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Aplenzin vs. Wellbutrin

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Posted · Report post

My pdoc just suggested I stop my wellbutrin and switch to aplenzin instead of increasing my 300xl to 450xl.

I am totally confused about what to do. I have been determined not to TOUCH my magic combo. But is this just superstition? I am so afraid that everything will stop working altogether. She did not want me to increase Lexapro. I have enough anxiety as it is.

My hubby thinks I have been more depressed lately, my dysthymia is worse, etc. I always ask him on the way to the pdoc if there is a topic he thinks I should bring up. Unfortunately he did not have much to to elaborate but he was very very insistent that I tell her my depression is worse.

I am so pessimistic about dysthymia that I have given up altogether. My life works. But I do get depressed. Often, daily. My dysthymia is really a kind of major depression dysthymia. I function, I have a great job, I am a good mom, yadda yadda yadda. But every single day at various moments and sometimes whole days, I am very very depressed.

But this pdoc is beginning to sort out my little tricks and she sees that I am med resistant. I am. It took me 50 years to take anything. She also wants me to try klonopin instead of the valium because I refuse to take valium daily. It just makes me too sleepy and can make me MORE depressed if taken at the wrong time. Pdoc says I have too much anxiety which IS true.

But this has been an incredibly stressful year for me on so many levels. However, the pdoc still thinks I have every right NOT to be depressed and that i am being silly about trying something else.

She wrote me a script for Aplenzin 522 mg., which she says she likes better than Wellbutrin 450 XL for me. She has her patients split the Wellbutrin 450 xl in half. I don't want to take any SR pills. They do not work for me. So.....I don't know what to do. I thought maybe, just maybe, I would sometime up my wellbutrin but I wanted to wait for perhaps silly reasons. At least pdoc thinks they are silly reasons.

The pdoc said switch to the Aplenzin on saturday. Try it for a week and see how it does. My cousin suggested taking aplenzin one day, wellbutrin the next and try that first. If I start to feel worse, at least I didn't go off the wellbutrin altogether. If I feel better, I can switch to aplenzin.

Anyone know anything about aplenzin? Anyone switch from wellbutrin to aplenzin? Right now I don't know what to do.

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Posted · Report post

I have to say, I don't think I would switch back and forth between Wellbutrin and Aplenzin like that - since the meds take time to work, I don't know if one day is really going to tell you anything about what's doing what, despite the fact that Wellby works a bit faster than most. One week seems like a reasonable trial to me, if you decide to try it.

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Posted · Report post

I have to say, I don't think I would switch back and forth between Wellbutrin and Aplenzin like that - since the meds take time to work, I don't know if one day is really going to tell you anything about what's doing what, despite the fact that Wellby works a bit faster than most. One week seems like a reasonable trial to me, if you decide to try it.

Thank you Tryp. That makes alot of sense. The pharmacist said that he thought I could renew them both right now because insurance companies consider them different drugs. I was worried that if I take aplenzin for a week and want to go back to my welly, they won't let me since I haven't used up all the aplenzin.

I just found a CrazyBoard Aplenzin thread from 2009/10 which I will have to read.

A friend suggested I wait a couple of weeks.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

They are the same drug, just one is a bromide. I found no difference between brand Welly and Aplenzin.

nf

Edited by notfred

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Posted · Report post

here are the same drug, just one is a bromide. I found no difference between brand Welly and Aplenzin.

What does that mean one is a bromide - it has more salt in it? And I don't understand, is Aplenzin just another pharmaceutical company's excuse to make another brand of Wellbutrin. Is there really no difference at all? I know that Lexapro and Celexa are very very similar but they are different. but it sounds like Aplenzin and Wellbutrin are exactly the same, except for the bromide. So why then would I switch at all? Why would the Pdoc even recommend it. I would LOVE a wellbutrin 375 XL or something, but it sounds like the 522 mg. Aplenzin is the same as the Welly 450 XL.

I have always taken the brand Wellbutrin, never tried the generics. Is Aplenzin just another generic wellbutrin under a different disguise?

I know I am being a bit ridiculous but I am SO nervous about touching my meds at all. Maybe I should just up the wellbutrin or not change a thing. I just don't know.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I think it's more like another brand Wellbutrin. It's one of those things where you'd think there shouldn't be a difference, but you never know - for some people there might be.

