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UnstrungHarp

Wellbutrin And Bulimia Question...

17 posts in this topic

Posted

Wellbutrin seems perfect for me. I want to quit smoking, I hate that other anti-depressants **** my sex drive, I want something that won't make me gain a ton of weight or make me drowsy...

But I'm a little concerned because when I was 17/18 I would go through these bouts of ED behaviour. It's been three years since I've done anything like that, but at the time I would sometimes vomit intentionally.

I didn't purge often though...if I had to estimate, I'd say I did it maybe 20 times. During this time I was also eating less food, but on the low side of a normal intake. I only lost about 10-15 lbs (within normal range for my height) and stayed healthy and active otherwise...I felt fine and could still function.

Does this put me at risk for seizures? I've had physicals and I'm perfectly healthy, there was no effects on my teeth or health. And it was so long ago and it wasn't really severe at all.

I know no one here is a doctor, and I will discuss this with my physician of course.

But I'd like to hear from others who might have some insight on this.

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Posted

WB is one of the meds prescribed for smoking cessation, so it will be an added help for your effort.

WB also suppresses appetite and should not be a problem as far as weight gain. However, some people will gain weight on any medication. It is all a matter of how we metabolize food and meds. If you eat a sensible diet and not overeat there should be no problem with weight. It's been some time since you had bulimia, right?

WB has anti-siezure qualities. However, some people do get siezures from taking it. I'm not sure why this happens, but discuss that with your pdoc as he/she should have a good idea about the siezure part. You may have a base EEG prescribed to see how your brain is functioning now, but there again, it would be up to your pdoc to have that done.

Like a lot of the meds we take, you may have dry mouth. That may be a source for future mouth or tooth ailments. I find chewing gum or a little zest of lemon packed in the cheek helps saliza production to keep the mouth hydrated.

Sheepwoman :hearts:

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Posted

I would also like to add that WB can definitely cause weight gain as well as loss. I am living proof and have heard of other people gaining weight on it as well (from my psychiatrist, who is the director of psychiatry at UMass) and from other forums.

I noticed as I went up from 75mg. to 150mg. that my appetite increased! I was not happy and still am not. I have been on 150mg. for one month now, and though I keep my weight steady (no gain now), I have reduced my food intake, and have upped my exercise routine to include 60 full minutes of cardio (jumping jacks, running, kicking, plyometric jumps) which in the past has helped me LOSE weight; now it just seems to keep the weight steady, no gain. NOTHING else has changed in my life, my health or activity level. So, not all people lose weight on wellbutrin and in fact is not unusual to gain! FYI.

Best wishes,

KarenMac

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Posted

There is a real risk of seizure in people who have had eating disorders, so please do discuss this with your doctor.

KA

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Posted

Thanks for the responses. Yes, it has been awhile since I've had bulimia. I don't think I could have been diagnosed with bulimia though, because I only purged a few times. Apparently the diagnosis for that is at least 2-3 times a week for 3 consecutive months.

I will discuss this with a doctor, however.

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Posted

Unstrung,

I'm glad that you were able to get through that problem with purging. :hearts:

It's always best to be as honest with your doctor as possible when they are prescribing medications so that you can avoid as many risks from medication as possible. I think you're making the right decision to discuss this with your doc.

Please let us know how it goes with your doc!

KA

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Posted

I have just been prescribed wellbutrin....I have tried celexa, effexor, and prozac; the side effects were horrendous. However, I am bulimic and purge several times a week; if not several times a day. I am nervous about starting wellbutrin after reading this thread. I am gathering my eating disorder could cause wb to give me seizures????

BookEater

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Posted (edited)

BookEater:

I wish I had a better answer for you, but the truth is I'm not certain about the risks involved with taking WB when one is bulimic. I know that there is a risk for seizure, but I don't know how great of a risk, or of any measures you can take to reduce this risk. The best thing for you to do is to ask your doc. In fact, do ask your doc. He/She needs to know of any potential problems and your entire medical history.

As for SEs...WB has pretty low SEs when compared to other meds, such as Effexor. Compared to the others, WB is pretty mild. Be sure to note any SEs that you may have and tell your doc about them.

Please keep us posted. I, for one, am particularly interested in what your doc has to say about the seizure risk.

