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Switching From Wellbutrin Xl To Wellbutrin Sr


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#1 lac32

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 10:03 PM

Hi group, I'm new here. Was just wondering if anyone on here has ever switched from Wellbutrin XL to Wellbutrin SR.

I've taken 300 mg of Wellbutrin XL for about two years. But the past three months, it felt like it had stopped working as well. I was overreacting to things a lot and just down and lethargic in general. So I decided to ask my doctor if I could increase my dosage. She said that if I was going to go up to 400 mg, she would have to switch me to SR.

She said I should have no problems with switching, but so far, I'm experiencing a lot of the initial side effects that people get from Wellbutrin SR. All I did was just stop taking the XL one day and I took 200 mg of the SR instead. The next day, I took 200 mg in the morning and then 200 mg in the afternoon. My doctor had told me to take both at once in the morning, but the pharmacist told me not to do that ... this makes me wonder if my doctor knows what she's talking about, actually!

I felt better on the very first day of switching to SR, and I'm thinking that had to do with the amphetamine/speeding up effect. Does that not happen as strongly when you take the XL version?

I'm just concerned right now because after taking 400 mg for two days, tonight I felt very "drugged" and agitated. I felt like I had enough energy to jump over buildings or something. It was very scary. I was imagining weird stuff, too, like I might rip my earrings out of my ears. I know, it sounds crazy and believe me, I am a very sane person. I only have mild depression.

Another side effect that is getting very annoying is constant twitching. My toes and knee muscles keep moving, sometimes my teeth.

Tomorrow I'm going to only take the 200 mg and skip the second dose altogether. If I'm still experiencing issues like how I felt tonight, I'll call my doctor and see if I can go back to the XL. I just don't know if I can just switch back to it the next day, as easily as I switched to the SR.

Is it okay to just switch between the two like this? With all these side effects so far, this has definitely not been a seamless change. My docto said that since it's the same medicine I've been taking, I wouldn't experience any side effects. As I said earlier, is it possible that she's just not knowledgeable about this?

Needless to say, I'm fairly annoyed about this entire experience. All I thought I was doing was increasing the medicine. And I wasn't even really depressed before -- just dysthymic.

Thanks so much for any advice any of you might have. You'd think this would be old hat by now (I've taken meds for about 15 years). But I guess anything can happen with these medications, regardless of how new you are to the game ...

#2 lac32

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:57 AM

Does anyone have any experience with this?


Today I'm getting the shaking hands too. I'm definitely not taking the 400 mg of SR like I did yesterday. I'm sticking with the 200.

I've called my doctor and asked if I can go back to my XL. Still waiting to hear back from her.

Has anyone experienced this? Does the SR just hit your body harder?

One unfortunate thing I've discovered is that my skin has cleared up quite a bit. I'm hoping it wasn't the XL that was making me break out.


Hi group, I'm new here. Was just wondering if anyone on here has ever switched from Wellbutrin XL to Wellbutrin SR.

I've taken 300 mg of Wellbutrin XL for about two years. But the past three months, it felt like it had stopped working as well. I was overreacting to things a lot and just down and lethargic in general. So I decided to ask my doctor if I could increase my dosage. She said that if I was going to go up to 400 mg, she would have to switch me to SR.

She said I should have no problems with switching, but so far, I'm experiencing a lot of the initial side effects that people get from Wellbutrin SR. All I did was just stop taking the XL one day and I took 200 mg of the SR instead. The next day, I took 200 mg in the morning and then 200 mg in the afternoon. My doctor had told me to take both at once in the morning, but the pharmacist told me not to do that ... this makes me wonder if my doctor knows what she's talking about, actually!

I felt better on the very first day of switching to SR, and I'm thinking that had to do with the amphetamine/speeding up effect. Does that not happen as strongly when you take the XL version?

I'm just concerned right now because after taking 400 mg for two days, tonight I felt very "drugged" and agitated. I felt like I had enough energy to jump over buildings or something. It was very scary. I was imagining weird stuff, too, like I might rip my earrings out of my ears. I know, it sounds crazy and believe me, I am a very sane person. I only have mild depression.

Another side effect that is getting very annoying is constant twitching. My toes and knee muscles keep moving, sometimes my teeth.

Tomorrow I'm going to only take the 200 mg and skip the second dose altogether. If I'm still experiencing issues like how I felt tonight, I'll call my doctor and see if I can go back to the XL. I just don't know if I can just switch back to it the next day, as easily as I switched to the SR.

Is it okay to just switch between the two like this? With all these side effects so far, this has definitely not been a seamless change. My docto said that since it's the same medicine I've been taking, I wouldn't experience any side effects. As I said earlier, is it possible that she's just not knowledgeable about this?

Needless to say, I'm fairly annoyed about this entire experience. All I thought I was doing was increasing the medicine. And I wasn't even really depressed before -- just dysthymic.

Thanks so much for any advice any of you might have. You'd think this would be old hat by now (I've taken meds for about 15 years). But I guess anything can happen with these medications, regardless of how new you are to the game ...