It's just a different salt - bromide instead of chloride. The bupropion part is still the same. That's why the dosages are so weird - they're adjusted so that there's an easy equivalence between the hydrochloride and the hydrobromide.

Edited by tryp

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Posted · Report post

And I don't understand, is Aplenzin just another pharmaceutical company's excuse to make another brand of Wellbutrin. Is there really no difference at all?

Yes and yes. After a drug becomes generic sometimes it makes sense to, or not, to make a longer acting formulation of the original brand. It is called a patient extender. The only advantage I see with Alplenzin is taking one pill a day instead of two, when you are on 450 mgs. That and for some reason my insurance will pay for it, on formulary, but not Welly XL.

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Posted · Report post

And I don't understand, is Aplenzin just another pharmaceutical company's excuse to make another brand of Wellbutrin. Is there really no difference at all?

Yes and yes. After a drug becomes generic sometimes it makes sense to, or not, to make a longer acting formulation of the original brand. It is called a patient extender. The only advantage I see with Alplenzin is taking one pill a day instead of two, when you are on 450 mgs. That and for some reason my insurance will pay for it, on formulary, but not Welly XL.

Thank you NF. I guess I will try it. That is, if my insurance co. will pay for it. I'll find out if I can drag my butt over to the pharmacy now.

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Posted · Report post

FYI: I decided NOT to take the aplenzin. Even though I have a nice handy little bottle all ready to go.

It just makes no sense to me. If and when I want to up my Welly, I'll just take the 450 XL. The straw that broke the camels back was reading that for some people wellbutrin did not completely erase their sex life but when they switched to Aplenzin that put the nail in the coffin.

And also, I am now taking a bit more of my benzo which my pdoc also suggested. This is helping the anxiety, racing mania thoughts, which is definitely helping spillovers into depression. One day at a time. One pill (or rather two) pills at a time.

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Posted · Report post

I started the Aplenzin. It's 522 mg, equivalent to 450 xl Wellbutruin which unknown to me is really a 300 XL pill and 150 XL pill. No wonder the aplenzin pill is so huge.

I feel jumpy, spacy, happy go lucky, agitated, my heart is racing, and I think I am a bit dehydrated. All side effects seem normal to me. heh

Earlier in the day I found out that we let our Amazon Prime go too long and they billed the $80, I immediately plunged. Think it was the automatic negative thinking "i'm an idiot, why did I wait, hubby will be mad" blah blah blah. so I called hubby who said we could cancel it. duh. I was able to cancel it no problem.

So.....has the depression lifted? I don't know. My episodes are SO weird. It is such a combination of biological issues and deep psychological triggers that sometimes I don't now which way is up.

I have my 5 rhythms class tonight (dance meditation) which I am NOT wanting to attend. As always I hate leaving the house at night and somehow the idea of moving around with this extra bupropion in my body sounds like too much. I am going nonetheless.

I don't quite understand how the increase of this med will help my definitely atypical depression and atypical dysthymia (if there is such a thing). Just wish it wasn't called Aplenzin. no more welly. Now my magic combo (*knocks on wood*) is Aplexapro.

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I have been aplenzinized now for 2 1/2 weeks. I don't know if it is because I upped the bupropion or if it's the aplenzin, but so far so good. My mood has been much more upbeat. I am washing dishes, cooking, waking up from my bed instead of being down the rabbit hole when my eyes open.

The only issue is something is going on with my heart. It starts to POUND. Not race, I think, but pound. As if it is going to burst out of my chest. As if i was just approached by a terrifying bear in the woods. Not exactly like a panic or anxiety attack. I don't think it is racing. This concerns me. I hope I hope I hope this is a side effect that is going to go away. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

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Posted · Report post

I am currently on Aplenzin 522 mg after switching from Wellbutrin XL 300 mg about three weeks ago.

The problem is that I don't do well on Wellbutrin XL generics... and Wellbutrin XL is the only anti-depressant that I have responded to, so I have to buy the brand name. I needed to increase my dosage, but would have to pay a lot more since they don't make a pill that is 450 mg... I simply can't afford that! My pdoc gave me 5 weeks of samples of 522 mg Aplenzin.