:hearts:

-Bean

Edited by Beanchop99

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Posted

I read the info. that came with the wellbutrin and it said in bold letters not to take if you have an eating disorder...so I will wait to talk to my doctor tomorrow before taking it. I will post anything I learn...

BookEater

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Posted

I read the info. that came with the wellbutrin and it said in bold letters not to take if you have an eating disorder...so I will wait to talk to my doctor tomorrow before taking it. I will post anything I learn...

BookEater

Please do post what your doc tells you. I think your doc will have invaluable info that all of us here at DF can benefit from.

Thanks.

-Bean

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Posted (edited)

Hi Bookeater,

The reason you should be concerned is that purging increases your chances of having a seizure by lowering your seizure threshold. According to the literature, doses of 300mg/day or more of bupropion increase the seizure threshold. So by adding these two factors, this is the reason for the warning about bupropion and EDs.

Since you are actively purging, talk with your doctor.

Be Peace and BE Love.... wayne

Sabbat Shalom

I have just been prescribed wellbutrin....I have tried celexa, effexor, and prozac; the side effects were horrendous. However, I am bulimic and purge several times a week; if not several times a day. I am nervous about starting wellbutrin after reading this thread. I am gathering my eating disorder could cause wb to give me seizures????

BookEater

Edited by lambvet

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Posted

I have just been prescribed wellbutrin....I have tried celexa, effexor, and prozac; the side effects were horrendous. However, I am bulimic and purge several times a week; if not several times a day. I am nervous about starting wellbutrin after reading this thread. I am gathering my eating disorder could cause wb to give me seizures????

BookEater

hey bookeater- i know it's been a while- but i was wondering if you ever did begin taking wellbutrin. and if so- how is it working out? are you on anyother meds?

i'm an inactive (currently) bulimic, on zoloft, (of course depressed as well) and am investigating how effective wellbutrin is for bulimia- or ocd-ish relationships with food- considering adding it to my regime- because i am still compulsive with food.

thanks.

mei

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Posted

You should not take Wellbutrin if you have an eating disorder. Both fasting and purging lower the seizure threshold. Please keep your doctor informed of any ED issues.

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Posted

yea- i should've added that from my understanding- the sr and xl forms have a similar seizure threshold to other ad's but yet retains the stigma of it's ir form- i could be completely misinformed- but at the same time- i don't think the discussion should end there. my dr is well informed of my ed issues- but i'm looking for some more nuanced feedback. your concern is warranted. but i'm also an inactive bulimic- as in have the history but not the current behavior- so is the seizure threshold relevant when the triggering behavior is not present? and isn't (according to the warning) the threat particular to dosing above something like 300 or 450/day? thanks for the fast reply.

m

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Posted

Hi mei,

I don't think there would be immediate concern if you don't have an ED currently. You're right that the big seizure scare was based on the IR form. I don't really know all the nuances about WB and EDs. My psychopharmacologist asked me about EDs when she prescribed WB for me. She said that purging throws off your electrolyte balance and can lead to a seizure if you take WB (possibly other ADs, too...I'm not sure). The makers of WB state that you should not take it if you have an ED, and I assume they mean currently. Having the history is just a red flag that the behavior could start up again, especially since WB tends to decrease the appetite and cause weight loss more than gain.

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Posted

Hello all...

My pdoc did not want me to take WB after I told him I currently purge. If I wasn't actively purging, I think he would let me take it. I asked him what specifically about EDs causes the seizure threshold to lower as I'm naturally curious. He said the electrolyte imbalance was the cause. WB is known and marketed towards treating compulsions so Mei, I would talk to your doctor. I also would be interested if it helps with food-compulsions...that info could come in useful down the road....

I'm currently taking Effexor XR...it's been 2 weeks now. I can't say it is doing much yet but making me feel weird. I will give it some more time and see.

BookEater

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Posted

thanks you guys! great to come home and find your thoughts. that whole electrolyte thing makes interesting sense. vomiting specifically rids the body of potassium- interestingly through urine (not that you guys asked or anything). one would so instinctively think it was through gastric fluid or something- but apparently when the body is short on Hcl acid (because of its loss into the toilet), it rids itsself of potassium to somehow reestablish it's acid-base balance. so clever, but inconvenient!!

nighty-

m

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