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How Does Wellbutrin Help With Anxiety? !


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#1 EastDream

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 02:15 PM

Okay I just can't understand this. I'm thinking of trying this because I think it might help with depression etc and low moods and dips. My uncle is on it and it works well for him. I just don't understand how a medicine that blocks the uptake of norepinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine...can help treat anxiety. yet thousands of people are saying it has helped their anxiety/depression and they feel better.

And in many websites its said Wellbutrin helps to "regulate" the two neurotransmitters. I love how they throw that word around, what exactly does that mean? How does the medicine regulate them. Does that mean it blocks them to create more of it? Does it even it out? How would a medicine know what the right level was? The only source I could find with a theory was this one.
http://www.dr-bob.or...msgs/33406.html and this is just a theory.


I'm probably thinking way too hard about this, but it just doesn't make any sense. And I don't want to take something that will make me worse.


Just none of this bulls*** makes any sense. Can someone explain some of this to me? Please - I need some answers. I go to the doctor and I get - "it regulates it" . like *** does that mean? And how does raising the levels of these two stimulating NT's help with anxiety. I know that it does (that's not the issue) but ..like it just doesn't make sense.. and then when i press them for an answer, they say "I don't know". Wonderful.

This article that I found is actually interesting. At lower doses it is effective for depression.

Edited by EastDream, 03 June 2012 - 02:30 PM.


#2 memyselfi10

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 03:00 PM

I can't give you any scientific theories, but I can tell you that I was on wellbutrin for over a year and it never helped my anxiety at all, in fact made it worse (I was also on another med to offset the anxiety wb caused). It was mildly helpful for the depression and somewhat good at increasing motivation. Since my anxiety was my main problem, I found better results with an SSRI. But then all of these AD's have the potential to work on everyone differently, and i know that they do help anxiety in some people. I also know that since wellbutrin is one of the least likely meds to cause weight gain, it's often the first one docs try for their patients who are overweight (that's why my pdoc was so insistent that I go on it). You won't know how it works for you until you try it.
"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell; I know right now you can't tell..."

("Unwell," Matchbox 20)



#3 EastDream

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 04:59 PM

the action wellbutrin has on dopamine is twice the amount that is has on norepinephrine. that's why it makes sense that people, when starting it - or like you, all the way through taking it, experience some level of an increased anxiety. The attentiveness, reward and focus traits that you've noticed make sense because they are all related to increased dopamine.

It's tricky because with anxiety, norepinephrine may cause anxiety of most types, ...but so does serotonin. A lack of serotonin is implicated in Obsessive compulsive anxiety, in which the brain won't shut off and gets stuck in a loop. ..the brain is such a complicated mechanism.
I don't doubt low dose (100mg) of welbutrin will help me to be less depressed, happier and more motivated. ..though that will possibly come with increased agitation or anxiety.

But I'm willing to give the 2 : 1 dopamine / norepinephrine ratio a run for its money. The only problem is that still leaves serotonin not taken care of.


hmmm...............maybe tricyclics were the way to go. They still prescribe them in Europe.

#4 onmyown

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 05:14 PM

EastDream,

Reality is the doctors don't know how the drugs work, only what the pharma reps or reports say. Yet, with much searching I could find no scientific research backed data that supports the theory that depression or anxiety are about brain chemistry, yet, it's what we've all bought into. If that were the case then they could run tests to figure out exactly what was out of whack and then prescribe the proper medication sooner, rather than maybe 20+ experiments on us down the line.

That being said, I'm on 400mg bupropion and also an anti-anxiety med. The SI and crying all the time are getting so bad again that it's time for me to go off the bup again as it's having the opposite effect of what it's supposed to like it usually does for me after a while. I had never heard of bupropion being used as an anti-anxiety drug. But, everyone's system is different and it's about like that childhood game where you fit the shapes into the holes, it takes a while to learn what works.

Best wishes..

#5 resetchica

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 06:20 PM

Wellbutrin does not help anxiety.. it has the possibility of causing or adding to existing anxiety. If you have problems with anxiety I highly suggest talking to your doctor before taking these pills.

I only took wellbutrin for one week and I felt the spike in anxiety with the first pill. I have now been off it for 4 days and my jaws are just now beginning to relax and not be so tense.

#6 EastDream

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:19 PM

It's not used as an "antianxiety drug". Wikipedia it - it says it right there - in depression in association with anxiety, buproprion was found to be useful. In other words, it helps depression related anxiety. I don't understand what the issues are with that. Obviously it works for some people or they wouldnt say that.

#7 onmyown

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 08:35 PM

EastDream,

Wiki information is only as reliable as the last person to update the information---it's not allowed as a reference in schools around here. Better sources of information would be pubmed and the US NIH---see what information they have. Mayo may have information on it as well. The person on Wiki may have used a reilable source or may not have.

Best wishes.

#8 Spiritual_Wanderer

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:09 PM

From what I know, Wellbutrin for some can help with mild anxiety or anxiety that is not due to a panic or specific anxiety disorder. For people with anxiety as a main symptom, it is probably going to make it worse (just my view).

With the "regulating" thing... it has something to do with changing how the neurotransmitters stay or leave the brain. It is thought that antidepressants decrease the rate which neurotransmitters are reabsorbed into the brain (just my paraphrasing and I could be wrong, so don't quote me on that).

The discovery of the synaptic cleft is probably how the idea of depression being a chemical imbalance came from. Neurons can also communicate by releasing chemicals as well as by electrical means. In my view, Wikipedia (where I got the last bit of info from) is a decent starting place, and then you can go on to more medical/science-based sites with more concrete info.
Many Blessings,
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#9 life_aquatic

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:07 AM

Not scientific, but my thought has been that there is anxiety that leads to depression and depression that leads to anxiety. For me I felt that depression was leading to me not being effective in doing my job and other things. This led to me feel very stressed and anxious about work. In this way wellbutrin seemed to help some with my depression, allowed me to perform a bit better at work, thus reducing my anxiety. But if you're really suffering from anxiety, I could imagine it not working well.
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#10 SloStang

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:06 PM

I have my own theory on Wellbutrin and anxiety. As I understand it, there are several stress hormones, such as norepinephrine, adrenaline, and cortisol, and each one has a slightly different effect. Something along the lines of norepinephrine being the "fight" (take action in response to stress) hormone while adrenaline is the "flight" (get away from the source of the stress) hormone.

So, if you're deficient in norepinephrine but have sufficient adrenaline, when you get stressed you will tend to want to run away from the situation. If you do this habitually then you will be anxious since your natural tendency is to avoid things rather than dealing with them. Anything that boosts norepinephrine (such as Wellbutrin), may tip the balance so that you're more inclined to deal with stressors, in which case they will cease to be sources of anxiety.

Of course, if you have too much norepinephrine already (and I would guess that would make one a rather confrontational personality), then Wellbutrin will just make the situation worse, not better.

This may not be entirely correct, but it seems to me like a reasonable explanation, and it matches my personal experience.

#11 ladysmurf

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:27 AM

I'm not a professional, but I don't think wellbutrin is supposed to help with anxiety. It worked but only for my depression. It was amazing. It gave me such motivation, energy, and I felt great. My doctor added other medications to wellbutrin so we could get rid of anxiety.

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