I've taken 450 mg of brand-name Wellbutrin XL before, and I'm surprised that I actually like the Aplenzin a little better, as I didn't think there would be any difference. I feel less anxious, actually. Unlike you, my heart would pound more on Wellbutrin XL. I honestly don't know the difference between buproprion hydrochloride and bupropion hydrobromide, but there must be. I didn't think I'd feel different at all.

In fact, I think that the Aplenzin 522 mg helps my depression more than Wellbutrin XL 450 mg, but that could be just be my brain making me believe that.

It didn't take any time to kick in, but I assume that's because my system was already filled with bupropion.

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Posted · Report post

In fact, I think that the Aplenzin 522 mg helps my depression more than Wellbutrin

Me too!! :D

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Posted · Report post

I am aplenzinized.

I LOVE this med. LOVE it. LOVE it.

It feels cleaner, the increase in bupropion is working well. My heart pounding is leaving or gone.

I am so afraid of jinxing it. haha

The first time in years that my dysthymia is better.

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Posted · Report post

Aplenzin was the greatest until the patient assistance program was discontinued. Now time to play the generic wellbutrin game again...any feedback on the best of the generic wellbutrins? Teva stinks

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hello, I just joined this board to bring this thread back in the hopes that I could get some shared experiences and tell about my experiences with Aplenzin.

 

I started Aplenzin 174mg about 5 months ago and it's done wonders for my depression/anxiety. Sometimes I get anxious episodes but overall I would say that it's helped my anxiety, with little to no side-effects. The first 5-7 days on the medication were a bit rough, but once my body got accustomed to the medication it worked like magic.

 

I went to fill my prescription the other day and it cost $200 (something with ins. and co-pay) when it normally costs $100. I said enough with this, it's too expensive and had my doc prescribe Wellbutrin 150 XL generic by Watson.

 

This is day one, and so far so good.

I am just concerned with the Teva brand being taken off the market last october and the fact that I am now taking a generic brand substitute for Wellbutrin which I've read good and bad things about.

We'll see how it goes...

Edited by mrcurious

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Posted · Report post

I hope it goes well.  Let us know.  My aplenzin is still working I guess.

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this is day three on generic wellbutrin and the med is giving me anxiety. feeling a little jittery. going to give it a while longer --I suspect it'll take a little bit for it to settle in.

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Posted · Report post

Also, I am getting spurts of mild euphoria going through my body. so maybe it's just the time release mechanism trying to adjust to my body.

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I know this is an old thread that someone just revived, but I wanted to say to Water that most everything you wrote here I can TOTALLY relate to.  Especially the having *enough* decent functioning to be afraid of messing with the meds you already had, yet feeling there is definitely still too much chronic dysthymic depression.  I can't afford to lose my place in the professional rat race pecking order because of med overhauls gone wrong.  Pdoc is very med-conservative and mostly operates in a very narrow "safe" range.  But I am so chronically depressed in the exact same way you described that its clear to me *something* has to change.

 

I am currently at the same place you were at the beginning of the thread.  I've taken various WB versions/doses for years, sometimes in combo with other things.  In my daily experience XL is far better than SR, but chronic dysthymia and recurrent major crashes are still extremely disruptive problems.  

 

Literally, I just came back from today's weepy, frustrating pdoc visit.  Predictably conservative, the only thing he says he's open to is *possibly* raising the WB to 450.  I'm clearly crashing right now.  For fuck's sake, I've given 300 WB XL two years and it hasn't been cutting it.  I still spiral into major depressive crashes 2-3 times a year on the meds he allows.  He knows I do self/situation assessment for trigger identification and behavioral improvements, I research viable med options, and am open to trying new things.  (I used to be averse to taking any meds)  I won't talk here about other classes of ADs, a complicated messy thing with pdoc.  But I am posting here because Aplenzin is a seemingly obvious related option that he has never brought up.  

 

I never before bothered to ask him about Aplenzin because on paper it looked so similar to the more common WB.  But hearing about how that relatively small change made a noticeable difference for you, it sounds like a relevant option to ask about at next pdoc appointment.

