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Seizures caused by Wellbutrin


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I had a series of seizures a year-and-a-half ago. I was on Lithium, Geodon, Provigil. Atenolol and Wellbutrin. The Neurologist feels strongly that it was the Wellbutrin (400 mg). Does anyone else have any thoughts? (Have been on Keppra to counteract the seizures since then but he wants to stop it.)

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I had a series of seizures a year-and-a-half ago. I was on Lithium, Geodon, Provigil. Atenolol and Wellbutrin. The Neurologist feels strongly that it was the Wellbutrin (400 mg). Does anyone else have any thoughts? (Have been on Keppra to counteract the seizures since then but he wants to stop it.)

I had a friend who had wellbutrin-induced seizures.  She too went on Keppra.  After (I think a year's worth) of clear eegs, her neuro tapered her off of the keppra and she has continued to be seizure free.

Have you been seizure free since comming off the wellbutrin?

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I'm pretty sure that while I was on Wellbutrin it lowered my seizure threshold (and as a result) contributed to my seizures...but I was on Effexor too and that I know makes me seize under the right (or wrong) conditions.

I'm just realizing that this post is getting murky and may be of no help to you whatsoever.

I suppose it's possible that they could have been med induced.  Mine were not.  I have had seizures all my life.

As Penny mentioned, it is possible to get off the drug that has caused the problems from the outset and be seizure free.

Karen

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My friend had serious seizures on Zyban (Wellbutrin)... With no prior history of them.

Just realized this is kind of a pointless post. I guess I wanted to say that it does happen, and it just might be the Wellbutrin that's causing them.

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  • 7 months later...

I had a Wellbutrin t/c without ever having a seizure before (as far as I know). Normal...which is it...eeg? The one where they put the wires on your head. Normal everything else.

I took an accidental double dose.

I don't think this thread is pointless as, years ago, I was looking for other people who had the experience.

I'm back on Wellbutrin, and am very careful about my dosing. It took years of no seizures and lots of treatment-resistant depression to get my Wellbutrin back. It's the only one that works for me.

One last thing - years ago, before the seizure, my doctor raised my dose to a bit over 400, and I had extreme jamais vu, which may or may not have been some sort of seizure episode. So, if anyone's getting jamais vu, and you really like your Wellbutrin, perhaps you should consider cutting back.

Also (perhaps it's obvious, but I considered myself tough, or something) - never take your Wellbutrin if you can't remember whether or not you've already done so.

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  • 8 months later...

i suffered my first and only absent seizure while weaning from wellbutrin 200mg a day to nada

it was terrifying and i cried and was hysterical for hours afterwards.

i was so scared; i now know how it feels to feel completely out of my mind.....and its was not pretty.

i "lost time" if you will

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Wellbutrin is the frickin' devil. Well, for me at least. It's fairly notorious for lowering the seizure threshold. For me, it caused the first seizure that was a big enough deal/weird enough to make me realize (retroactively, unfortunately) that something wasn't quite right. Partially blanking out at school in the hallway between classes and just sitting there on the floor for a couple minutes while the world decided to go back to normal and everyone else went to their classes convinced me to not try any other meds for a few years. Now we know that I'm apparently epileptic, and I take things that prevent seizures, not cause them. Heh.

Oh, and I just noticed the thing someone said last year about jamais vu. I get that all the time when I'm having seizures more often, so I can agree that that's probably not a good sign. Frequent/intense jamais vu/deja vu can be associated with your temporal lobes acting up. It can be a rather weird experience. I've been places that I go by/through more than once a week and not been able to figure out which city I'm in for a minute or two.

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My epi. specialist will not prescribe Wellbutrin to his patients he said becuz it has a reputation for lowering the seizure threshold. He likes Lexapro. However, it made me gain almost 10 lbs. in 2 months and didn't do shit for me but cause more simple partial seizures so I dumped the Lexapro in the toidy. Bah bye $45 co-pay. I TOLD him I wasn't depressed! I'm just pissed off cuz he said I couldn't drive unless I went six months without a complex partial seizure. Yeah, like that has happened since my DX. Better livin' thru chemistry my ass.

Anyway, to answer your question: Yes, Wellbutrin is well-known for making seizures happen...even in peeps who don't have epi.

Edited by dumdum
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  • 9 months later...

I'm new here, and although it seems that people haven't posted in this thread for awhile, this is exactly the discussion I was looking for. I actually did have a seizure a couple years ago right after my doctor increased my dosage of Wellbutrin (I had been against increasing it, because I felt fine...but my doctor insisted on giving me more). Of course, I had a seizure. I stopped taking the Wellbutrin immediately and never had a seizure again.

