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Wellbutrin And Chantix At The Same Time


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#1 jrose2

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:54 AM

Having heard alot about Chantix and behavioral issues, I wondered if anyone had a similar experience as me.

I was being medicated for depression with Wellbutrin and was smoking at the same time. I never had any of the anti-nicotine effects of wellbutrin/zyban while I was on it, it was always prescribed to me specifically for depression. Anyway, I had a primary care physician prescribe Chantix for me to quit smoking at the same time as I was taking Wellbutrin, which I believe is a contraindication. The good news was I quit smoking, although years later, I still struggle with cravings and have had some relapses. The bad news is I think I started to have more frequent suicidal thoughts than I ever did before I took these two medications.

Since I've been clinically depressed for many years, I know it's nearly impossible to make the claim that one or both of these medications in combination influenced my brain chemistry (if we could even measure that for drugs we suspect change brain chemistry). But despite years of depression, I never recall ever having had suicidal thoughts prior to taking these two drugs together. I am not taking meds now, and have been off them for almost 2 years (the chantix experience was about 3 years ago). I am in therapy. But I struggle alot with irrational death wishes now (despite having many positive things happening in my life), and I do wonder if it's a coincidence that I went through treatment with both of those drugs at the same time and seem to have greater difficulty dealing with my cognitive distortions long after.

Just wondering if people who know more about the info around Chantix have heard of anything similar or maybe even experienced these "side effects" years after taking this drug alone or in combination.

#2 Trace

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 04:55 AM

Hi jrose2

That is a little strange. I am not a professional, but a doctor prescribing you Chantix while on Wellbutrin really is different. As you say Wellbutrin is also used to stop smoking and Chantix can be known to create problems with depression.
I am assuming that you were being treated by a normal doc and not a psychiatrist for your depression.
There are many members that had have huge problems with Chantix.

Trace
Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind.... Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. - A course of miracles.

True beauty must come, must be grown, from within.... - Ralph W Trine.



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#3 jrose2

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 09:19 AM

Hi jrose2

That is a little strange. I am not a professional, but a doctor prescribing you Chantix while on Wellbutrin really is different. As you say Wellbutrin is also used to stop smoking and Chantix can be known to create problems with depression.
I am assuming that you were being treated by a normal doc and not a psychiatrist for your depression.
There are many members that had have huge problems with Chantix.

Trace


Yes, I believe it was negligent of my primary in retrospect (I can't recall if he'd prescribed both or not, but the wellbutrin scrip was in my record), but now I'm not seeing the contraindications that I believed I saw in the past when I looked briefly today. I was also seeing a psychiatrist at the time, so I'm guessing she was the one who prescribed the wellbutrin. I did find this posted below. I'm less concerned about what my doctors did in the past, and am more interested to find out what long term effects might be associated with Chantix use.

Another aspect of this issue I suppose is the question of, if I have these irrational death wishes, which are frequent and almost always in the early morning upon waking, why am I resistant to going back on medication? But that is another issue for another forum.

Use With Other Drugs for Smoking Cessation

Safety and efficacy of CHANTIX in combination with other smoking cessation therapies have not been studied.

Bupropion: Varenicline (1 mg twice daily) did not alter the steady-state pharmacokinetics of bupropion (150 mg twice daily) in 46 smokers. The safety of the combination of bupropion and varenicline has not been established.


#4 AngelOfTheMoor

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:41 PM

Hi jrose,

I don't know much about Chantix or how it interacts with Wellbutrin. However, I do know that some anti-depressants--including Wellbutrin--can potentially cause people to have suicidal thoughts. But I have also heard horror stories about Chantix. In fact, if you just listen to the potential side effects on the commercials, you will find that it is quite a serious and lengthy list. That part of the commercial in itself makes Chantix sound scary to me. :shocked:

Edited by AngelOfTheMoor, 03 June 2010 - 03:41 PM.


#5 jrose2

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 08:27 PM

Hi jrose,

I don't know much about Chantix or how it interacts with Wellbutrin. However, I do know that some anti-depressants--including Wellbutrin--can potentially cause people to have suicidal thoughts. But I have also heard horror stories about Chantix. In fact, if you just listen to the potential side effects on the commercials, you will find that it is quite a serious and lengthy list. That part of the commercial in itself makes Chantix sound scary to me. :shocked:



I know there's alot of stories about the drug, and someone I know had a really scary experience while he was taking it. He's not depressed to my awareness, but he ended up unexpectedly taking a driving trip across country and realizing some sort of Grizzly Adams type fantasy. That was extreme, and his family and friends quite concerned about the unexpected behavior where he went missing for over a week before he "came to his senses".

But for me, I did not experience any negative symptoms while I was on the medication, excepting some unusually aggressive behavior that seemed to be more of a side effect of wellbutrin before I started chantix. I am wondering though why my depression seems to have gotten worse, and my cognitive distortions more severe, even though I am working harder than ever to address my mental health issues through psychotherapy. I've suffered depression on and off most of my adult life and been on multiple antidepressants (20+ years). But I've developed this irrational self talk since I went through that drug combo that seems new, and it only later occurred to me maybe it had something to do with a permanent biochemical change associated with taking these (or other?) medications.

I don't know if that's possible. I am a molecular biologist, and I've often wondered about how anti-depressants affect biochemical brain activity after long term treatment. In this case, I'm wondering more about long term effects of this drug (or two drugs simultaneously) which seem to have pretty scary safety profiles. But it could also be that now that I'm not medicating, this is how my brain works when I'm not medicated.
Trying to learn how to be happy

#6 AngelOfTheMoor

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:21 PM

Hmm . . . could it be possible that you're becoming more depressed precisely because you have been trying to address the problem more than ever? That what you're doing could be raising your awareness about your issues and bringing them to the surface whereas they might have been repressed before? I believe that everything must fully come out and that, when it does, it helps us to overcome and deal with our problems. That's just my theory, though.

#7 jrose2

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:28 PM

Hmm . . . could it be possible that you're becoming more depressed precisely because you have been trying to address the problem more than ever? That what you're doing could be raising your awareness about your issues and bringing them to the surface whereas they might have been repressed before? I believe that everything must fully come out and that, when it does, it helps us to overcome and deal with our problems. That's just my theory, though.


Yes, it's possible. I'm not sure I would call myself more depressed though even though my index scores might indicate that. I would say I am struggling with cognitive distortions and negative self talk (such as the deathwishing) that I never experienced before I went through this most recent quitting smoking episode.

I am not new to therapy (first started in 1985) or antidepressants (first started in 1990). Over the past 5 years, I have quit other things that were habitual as well, and have had general improvement in my ability to get rid of bad habits, to cope and function. I have had Type I diabetes for 31 years (no complications!!!), and while that disease is a source for some of my negative thinking around life expectancy, I do take care of myself pretty effectively. But I have a theory that not much work gets done on yourself cognitively when you are on antidepressants (as I was for almost 10 years in one stretch), and you could be right that now that I've been off them for ~3 years, this is just uncovering issues and thought patterns that were there before and were not at the surface.

Or my life circumstances, job, parental & marital stress are just causing me so much grief, I've snapped. Who knows?




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