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Irritiability And Anger - Common Or Not On Wellbutrin?


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#1 Tigereyes

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 12:09 PM

A few years ago, I was on 100mg of Wellbutrin and it helped with my depression. However, it made me cranky and irritable. A few weeks ago, I tried going back on 100mg of wellbutrin (the generic). I literally felt like I had just woken up from a coma. The energy, focus, and mood I had was absolutely incredible! However, it made me very agitated, angry, and short-fused. Is this common?

Because of this, the doctor put me on prozac. I will write more in the prozac section, but suffice to say every single time I'm on an SSRI, I am flat and lethargic.

Is there any way to stay on the Wellbutrin? Or as I was reading on this forum...was I just experiencing "the honeymoon period"?

#2 jimbow15

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 12:32 PM

Hi Tigereyes and :welcomeani: to DF,

Well it does sound like your early response to Wellbutrin was the typical 'honeymoon period' and the agitation and anger are often a side effect that will go away with time.

So you have now switched to Prozac and will have to wait to see if this medication is going to be effective. What was your previous experience on the long run other than feeling bit cranky and irritable.was this all the time you were on Wellbutrin or just at the beginning.

Well please do browse around the forums and make yourself at home. If you need any more advice or support you can always pm a Moderator/Admin member of DF.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert E.


Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#3 Tigereyes

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 03:03 PM

Jim Bow,

I never knew about the "honeymoon period" until coming upon this forum. I am confused as to why the psychiatrist didn't tell me about that. Actually, my experience with psychiatrists (since the mid 1990s, I hate to admit) has been that they don't tell you really too much about the drug. Most psychiatrists I've seen have over-medicated me, in my opinion. The one I see now, however, is the best I have ever seen. He doesn't just talk to me about the meds. or increase my dosage. Perhaps, however, I need to be more proactive and ask more questions. That all being said, the agitation and anger with the Wellbutrin was *really bad* and it wasn't fair to my husband to be the brunt of it. He still does not understand that it was an effect of the medication, but that's another subject. Perhaps I will post something about that on another forum here.

I was curious if anyone took a second medication along with the Wellbutrin for the anger and agitation to go away. However, I also see by some of the posts here that the energy and focus don't stay around long after the honeymoon period, either. That is too bad.

In the past when I was on Wellbutrin, I think it was also alongside a low dose of either lexapro or zoloft. I recall I was still "cranky", but not as angry as I had been last month on just the Wellbutrin. Also, it was probably a good year I was on the Wellbutrin and lexapro or zoloft, so the side effects did not go away.

In the past I had also been on paxil, which was the worst of them all. I felt like I was walking through pea soup. I recall days when my boss would say something to me, and I'd see her lips move, and hear her talk, but I could not comprehend what she was saying. Lexapro and zoloft also made me tired/lethargic, but I had also been experiencing GAD along with Depression. Nowadays it's just plain vanilla depression.

In 1998 after a suicide attempt, I was on prozac. I recall it only helping to a point. I was able to return to college, study, and go to classes, but I remember feeling that it still was not quite right. There definitely was still a lack of energy, lack of emotion, flat feeling, and lack of drive. But I stayed on it. I'm really trying to be hopeful here, that the prozac will be different this time. Otherwise, I might just have to go back on Effexor.

What are your thoughts?

I have to say, it is nice to be able to actually talk about my medication experience with others. I have never done this before.


Hi Tigereyes and :welcomeani: to DF,

Well it does sound like your early response to Wellbutrin was the typical 'honeymoon period' and the agitation and anger are often a side effect that will go away with time.

So you have now switched to Prozac and will have to wait to see if this medication is going to be effective. What was your previous experience on the long run other than feeling bit cranky and irritable.was this all the time you were on Wellbutrin or just at the beginning.

Well please do browse around the forums and make yourself at home. If you need any more advice or support you can always pm a Moderator/Admin member of DF.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow



#4 Dancemom

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:33 PM

Forgive me for jumping in here, but is anger and agitation a common side effect of Wellbutrin? I came to this site to hopefully help me learn more and maybe be able to help my husband who has depression. He's been on Wellbutrin for approximately 2 years...but I say that with some hesitation because I truly don't know how regularly he is taking it. He once went off it for 4 months while lying to me about taking it. The reason I'm asking if anger and agitation are common because he does experience a lot of this. I was attributing it to his depression (he was much more easygoing before he was hit with depression), but if it's his medication, I need to know so I can perhaps get him to get evaluated. One doctor he went to at a clinic about feeling this way put him on a 2nd medication as well as gave him a 3rd for when it's really bad. But if it's the Wellbutrin that's the problem, maybe that's an easier fix. Thanks in advance.