As for the med history, after I went off the Wellbutrin, I didn't take any seizure meds for 4 months. I didn't think I needed it. After those months my neurologist still suggested I go on seizure meds...so I went on Keppra. I've been on 250mg twice a day for about 8 months, and the past 2 months I've only taken the 250mg once a day. Now, I know Keppra is usually a supplement to another seizure med...and I also know that 250mg seems to be a dose that is too low to really make a difference...but either way I've been seizure free.

What I want now is to go back on the Wellbutrin XL at the lowest dosage. I've been depressed for a very long time and Wellbutrin made me feel normal and good again. What I'm wondering is if I should take the 250mg Keppra once a day when I start the Wellbutrin? I've been tapering off the Keppra because I haven't had seizures..but if I start Wellbutrin again should I keep taking it? I'm thinking that the less medication in your system, the better....but I'm not sure in this case. Are there any complications with taking Keppra and Wellbutrin at the same time?

Thank you sooooooooo much!

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Are there any complications with taking Keppra and Wellbutrin at the same time?

Well, they don't seem to interact with each other or anything, which is a good start. I would be surprised if the amount of Keppra you're taking is doing anything at all other than costing you money. 1000mg/day is generally the minimum dosage. I did notice something from 250, but that was taking 250 four times a day. It has such a short half-life that if you only take that little once a day, most of the day (where "12-18 hours out of the day" is my guess for how long "most of the day" is) there's probably so little of it left in your bloodstream that it's not doing anything. Unless you're special and way more sensitive to it than most people. Or have kidney damage and it doesn't get removed from your system as quickly. Heh.

As far as trying Wellbutrin again (at a dose lower than what caused problems), that may or may not be reasonable. You and your doctors know what happened then and what's happened since better than anyone else would. It is encouraging that nothing else out of the ordinary (seizure-wise) has happened since then, so they might be willing to try it again at a lower dosage. I very strongly doubt that 250mg/day of Keppra would help or hurt much, one way or the other, but everyone's brain is a beautiful and unique snowflake, so who knows?

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  • 2 months later...

Safety is the key issue here. Remaining seizure free should be your priority. Most agree that having multiple seizures is more detrimental to a person. However, living a life of darkness and despair doesn't seem like much of a half a gallon of your favorite ice cream. Wellbutrin has been proven to lower the seizure threshold in individuals, especially those who have suffered from seizures previously. I agree this should be discussed with your physician though maybe some compromise can be made so that you can start feeling "normal and good" again. Also, there is no drug to drug interaction between Wellbutrin and Keppra documented.

Finally, I'm sorry that someone forced medication upon you which had such an adverse effect. However, do not forget, is your choice to take medication despite how many prescriptions are written for you. It is best to review all of your medication with a single pharmacy/pharmacist so that drug drug interactions can be avoided.

I hope you do well with whatever decision you make. Wellbutrin is in a class of medication pretty much by itself though there are several alternatives in regards to antidepressants on the market which do not carry the warning of seizures.

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  • 3 months later...

On my second day of Wellbutrin I had a mini-seizure where the world turned sideways for a second. My neurologist had warned me about that, but I didn't believe him. No more for me!

From the PI sheet:

Seizures: Bupropion is associated with a dose-related risk of seizures

It is a 1 in 1,000 chance for Wellbutrin XL, 300 mg/day, which seems to be the common dose. It just sucks immensely to be that "lucky" on-in-a-thousand person. ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest NH Guest

Has anyone had anything similar occur to them?

My brother (21 yrs old) had his first tonic-clonic seizure two nights ago while he, my mother, and my wife and I were having dinner. It was the scariest thing I have ever been through, and fortunately he remembers nothing from it. It lasted 3 to 4 minutes, and he stopped breathing. I had to give him a quick steady tap on his back and he began inhaling again. Suddenly, he came to, and stared at me as if he didn't know me and started screaming. He charged me and tried to throw a chair, and continued to scream. The whole time I was letting him know I was his brother. I ended up having to tackle him and hold him down until he calmed down and passed out. Right before the EMT's arrived, he woke up and realized something had happened, but didn't know what. He remembered who I was, but thought he was just asleep. Obviously, he was frightened.

He has been on a number of depression medicines for some time now, and over the last year, was put on wellbutrin and colonipan(SP?). 6 days prior to the seizure, he said he had suddenly stopped taking the colonipan.

The dr's believe it was the wellbutrin or the colonipan, and pulled him off both. But his Psychiatrist told him to get back on the colonipan(sp?) but to stay off the wellbutrin.

Number one, Has any one exhibited this srt of confusion/rage when having a seizure, and could it be from one of these two drugs?

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