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About katrinasurvivor

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  1. Saffron is an expensive spice, but it's important to get the best quality if you are going to use it for cooking or tea. I don't know where you live, but it's best grown in a very hot, dry climate. The best quality saffron for cooking comes from Spain or Iran, as I understand it. There is plenty of bogus spice sold as saffron, so if you buy it for cooking or tea, be sure to check out the quality and the supplier. I am definitely NOT a gardener, so I prefer the pills, as long as I trust the supplier. With the pills, I know exactly how much I'm getting. Having said that, many people prefer using the spice for cooking or tea. I know how it feels to barely be able to get out of bed - or just doing anything by sheer force of will. SSRIs never helped me, while bupropion has. But there again, not all bupropion is created equal, as we know. Most of the generics did not help me at all and gave me awful side effects, as I've said. I wish you much luck. Keep me posted on how your saffron experience goes.
  2. If you'll look at some of the research (actual research studies) done comparing the effectiveness of saffron as an antidepressant to an Rx antidepressant (Prozac is one I remember), they found it to be as effective as Prozac without the side effects -and no unpleasant withdrawal (something drug companies don't like anyone to talk about when it comes to antidepressants). I am a strong believer in reading actual research studies, though I'm also aware that statistics can be skewed to suit the researchers and whatever drug company is subsidizing them. Getting to the truth can sometimes be very difficult. The difference in this case, to my mind, is that no one has anything to gain by promoting saffron. It's been around forever, no drug company has a anything to gain by people using it and it can be used for cooking or to make tea - some people prefer it that way. I'm starting to feel more stable, so I'm thinking about starting the Wellbutrin XL. Mylan still maintains that they are going to keep making the immediate release and the XL but no longer making the SR, but that the immediate release in on back order. We'll see... This is off topic, but as an aside, my stumbling upon saffron was in my search for a vision supplement. Optometrists had been pushing AREDS on me for several years, but I was skeptical about the research, subsidized by Bausch and Lomb. The more I read, the more skeptical I became. I just didn't think AREDS was that great (my opinion), but it did contain some elements that could be helpful as vision supplements. That's when I ran across research about saffron as a vision supplement, not knowing about its antidepressant qualities. Imagine my surprise the first time I took it (I was relatively stable at the time but with my usual dysthymia) and suddenly I felt actually happy. I wanted to do things. I didn't know why. Later I found out it was the saffron. Since I've been going through more depression recently because of a lot of stressors, the saffron has helped to keep me afloat, it motivates me to get out of bed, to do things. I can't say I'm happy at the moment, but I'm used to not being happy. As I told my husband, I'm just glad not to be miserable.
  3. I feel your pain, Laura. Solco is awful. Other generics I tried gave me awful side effects, too. IMHO, the FDA is pretty much of a joke. I began taking Mylan immediate release when they discontinued SR and that worked out fine for me. It kicks in a bit faster, but that wasn't a problem. I thought I was saved. But suddenly, it wasn't available. First Mylan told me it was on back order until February. The last thing I heard (several weeks ago) was that it was back ordered until May. I can't last that long on what I have left. I finally threw in the towel, went to my primary care physician, and asked him to jump through the hoops for my insurance company to pay for brand name Wellbutrin. After my phoning the company that makes brand name Wellbutrin (the company used to be called Valeant, now called Bausch - these companies are constantly buying each other up and changing their names), I found that they ONLY make 150 XL and 300 XL. I've been taking 400mg a day and didn't want to go up to 450mg or down to 300mg. I told my doc to go for the 300 XL and I'd add 100mg of the immediate release to total 400mg. I'm hoping that will enable me to last until May - and hoping that Mylan will come through. But there's no guarantee that Mylan will have the immediate release available even in May. I've learned the hard way that the dates they give us are a moving target. I haven't started taking the XL yet. Sandoz is a good alternative for most people, but I had problems with it. The Sandoz SR caused me horrible constipation that I hadn't experienced with any of the others. I had to stop taking it. I've never taken any form of XL before, and I'm afraid that I'll have some of the same constipation issues with it that I had with Sandoz. I've gotten into my head that there's something in the extended release formulas that causes constipation (only speculation on my part). I could be completely wrong about that. I've been going through an extremely stressful time lately, and this medication issue is just one more stressor. I now have a 3 months supply of the brand name Wellbutrin XL but I've been afraid to start it. I've been trying to stabilize physically and mentally enough to try it (I first started many years ago on Wellbutrin taking the brand name SR and it worked great. When Mylan came out with the generic SR, I switched to that and never had a problem. I took it for years. It never occurred to me that it would suddenly become unavailable). If I'm stable, I'll be able to recognize any negative side effects of the Wellbutrin XL. I've read that some people have tried the generic Heritage immediate release (I don't know if they make SR), but apparently, it's too strong for some people - and they've had to cut their dose in half to tolerate it. We shouldn't have to be guinea pigs for pharmaceutical companies and the FDA, but we are. I'll add a hopeful note. I recently started taking a vision supplement that has saffron in it. I had read a lot of good things about saffron and how it could help your vision, which is one of my problems right now. What I didn't know, was that saffron is also an antidepressant. I got an immediate lift from the saffron without knowing why I felt better. I started reading about its antidepressant qualities. The supplement I take has 20mg of saffron in it. The therapeutic dose of saffron for depression, according to studies, is 30mg a day, divided into two 15mg doses. It has a short half life, and I can feel it wearing off by afternoon. It does help get me up and motivated in the morning. But saffron is a supplement, and you have to be really careful about who you get it from and how much you are taking. If you look at the reviews of saffron on WebMD, you'll see that many people use it instead of antidepressants. But read the research yourself. If you decide to take saffron, be careful who manufactures it and how much you are taking. Like all supplements and drugs, some people have allergic or unpleasant reactions, but most seem to tolerate it well. It's definitely helping me. As for Wellbutrin XL, I'm trying to be brave enough to try it. I went through of year of trying various generics and been burned so many times that I'm afraid of anything new. Wish me luck.