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Posted · Report post

I'm glad that my reviving this post might make a difference in someone else's life. I was hesitant to register and post. I will leave the reply to water as I am/was on a low dose of aplenzin with mild depression and mind to severe anxiety. the depression peaked before I took the medication and I was in a really bad funk. the aplenzin worked for me. I am trying this out because the pdoc won't file an appeal unless I try generic wellbutrin first. I don't know if bc/anthem will pay out more on a medication they already cover (even though it's still expensive.) $10/mo. vs. $100/mo is a big difference.

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I never before bothered to ask him about Aplenzin because on paper it looked so similar to the more common WB.  But hearing about how that relatively small change made a noticeable difference for you, it sounds like a relevant option to ask about at next pdoc appointment.

I would definitely ask him about aplenzin.  I know the meds are very similar but there are differences and we all have different body chemistry.  One main thing about the aplenzin 522 is that it is ONE pill.  If you move up to 450 xl Wellbutrin you will have to take a 300xl and the 150xl.  This affects the release method in your body.

 

I do think now that the reason the aplenzin helped so much is the raise in the bupropion from 300 mg to 450 mg.

 

I don't know if you are taking a cocktail, but the wellbutrin initially did wonders but did not totally help my depressive episodes. Once I added the Lexapro, my magic combo was created.

 

This is not to say I never get depressed anymore.  But I call it now DOD.  Depression On Drugs.  Very different.  I know that it will end instead of feeling like this despair, blackness, numbness will never ever leave.

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Thanks for pointing out the difference in release mechanism/timing between the Aplenzin single pill and the Wellbutrin 300+150 combo.  I agree that the release rate makes a difference in effectiveness.  I didn't know there is no 450 tab.  If we go that route, I certainly will ask pdoc about that distinction.  I prefer to be informed and proactive in med change discussions with pdoc.

 

Also, he is the same pdoc who initially told me (maybe 6 years and several med changes ago?) that it didn't matter if I took all 300mg WB SR all at once or split it into twice daily 150mg doses.  Well, when I finally did get it split months later, it made a noticeable difference.  Switching from SR to XL, made a noticeable difference too.  But those changes mostly just evened out the daily roller coaster of the WB's activation then later wear-off crash.  

 

I mean, since we all assume YMMV with all meds/therapy because we are all so individually varied, then it makes sense to actively participate in psych med decision making with informed input about my personal dossier of relevant physical, emotional, situational, and behavioral history and concerns.  Right?  (that's a rhetorical question, I'm just venting my WTF sick of being sick frustrations at this point)

 

I tried Lexapro first then various WB/Lexapro combos for about 3 years until finally just dropping the Lex altogether.  I was barely any less frequently/intensely depressed on the Lexapro.  And the lethargy, brain fog, dead libido, apathy, etc. it caused just felt like additional depression-like symptoms with little benefit.  Within 3 months of quitting Lexapro I dropped the 25 lbs I gained while on it and felt cognitively clearer than I had in a long time.

 

I posted that other thread last week about difficulty recognizing medically relevant depression.  After talking to p/tdoc today I feel even less clear about what's wrong/fixable and what to do.  Maybe years of inconsistent access to effective care options contributes to this sense of insecurity, confusion, and distrust.  P/tdoc's narrow allowable range of only the most conservative meds and therapy contributes to feeling like a fraud; like I am not legitimately in distress and I am not legitimately in need of help.  It makes me feel like I'm just supposed to live at this level of emotional pain and inconsistent functionality because THIS is "normal enough".   It makes me feel like because for so long I was able to mask all but the worst problems with academic intelligence and the compensation outlets that that enabled, I don't really have "real" problems.  I feel at personal fault for wasting my entire life feeling miserable because I am NOT legitimately miserable.  The ultimate dead end of this is the feeling like the implicit message is "You're miserable because you just choose to make yourself miserable.  You don't deserve help, meds or therapy, you just have a shitty attitude.  You dug your own hole so lie in it."

 

If WB is one of the few things he allows down my hole then Aplenzin seems like one of the few change options I can realistically ask for.

 

Sorry.  I'm frustrated and depressed and exhausted.  I devolve into an angry ranting asshole when I feel like this.  

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