#5 Tigereyes

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:36 PM

Dear Dancemom,

I'm very sensitive to ADs so I don't know if what I experienced is "the norm". I had been on wellbutrin and either zoloft/lexapro for about a year, and it made me irritable and cranky...and I am normally a very easy-going person. My psychiatrist did say it's possible to feel angry/agitated, etc. from the wellbutrin because it is an "energizing" antidepressant. Perhaps your husband can talk to his doctor and weigh the pros/cons.

Also, I can understand why your husband might have wanted to go off of the wellbutrin and perhaps even lied about it. I'm an honest person to a fault, but in the past I have done the same thing. It's just because you get sick and tired of having to take an antidepressant. Each morning when I swallow that darn pill, it makes me feel weak and you hate having to rely on it. Other days, you just might actually feel good and think "I don't need it anymore"! and so you stop taking it. I would surmise that this is common...



Forgive me for jumping in here, but is anger and agitation a common side effect of Wellbutrin? I came to this site to hopefully help me learn more and maybe be able to help my husband who has depression. He's been on Wellbutrin for approximately 2 years...but I say that with some hesitation because I truly don't know how regularly he is taking it. He once went off it for 4 months while lying to me about taking it. The reason I'm asking if anger and agitation are common because he does experience a lot of this. I was attributing it to his depression (he was much more easygoing before he was hit with depression), but if it's his medication, I need to know so I can perhaps get him to get evaluated. One doctor he went to at a clinic about feeling this way put him on a 2nd medication as well as gave him a 3rd for when it's really bad. But if it's the Wellbutrin that's the problem, maybe that's an easier fix. Thanks in advance.


Edited by Tigereyes, 25 August 2010 - 02:38 PM.


#6 Dancemom

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:54 AM

Thanks for your answer. I know that my husband is struggling with what he perceives as a downfall of his personality for even HAVING depression. However, he has been back on the meds for I think a year, and the anger and agitation are still happening. He will see the smallest thing (teenage daughter ate most of the leftover chinese food, etc.) as a personal attack on him, and bring it up repeatedly. I don't know if it's the meds or the depression, but it's wearing on me. He will say he wants me to go with him to the doctor but then he'll scoot out when I can't, and just to the clinic to renew his meds. When the anger and agitation seemed to come back after a "honeymoon period" on the meds, I went with him once and he was prescribed clonazepam to take along with the Welbutrin. But after being on this for some time, I'm seeing a return of the same irritation and quick to anger behavior. I'm pretty confident he's taking his meds...he takes the bottles out at the same time each day and at least appears to take them, so I don't think he's lying at this point. Thinking about it more, I don't know that he's taking the clonazepam as prescribed (twice a day) but he is taking it once I'm sure. But if the Welbutrin is making him feel angry and agitated, rather than the depression itself, then I'm not sure what to do about it. He is supposed to be going to counseling too, but again, I think because he thinks of his depression as a black mark against him (I certainly don't, so he's not getting that from me!), he's avoiding it, lying about his counselor being on holidays, etc.. I think I'm going to try to get into see our doctor about him and see what I can do. I know he does have to get in to see him about one of his meds shortly, and maybe if I go in and talk to the doctor first, it can be broached without it seeming like I'm attacking him. This is so hard on our family!

Thanks again. Your insight is helpful.

#7 Dancemom

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 01:38 AM

I have another question....could an increase in anger and irritability due to Wellbutrin happen after a year of taking it? Or any time beyond the first few weeks/months? I just read a whole bunch of related posts here about the side effect and wow...I am surprised at how common it is and feeling like this may be the explanation I have been searching for. Thanks in advance!

#8 Phoenix1

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 02:02 AM

I am so glad I found these posts! I started on Wellbutrin (generic) 100mg less than 2 wks. ago. I've attempted twice to go up on it to 200 mg as the doctor wants but I'm telling you the irritibility/crankiness just cranks up so I'm staying on 100 mg for now..maybe at the month mark I'll try again. Am also on Prozac 20 mg but that stops today..am glad in a way because it makes me..flat..tired..something..so I will see how Wellbutrin works on its own. I think what is confusing to me is Wellbutrin isn't a SSRI right? So, if Serotonin is what mainly fights depression how will Wellbutrin work for me as bipolar? The doctor I see said the Wellbutrin is the safest in the sense it won't throw me into manic or depressive state like some others..I need to get this med stuff worked out - I'm going to an interview today & need to get a job & STAY at a job more than a few months!! :ermm:

#9 Tigereyes

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 06:46 PM

Hi,
My apologies for not replying sooner. I'm new to the forum and am unsure how to receive notification if someone replies to a post.

