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Question about Wellbutrin XL every OTHER day


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I went in for another visit to my psychiatrist, and we talked about the possibility of adding Wellbutrin XL back to my regimen. He said this time around I would only be on 150 mg instead of 300 mg since there really was no additional benefit of the increased dosage for me and all it did was bring more side effects.

I told him that I still have about 3 months left worth of Wellbutrin XL, though, and that it was pretty expensive so I don't want to throw it out if I don't need to. He said he was not sure and that he would research it, but he thought it would be okay.

So would 300 mg of Wellbutrin XL (NOT SR) every OTHER day be equivalent to taking 150 mg of Wellbutrin XL every single day?

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i don't think so, because your body needs more or less a constant, steady-state of the drug in your body for it to be effective. what you would be doing is flooding your system with the stuff and then depriving it. it would be like if you ate every other day.

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If you still have some of this expensive med left, I'm sure 300 mg of XL version every second day (with pdoc's approval as you say) is better than not taking it at all.

I'm on the lower dose of wellbutrin as well, mainly cause of side effects. However I take the SR version, at 150mg once a day in the morning.

Wellbutrin and it's metabolites (after it's been broken down in the body) hangs around in the body for a while, so it's not like on those days where you don't take a pill that your body is deprived of it. It cannot be compared to like if you ate every second day.

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Some good info from Crazy Meds:

Wellbutrin's Half-Life: Things get really complicated with Wellbutrin's half-life. Most drugs are happy to be metabolized into one metabolite and that's what acts on your brain. Sometimes it's not the drug you take that does the work, it's the metabolite. Some drugs get metabolized twice, so you have two things working on your brain. Not Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride). It gets metabolized into three metabolites and they in turn get metabolized again and all of that is what acts on your brain. So Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) itself has a half-life of 12-30 hours, and each of its metabolites have half-lives of 15-25, 23-43 and 24-50 hours. But wait, there's more! Another metabolite floats around after all that! However that last one is still an unknown factor. You piss it out, but does it do anything? Who knows?

But since I don't quite understand all this chemistry and half-life stuff, I really can't explain what it means. I do know this: Prozac has the longest half life of all the antidepressants (something like 7-9 days). Xanax (if I remember correctly) has the shortest half life of the benzos at around 11 hours. Sleeping meds, like Sonata and Ambien, which (for obvious reasons, I think), need to have very short half lives are 1-3 hours.

I'm totally guessing here, but I'm thinking that taking the Wellbutrin every other day will be a crap shoot: if you're a slow metabolizer (and I have no idea how one determines this), I think it might work. The first several weeks, as your body tries to adjust to (or figure out) the steady state might be rough, though.

Edit: fixed quote tags

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I don't think it's going to work. You will most likely get withdrawal effects between doses. It is meant to be taken everyday.

It IS meant to be taken daily, but I'm not so sure about "withdrawal" effects being a real issue. Bupropion is not known for

its discontinuation effects or for addiction (Erowid has some nasty stories about what can happen when it's abused)

If Jamison were a "slow metabolizer", every other day dosing might make sense with this medication. Otherwise, I'd suspect

he'd have cycling periods of too much/about right/too little. The question is whether that's more tolerable than paying

full-price or a "name-brand" copay, when the same med is sitting in the medicine cabinet - if it is, and his doctor is OK

with that, no problem. There's always the limited outside chance that it may work for him better than standard dosing.

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