg. of wellbutrin a day, but my neurologist just told me wellbutrin can exacerbate tremors and in fact can cause them. Have you had any experience with this drug, and if you took it then went off of it, did that help quiet down your tremors? It is an antidepressant but my primary care doc prescribed it for me because the drug I take to keep my leukemia in check makes me so sleepy, and wellbutrin woke me up, so to speak. It was a blessing in that regard.

39 Replies

  • I recently started on Wellbutrin(bupropion). I had a bit of a tremor problem today, but I have other problems that may be causing it. I'll keep check on it and update later, Beckey. I'm glad you brought this up as I have RLS and this is the only med that does not exacerbate the RLS. We all handle drugs differently. Even PD is different in each of us. Certainly makes trying to figure out what's wrong a difficult journey.

    Sometimes backing down on a medication dose can correct the problem. Could you ask your doctor if that is an option?

    You are battling two difficult problems.I wish you well.


  • a .good replyh1

    lol jill

  • Thank you jillann.

  • I agree!

  • Thanks Peter! Yes, I am now taking 150 mg of the wellbutrin. That RLS drives me coo-coo! I hate it! Right now I take oxycodone for that which makes me a little uneasy -- the alternative is one of the agonists that has been linked to compulsive behavior. :-( Ha, no way!

    But I also read that a folate supplement helps, as does iron and magnesium. So I'm gulping it all down, hoping for the best but expecting the worse, ha!

  • I take oxycodone at night for restless leg syndrome. The addiction I have is for food and I hope that will be the only one. I have been on Sinemet for Parkinson's disease for four years. The med is notorious for a number of types of addictions as you know.

    Despite these meds especially Sinemet, I haven't ended up with the more serious addictions. I do have a psychologist to help me manage PD & a 'no treatment no cure' eye disease as well as keeping watch for addictions due to the meds.

    My theory is that having a firm plan and some kind of support and a willingness to allow someone to tell me when my plan is looking a bit shabby will keep me away from an addiction. There is a quote I keep in mind. "Man plans, God laughs", lol.

    I get so much help reading how people react to meds, how not everyone has the same PD symptoms and the things they do to manage the problems that come up or links to articles.

    I need these meds to keep the debilitating effects of illness from causing more problems. I try as much as possible to deal with one thing at a time. Take whatever med I need, enjoy the freedoms of improved balance(fewer falls), better sleep, less pain, etc. I try not to mix in what might be coming in the future keep failing this part of the plan!

    I say go for what you need to have a better quality of life! If something doesn't work; makes you physically or mentally sick, go to plan 'B'. Worry about what might happen when it happens.

    Julie aka Peter

  • P.S.

    About folate. If you decide to take it get the one that says methylfolate(B12 would be methylcobalamin). Dr. Ben Lynch has excellent info on methylation and the need for the B vitamins.

    Magnesium: Google Natural Solutions To Good Health. This excellent article has the different forms available what they help with and more.

    Iron: most clinical studies re oral supplements are too small to confirm use in RLS, though intravenous iron definitely helps some, but is not permanent. Side effects can be unpleasant. Too much can be toxic especially for men. Google reliable sites like PubMed.

    You should work with your doctor re supplements as they may change the way your prescription meds work.

    I'm new to this site. Can anyone tell me if information like the above is allowed?

  • You better know information like this is allowed! Obviously you take the time to research these things thoroughly. If I asked my doc about the difference between one type of supplement and another, or one way supplements get processed vs. another, I would get a blank stare.

    re websites: What do you think of WebMD or Mayo Clinic? I'm going to look into PubMed forthwith. I am assuming the title refers to journal articles?

    Oh -- I haven't been on this site for long, but my sense of it is that the only time people look askance at information on this site is if studies have proved it bogus, or in cases where there is little proof but the person is trying to push a product.

  • Beckey, Merry Chrismas!

    Before I retired I was a registered nurse and can't seem to retire from research. My grandson wishes I would! That said, I was an NICU nurse and got little adult medicine experience and certainly not the really complex stuff!

    I use a number of websites as many here probably do. One of the things I did years ago was to find out what I should know about any research study/trial. For example, something as simple as who is funding it is important. The information from those answers can be applied to anything or anyone who writes re any kind of medical (blogs, etc.).

    Your comment about product sales attached to medical info is a good one. Dr. Lynch, for example, does sell under Seeking Health. In the beginning, what he sold was pretty much limited to methylation(Vit B's, etc.). He has added a couple of items that I haven't checked on as I only saw them last month & haven't had time to follow-up. If I didn't have the genome for the condition you find on his site, what supplements are needed and researched known reliable other studies I would question the added item(s) and his veracity. I don't.