You sound like a very understanding person.

I am not a doctor and am merely just sharing my experience. I know that when I told my pdoc about my anger/irritability, he said immediately that the wellbutrin is not for me. Perhaps your husband can share his experiences with his pdoc and see what he/she says. Be sure that he is actually seeing a psychiatrist, and not a general practitioner.

I don't know if his doctor is going to let you speak with him without your husband present, because that's really a HIPPA violation, unfortunately.

Your husband really should go for counseling if he's on meds. Meds. alone are not the answer. I don't have any advice as to how to help him see that going to counseling is not another "black mark", though. Perhaps someone else can offer advice.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Thanks for your answer. I know that my husband is struggling with what he perceives as a downfall of his personality for even HAVING depression. However, he has been back on the meds for I think a year, and the anger and agitation are still happening. He will see the smallest thing (teenage daughter ate most of the leftover chinese food, etc.) as a personal attack on him, and bring it up repeatedly. I don't know if it's the meds or the depression, but it's wearing on me. He will say he wants me to go with him to the doctor but then he'll scoot out when I can't, and just to the clinic to renew his meds. When the anger and agitation seemed to come back after a "honeymoon period" on the meds, I went with him once and he was prescribed clonazepam to take along with the Welbutrin. But after being on this for some time, I'm seeing a return of the same irritation and quick to anger behavior. I'm pretty confident he's taking his meds...he takes the bottles out at the same time each day and at least appears to take them, so I don't think he's lying at this point. Thinking about it more, I don't know that he's taking the clonazepam as prescribed (twice a day) but he is taking it once I'm sure. But if the Welbutrin is making him feel angry and agitated, rather than the depression itself, then I'm not sure what to do about it. He is supposed to be going to counseling too, but again, I think because he thinks of his depression as a black mark against him (I certainly don't, so he's not getting that from me!), he's avoiding it, lying about his counselor being on holidays, etc.. I think I'm going to try to get into see our doctor about him and see what I can do. I know he does have to get in to see him about one of his meds shortly, and maybe if I go in and talk to the doctor first, it can be broached without it seeming like I'm attacking him. This is so hard on our family!

Thanks again. Your insight is helpful.



#10 Tigereyes

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 06:49 PM

I have another question....could an increase in anger and irritability due to Wellbutrin happen after a year of taking it? Or any time beyond the first few weeks/months? I just read a whole bunch of related posts here about the side effect and wow...I am surprised at how common it is and feeling like this may be the explanation I have been searching for. Thanks in advance!


These are really questions to ask the psychiatrist, because all we can do here is share our personal experiences. My personal experience, was that I had anger/irritability from the start and not suddenly after being on it for some time.

#11 spellbinder

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 09:28 AM

I had a lot of anger and agitation while taking Paxil and Zoloft. I think this may have been because I was so fatigued all the time while one drug or the other. Zoloft actually made me feel like a zombie, when I wasn't sleeping, which was often well over 12 hour per day. In order to compact the fatigue, I consumed lots of caffeine (at least for me). This made me edgy.

I have not noticed this at all with Wellbutrin. It seems to actually make me more mellow. Again, though, you really need to talk with your psychiatrist or doctor about.

Edited by spellbinder, 04 September 2010 - 09:29 AM.


#12 Tigereyes

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 10:41 AM

Just wanted to chime in to say that when I was on zoloft or lexapro, I consumed a lot of coffee as well, to try to negate the sedating effects. I had no anger or agitation on either drug. In retrospect, I should have spoken with my pdoc sooner about all of that caffeine I took, at the time.

Wellbutrin is supposed to be more of an "energizing" drug. Everyone's experience is different, though.

I had a lot of anger and agitation while taking Paxil and Zoloft. I think this may have been because I was so fatigued all the time while one drug or the other. Zoloft actually made me feel like a zombie, when I wasn't sleeping, which was often well over 12 hour per day. In order to compact the fatigue, I consumed lots of caffeine (at least for me). This made me edgy.

I have not noticed this at all with Wellbutrin. It seems to actually make me more mellow. Again, though, you really need to talk with your psychiatrist or doctor about.