  4. Just spoke with Mylan. Now the Mylan Immediate Release is backordered until APRIL 27th. I was first told November, then told February. Today, the end of April. So I have to find an alternative. Because I take 400mg a day, there is no XL version of that unless I go to 450mg, which I don't want to do. 400mg is already a lot! I'm afraid of the constipation that might come along with XL. I can't take Sandoz SR for that reason, though it works great for a lot of people. I've read of other people being "speedy" on Heritage, which is what my pharmacy is offering me now. Actavis made me speedy - almost euphoric - in the morning and if I didn't time my second (SR) dose exactly right, I'd be falling asleep mid-afternoon. I mean, literally, couldn't keep my eyes open, passing out. As someone who has insomnia at times, it was kind of a nice feeling, but not at 5 p.m. Then bedtime would roll around and I couldn't get to sleep. I guess I could give Heritage a try, but it's scary. And I already have fluctuating tinnitus, and worsening the ear ringing worries me. One woman said she was going out of her mind when she was switched to Heritage and had to cut the dosage in half. Then she was okay. I "stockpiled" Mylan bupropion while it was still available, but I'll run out before April, so I've got to think of something. I was thinking of trying Mylan in the morning and Heritage as my second dose (or something) to try to get me through. I've got so many other problems in my life right now, that I really didn't need this one. I've spent so much time trying to research alternatives to Mylan bupropion over the past 18 months, that I sometimes feel I do nothing else. I know Solco is pretty awful. I had problems with Sandoz, Actavis and others. It seems that on most generic bupropions, people have nasty side effects or they just don't work for depression. I'm feeling really beaten down by the number of things I'm trying to deal with. As they say where I live, "I'm up to my a** in alligators." Except it feels more like up to my neck. I can't solve one problem before 3 more crop up. I'll say this, I started taking Macuguard for my eyes, and it has Saffron (good for eyesight) in it. Studies have shown that Saffron works as well as many antidepressants (don't try it until you check out the research and with your doctor. The therapeutic dose is said to be 15mg twice a day. And not all brands of Saffron are good) . I feel like it's the Saffron in the Macuguard that is keeping me going. Otherwise, I don't know if I could get out of bed. This is too long and TMI, but I'm so weary of fighting battles on so many fronts. I thought the bupropion problem was solved (with the Mylan Immediate Release) after a year of trying different generics brands of bupropion. No other antidepressant but Wellbutrin/bupropion has worked for me and I've tried many. SSRI's just don't work for me. Now I'm back to square 1. I even called Valeant and was told that they're only making XL now. I've also been on Remeron for 25 years and never felt it did me any good at all. Finally, about 4 years ago, I started very gradually lowering my dose of Remeron, eventually getting from 45mg a day to 11.25 (I'm good at cutting pills). I had no problems lowering Remeron until I got down to about 15mg and then I suddenly had allergies that I'd never had before. Basically, dependence on Remeron (an antihistamine!) has messed up my body's normal histamine response. I don't know what to do anymore. I've always been a problem solver, solving my own problems and helping other people, too. Now I've got too many of my own and can no longer find solutions just for my own. Sorry this is so long, but for those of you who made it this far, thanks for letting me unload. I'm open to any suggestions!
  5. I know i'm replying to an old post, but the simple answer is that you were given a different generic of bupropion. From your description, it seems to be one made by Amneal Pharmaceuticals. I've had problems with different bupropion generics. So have al lot of people. Find the bupropion that works for you and ask your pharmacy to only give you that brand.