    So...I use Mayo Clinic for obvious reasons, but articles written for easier understanding always include product sales somewhere on their page. I hate to see such a prestigious institution resort to such things. Maybe that's just my own bias. I still use that info and particularly research from them.

    Cleveland Clinic(Ohio) 'anything' is excellent.

    PubMed is top notch. Most research articles from them are available only as abstracts & may not be helpful because you can't get into the meat of the matter.

    WebMD is okay, but I prefer to use the above and information I am able to get from JAMA, NEJM, one of the nursing journals, the AMA, NIH, any of the various websites, etc.

    I knew next to nothing about research years ago unless it was about infants and children! I still know next to nothing unless it pertains to what might be important to my own health conditions. Even then, I still know next to nothing but will give what I can when I know my information can be reproduced elsewhere. I rely on folks here & on my other health sites to teach me things so I can advocate for my own health. If anyone finds me misinformed or behind the times do point me in the right direction!

    If I have the link for something at hand I'll try to set it up so you can click on it right then, or give something to get someone started on finding the info.

    Always, people must discuss things with their doctor.Doctors always seem to have either an official internet site or hand held device to look up drug-drug or drug-herb compatibility and other things.

    peter aka Julie

  • At the beginning of this thread you mentioned Sinemet is notorious for addictions. That is not the case - it is the Dopamine Agonists that are notorious for addictions due to causing impulse control disorder. If someone told you Sinemet did that, they were either mistaken or trying to muddy the waters.

    Unfortunately, even medical journals as well as respectable websites can be the unwitting hosts to propaganda disguised as legitimate medical data.

    Important information here as an aid to discernment:

  • I am on 150 ml and seem to be doing fine. I am taking first thing in the morning . I was on a second but different antiperspirant which I took at lunch but weened off it because I got stubborn and challenged myself I can handle this horible disease. I suffer from freezing and a hitch in my walk . I function well about 85% of the time . I feel I have nothing to be depressed .another cure is going to the cancer ward at the hospital and taking a peek or getting a peek in the reabilitation ward. These 2 things work wonders for depression . I am 55 and have been diagnosed for 10 years. Don't get me wrong I do have off days but as the slogan goes "cancer can be beat" well in my mind so can PD and depression.

  • Attaboy! You can't beat perspective.

  • Just as a reminder in case a doctor misses it, wellbutrin should not be taken with MAO inhibitors like rasagiline (Azilect) and Selegiline.

  • Geez, I'm glad you shared that important reminder!

  • I'm interested in wellbutrin because it affects norepinephrine whereas most other antidepressants target serotonin. If wellbutrin helps a PD case and L-dopa does not, then it may indicate the locus coeruleus (LC) part of the brain is harmed more than substantia nigra (SN) .

    I'm curious, if you opened the capsule of the leukemia drug, does it have a bitter taste?

  • Let's put it this way: There's a good reason the stuff comes in a capsule!

  • Really? So it's intolerably chemically tasting? I mean it sounds like maybe you mean you haven't tried it because that's not what you're supposed to do. That's true, and in the case of that pill, you would get twice the dosage if you let it absorb in your mouth, and 4 times if you ate 2 grapefruits. I am strange in that I do it on everything. For example, I know my curcumin doesn't have the advertised amount of peperine in it because it does not taste as strong as pepper. I know my green tea pills are about as strong as 1 cup of green tea because they make a tasty cup of tea if I empty 1 into a cup of hot water. The active ingredients in things are usually the things that give the taste, like curcumin in turmeric and peperine in pepper.

  • "you would get twice the dosage if you let it absorb in your mouth, and 4 times if you ate 2 grapefruits."

    Maybe that is why they tell us never to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while we're taking Tasigna.

  • Wellbutrin is a reuptake inhibitor of dopamine and noradrenaline hence its positive effect on both depression and PD. After studying antidepressants and PD, of the various types, save MAO inhibitors like selegiline, Wellbutrin is pretty much the best for PD.

    The following article will answer your questions about noradrenaline and Parkinson's disease:

    Noradrenaline and Parkinson's disease.

  • You've gotten good results with it? The only thing I've heard from others here is that it makes them nervous.