#13 Phoenix1

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 07:29 PM

I have been on Wellbutrin 100 mg since Aug. I took found being irritable was part of the process - I also have bouts of anger but mainly its when I think about things I cannot change, from the past, & wish I had handled differently, etc. My doctor had indicated an increase to 200 mg but as long as I'm feeling stable on 100 I am not going to change anything. Wellbutrin has been a life saver for me.

#14 Tigereyes

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 08:48 AM

Hi Phoenix1,

I'm glad you're finding that Wellbutrin has been a life saver for you! :-)

I have been on Wellbutrin 100 mg since Aug. I took found being irritable was part of the process - I also have bouts of anger but mainly its when I think about things I cannot change, from the past, & wish I had handled differently, etc. My doctor had indicated an increase to 200 mg but as long as I'm feeling stable on 100 I am not going to change anything. Wellbutrin has been a life saver for me.



#15 Tucsonguyt

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:48 AM

I find the honeymoon so appealing I start up the wellbutrin, wait for the honeynmoon an when it ends...I stop. I have spent hours and hours researching possible ways to keep that honeymoon but IMHO the bodies natural down regulation of the good NT's is to smart.

#16 KarenRB53

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:13 AM


I have another question....could an increase in anger and irritability due to Wellbutrin happen after a year of taking it? Or any time beyond the first few weeks/months? I just read a whole bunch of related posts here about the side effect and wow...I am surprised at how common it is and feeling like this may be the explanation I have been searching for. Thanks in advance!


These are really questions to ask the psychiatrist, because all we can do here is share our personal experiences. My personal experience, was that I had anger/irritability from the start and not suddenly after being on it for some time.



Did you stay on the Wellbutrin for long? Did it work well for you other than the anger/irritability? I'm having the same problem only its more anxiety than anger/irritability. Its working so well for me otherwise so I'm trying everything I can to stay on it. Presently I take Celexa 10mg with it and if I have to I take Ativan for the anxiety.

#17 KarenRB53

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:16 AM

I find the honeymoon so appealing I start up the wellbutrin, wait for the honeynmoon an when it ends...I stop. I have spent hours and hours researching possible ways to keep that honeymoon but IMHO the bodies natural down regulation of the good NT's is to smart.



What is the longest time that the Wellbutrin has worked well for you? Have you found anything else that helps the same way that Wellbutrin does?

#18 Tigereyes

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 08:43 PM



I have another question....could an increase in anger and irritability due to Wellbutrin happen after a year of taking it? Or any time beyond the first few weeks/months? I just read a whole bunch of related posts here about the side effect and wow...I am surprised at how common it is and feeling like this may be the explanation I have been searching for. Thanks in advance!


These are really questions to ask the psychiatrist, because all we can do here is share our personal experiences. My personal experience, was that I had anger/irritability from the start and not suddenly after being on it for some time.



Did you stay on the Wellbutrin for long? Did it work well for you other than the anger/irritability? I'm having the same problem only its more anxiety than anger/irritability. Its working so well for me otherwise so I'm trying everything I can to stay on it. Presently I take Celexa 10mg with it and if I have to I take Ativan for the anxiety.


When I was on Wellbutrin a few years ago, it was along with Lexapro, which made me somewhat sedated. I was still occasionally somewhat irritable. I stayed on both for quite awhile; a number of months. However, this last time I just went on Wellbutrin alone, and I found that it made me angry and irritable. I went off it rather quickly, as my pdoc said it was too activating for me. Again, this is just my own personal experience.

#19 Daniel8389

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:17 AM

@dancemom

I was always an extremely easy going person and never quick to snap at people, even in the midst of a lot of my earlier mental health trials. But after initially going on Wellbutrin, I noticed a marked increase in agitation and even down right rage! I felt like the Wellbutrin helped the depression somewhat so I stuck with it hoping the feelings were temporary side effects. But the irribility never quite subsided--and I've been on it for several years! I've tried to manage the feeligs without switching medications primarily because I came to believe that they were evolved products of my relcalcitrant depression and anxiety

Wellbutrin's efficacy for my depression has never been great but recently it's seemed to stop working all together. My doctor has decided to switch my medication and is tapering me off of it. It's only been a few days of taking a smaller dosage and let me tell you: I can already feel a sense of my old easy going self coming back! It's become clear to me in the past few days how much the Wellbutrin might have been contributing to my pretty relentless irritibity over the last few years. Take my story with a grain of salt, but it might be anectdoctal support that the Wellbutrin is contributing to your husband's anger.
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