#3 pisces mermaid

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 12:38 PM

I've been taking Wellbutrin for many years now. I switched from the SR to the XL when it was released. I found the SR to be less effective than the XL, plus I was having a hard time remembering to take the middle dose (I took three times a day). Although I can't speak to the symptoms of switching "back," I did experience symptoms like you describe when I switched "forward." The symptoms disappeared after a couple of weeks. I do have a couple of questions for you to consider: 1) Is your doctor a psychiatrist? If not, I highly recommend you find one—a good one—even if it's out of your insurance network. They are better informed on the psych meds than a general practitioner or internist and pay close attention to your condition and how you are responding to the meds they've prescribed; 2) Are you taking the brand name or the generic? My doctor specifically says that I am not to take the generic form since she has found it to be less reliable with many of her own patients; she has even had to write a couple of letters to my insurance company as to why she will not prescribe the generic; 3) If you have only "mild depression" why are you on 400mg? I have major depression and take 300mg. I also take Neurontin for some anxiety and sleep problems (off-label use). Perhaps you need a secondary med—that happens all the time. My doctor will not prescribe more than 300mg per day of Wellbutrin because of the increased risk for seizures.

I know this doesn't specifically answer your question, but I'm hoping that you take a good look at your doctor. I pay out-of-pocket to see mine every three months and it's totally worth it.

Take care.

#4 lac32

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 12:47 PM

Hi Pisces,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

To answer your questions, I do have major depression. I just meant that what I've been experiencing on the 300 mg of XL could be considered "mild." I'm sure that without any medicine at all, I'd be in trouble!

My doctor is a general practitioner, not a psychiatrist. I've been on a very even keel with the Wellbutrin 300 mg XL for two years and didn't feel the need to see a psychiatrist. Also, I kind of don't trust psychiatrists much, based on experiences I had when I was younger. I feel like I know what I have, I know what works for me, so there's no need to dwell on it or focus on it. I just felt like all I'd have to do is up it a little bit because it felt like it had stopped working as well this summer.

I'm taking the brand name Wellbutrin. I know what you mean about the generic. I had a doctor prescribe the generic two years ago and I had an awful reaction to it, so I never take that kind. (I've had to inform many pharmacists about that because they tend to just assume you want generic and give you that kind unless you state otherwise.)

As for your third question, I think I answered it above, that I do actually have major depression -- but I agree, it's not bad enough that I had to be on 400 mg. I used to really educate myself about these things, but the 300 mg of XL were working so well that for the past two years, I had no idea whether that was a high or medium or even a low dose.

I'm hoping my doctor gets back to me soon to tell me what to do. I'm getting tired of all the constant muscle twitching (toes, fingers, knees, teeth). The only downside is that I think the XL was causing me to break out more. My skin is much better this week. But who knows.


I've been taking Wellbutrin for many years now. I switched from the SR to the XL when it was released. I found the SR to be less effective than the XL, plus I was having a hard time remembering to take the middle dose (I took three times a day). Although I can't speak to the symptoms of switching "back," I did experience symptoms like you describe when I switched "forward." The symptoms disappeared after a couple of weeks. I do have a couple of questions for you to consider: 1) Is your doctor a psychiatrist? If not, I highly recommend you find one—a good one—even if it's out of your insurance network. They are better informed on the psych meds than a general practitioner or internist and pay close attention to your condition and how you are responding to the meds they've prescribed; 2) Are you taking the brand name or the generic? My doctor specifically says that I am not to take the generic form since she has found it to be less reliable with many of her own patients; she has even had to write a couple of letters to my insurance company as to why she will not prescribe the generic; 3) If you have only "mild depression" why are you on 400mg? I have major depression and take 300mg. I also take Neurontin for some anxiety and sleep problems (off-label use). Perhaps you need a secondary med—that happens all the time. My doctor will not prescribe more than 300mg per day of Wellbutrin because of the increased risk for seizures.

I know this doesn't specifically answer your question, but I'm hoping that you take a good look at your doctor. I pay out-of-pocket to see mine every three months and it's totally worth it.

Take care.



#5 pisces mermaid

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 09:14 AM

To answer your questions, I do have major depression. I just meant that what I've been experiencing on the 300 mg of XL could be considered "mild." I'm sure that without any medicine at all, I'd be in trouble!

My doctor is a general practitioner, not a psychiatrist. I've been on a very even keel with the Wellbutrin 300 mg XL for two years and didn't feel the need to see a psychiatrist. Also, I kind of don't trust psychiatrists much, based on experiences I had when I was younger. I feel like I know what I have, I know what works for me, so there's no need to dwell on it or focus on it. I just felt like all I'd have to do is up it a little bit because it felt like it had stopped working as well this summer.


I know what you mean about psychiatrists. I went through a couple through my HMO and it was ridiculous. They were just prescription machines, I'd hear about some drug, look it up and ask about it. They'd say, "Oh you want to try that?" and wrote a prescription for 12 months! I was not finding relief and ended up in therapy. My therapist recommended a psychiatrist she said I'd really like, and I called her the next day. That was about ten years ago. I see her every three months now. She will only write the prescription for three months and will not refill over the phone. She insists on seeing how I am doing—the whole package: my mental and physical state, what's going on in my life and my job, how I'm sleeping, etc. I still insist it's worth it. I don't believe that there are any meds that work 100% of the time with 100% effectiveness. A great doctor in the background is necessary. Mine has a sub-speciality in psychopharmacology, but will take a holistic approach when appropriate (e.g., she had me take Benadryl for insomnia some years back instead of prescribing a sleeping pill) and insists on exercise as part of my treatment.

Edited by pisces mermaid, 08 September 2010 - 09:15 AM.





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