  • I am on neither Wellbutrin nor selegiline. I was just passing on information about them. Noradrenaline is of interest because I started my Parkinsons oddessy by taking the amino acid tyrosine. I changed from tyrosine to levodopa derived from Mucuna pruriens and feel less jumpy/ stressed. Initially depression was one of my symptoms but it was eradicated by taking tyrosine.

  • But wouldn't one need to consider the route of administration when assessing the effectiveness of the drug? My understanding of pharmacokinetics is that the route of administration is directly related to the rate and amount of absorption.

  • Most drugs don't need to be modified by the stomach acid and gut, so oral absorption usually means getting more of it. But this isn't usually done because of dreadful taste. If the drug being taken is the active form, then injection into the blood will provide the highest absorption. But I am making a guess when I say the oral route doubles. To be specific, taking with found doubles absorption, and taking with a strong chemical that acts like grapefruit triples it. Both of these measurements they mention in the drug info sheet. The reason you would not typically try to go against the instructions is because doing what I mentioned might cause 2 to 6 times more, depending on the person. So not eating with food and not eating with grapefruit gives a more predictable dose. The reason it's something to consider is because $25,000/year and hoping it works at 4x more absorption by splitting the powder up is a lot less than $100,000/year I'm told it would cost to follow the instructions. Taking a drug is like a software license. We have not been given permission to not follow the instructions because the pharmaceutical "copyright" holder has the legal right to make sure he gets $100,000 out of you if you're sick instead of letting you get away with $25,000.

  • A fine example of corporate greed!

  • I am taking propranolol to control shaking (so far not very effective), and it is not only ghastly tasting but dissolves immediately in your mouth so there's no escaping the awful flavor, which lingers. I've been putting three of the little pills inside an empty capsule and swallowing that, so I don't have to taste it, but rereading your post, it sounds like that could adversely affect absorption ... ?

  • The problem with taking Tasigna / nilotinib with food is that it causes serious GI tract bleeding. They don't say that anywhere because pharmas will never say anything about adverse effects if they can help it. So they simply tell you to take it on an empty stomach but don't say why.

  • Thanks for letting me know. They say the reason is because the dosage is not very well controlled and can double. I thought it was strange because I had not seen that reason before. It doesn't dissolve in mouth?

  • No, it is highly insoluble at ordinary pH, and only slightly soluble (1–10 mg/ml) at pH 1.0. So it has to get to the intestines to get absorbed.

  • I have been taking 100 MG SR Bupropion (started out Wellbutrin, but switched to generic) for many years now (probably close to 10) with my PD meds. Though they have evolved over the years, my current PD meds include: Ropinirole-0.5 MG, 4x dly & Carb/Levo-25/100 MG, 4x dly & Carb/Levo ER-25/100 MG, 2x dly. I have had problems with dropping off to sleep at any given time, so believe that is why this antidepressant was chosen. I have had 3 different Neurologists & a primary Dr during this time and although some have said that it's not often prescribed in PD patients, as there are others more helpful with anxiety & OCD behaviors, none have mentioned that it could worsen or cause tremors.

  • Ropinerole, is that one of the agonists?

  • yes

  • I believe so.

  • My husband took Wellbutrin for a few weeks for depression, he was so down and out of it the doctor stopped it and put him on Prozac and he's much better. I was on Prozac for depression as a caregiver and did not work so dr put me on Wellbutrin 150 two times a day and it worked great!

  • It works well for me too, but the doctor was telling me it can cause or contribute to a tremor, and I've had a devil of a time quieting down this tremor.

  • I'm so sorry to hear you have Leukemia in addition to PD Becky. How are you doing girl?

    My doctor tried me on Wellbutrin and it made my tremors much worse. It was suppose to wake me up also because I was having so much day-time sleepiness. It didn't work for me and in fact made me more tired. This was before I was diagnosed with PD.

    It's amazing how different people have different reactions to medications. Being a doctor is really just a 'see what works' job and hope you don't kill the patient in the mean time. At least that what I think.

  • At work seeking in a post..... Beckey if you are on a cancer drug NAC may could be dangerous:

    N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC): good for some things but dangerous with cancer.

  • Yikes! Thanks for the head's up. Wow.

  • "An analysis of data from 23andMe shows that a certain gene variant is tied to a higher likelihood of bupropion being ineffective for depression."

    Bupriopion is the generic name for Wellbutrin and the following article investigates genetic resistance to various anti-depressants. Apparently you do not have the anti-Wellbutrin gene:

  • Thanks Beckey for the wellbutrin information. Sorry to hear of the trouble.

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