  6. I know this is an old post, but there may be someone wanting to taper off Wellbutrin who, like me, will find it. I've tapered off a number of drugs over the years - not all were psychotropic drugs, but I learned that almost any drug you've taken fro a while is best tapered gradually. The recommended taper for psychotropic drugs (antidepressants, anti-psychotics, tranquilizers, etc.) is no more than 10% a month. I've tapered too quickly a few times and had to reinstate (go back up to a higher dose - but not all the way back up to the original dose) because the withdrawal symptoms were too severe. I understand the impulse, "I want to stop taking this drug NOW!" I've learned that it's best to start off with a 5% or 10% drop a week once a month a,nd see how your body responds. With Librium, I would start getting nauseated about day 8 and would be nauseated for about 2 weeks. Then I'd have 2 pretty good weeks a month. The nausea was tolerable. What helped the most was knowing what was going to happen. It relieved the anxiety over tapering a lot. Months when I was in a stressful situation, I didn't taper. Listen to your body. Doctors know very little about withdrawal. In general, they think people should be able to taper in a few weeks or a couple of months. That might be okay for someone who has only taken a drug a few days or weeks, but not for someone who has taken it for years. With Remeron, I started at 45 mg a day and tapered to 15 mg. Then began a succession of extremely stressful events. For a year, I stopped at 15 mg. Disappointed? Yeah. But, hey, I'd gone from 45 mg to 15 mg! I'm getting ready to start lowering my dose of Wellbutrin. I plan to drop one 100 mg tablet a week. I currently take 400 mg a day and I have for many years. That's less than a 5% drop a week! I'll do that for a month and see how my body responds - to see how much and how often I can taper. Slow and steady wins the race. People who taper slowly like this have a better success rate than people who go cold turkey or too quickly. And they suffer a lot less! For anyone who reads this ... I wish you luck on your journey!
  7. And NOW the immediate release (or regular) Mylan 100 is on back-order - perhaps until February! I just got an email from my mail-order pharmacy saying, basically, "We don't got it. We can't get it." What they offer is Solco, which is awful from my perspective. I read somewhere on the forum that it's the inactive ingredients in SR & XL generics that cause people a lot of problems. He said, if you have to change generics, go to a regular release. If you look up Wellbutrin online, you can easily find the graphs that show the release times (peaks and valleys) of the immediate release, the sustained release and extended release. I'm going to try the Sandoz again, I guess, but I'm going to try the immediate release formula. My insurance company is like the Wizard of Oz, they won't pay for brand name Wellbutrin, "Not no how."
  8. Par bought Anchen some years ago, so I guess they're just using the Anchen formula. Par formula used to be pretty good according to some, but the Anchen must be cheaper to make. My guess is that the Par formula isn't available anymore.
  9. I've been on Wellbutrin (brand name originally) and Mylan generic bupropion for many years. I didn't have problems with constipation until Mylan suddenly stopped making the SR generic that I had been taking for a long time. I had to try different bupropion generics, with abysmal results. I had various problems with the different ones I tried. None of the side effects were tolerable and/or my depression got worse. Ironically, it was when I tried Sandoz (which I think is a good generic for many people, BTW) that I began to experience debilitating constipation. Granted, I take 400mg daily. After a few weeks, I had to admit that it was the Sandoz causing it. I became so miserable (as others have described) that I was doubled up in pain and often in bed, unable to do anything. I, too, was trying all sorts of different things to try to help the constipation, including laxatives. I found that one thing that did help, contrary to everything we're told, was to eat LESS fiber. There is a large subset of people for whom fiber makes constipation worse. This is especially true for people with slow transit. Eating a very low fiber diet helped some, but not enough. I was still miserable physically and psychologically. Doctors, as many of us have found, are of no help at all. All of this affected me psychologically so much that I began to become increasing depressed in spite of the antidepressant. After several months, I gave up on Sandoz, and went back to the stash of Mylan that I had left. I was still looking for an alternative generic bupropion to Mylan that would not cause constipation but would help my depression. After about a month back on the Mylan generic, my system returned more or less to normal, but I was going to run out of Mylan sooner rather than later and had to find something else. That's when I discovered that Mylan was still selling their 100mg (immediate release) bupropion. I started on that - 200mg twice a day, and I felt like I had been saved. Guess what? Now the Mylan 100mg is on backorder - perhaps until February! Yes, I still have a stash (I've been filling my prescriptions early as often as possible), but I'll have to try something else. I have wondered if something in the Sustained or Extended Release bupropion is causing problems for me as well as others. Is there something in the SR or XL formulas that, in addition to slowing down the absorption of the drug to make it last longer in your system, also slows down your system? I'm going to try a different generic in the immediate release, but I'm confounded as to which of the few available to try. I went through a year of physical and mental hell trying different bupropion generics until I tried the Mylan immediate release. I'm getting really depressed thinking about going through it again. I've had a lot of medical and other issues to deal with in the last two years, and I just can't face another Sisyphean task of trying to find another bupropion generic that I can tolerate. Taking more drugs to treat the side effects of another drug has already caused me problems. I don't want to do that anymore. Has anyone had success with any other bupropion generics?
  10. My original post was a desperate plea. I had tried several generic versions of bupropion and had various kinds of bad side effects. The good news is that Mylan IS making bupropion again, but not the bupropion SR that I had been taking. From another website with a thread from other people also desperate to find a generic bupropion that helped them, I discovered that Mylan resumed making regular (immediate release) bupropion and was to resume making bupropion XL. One woman commented that she had successfully switched to the regular Mylan bupropion. I looked up some research on it and learned that while it peaks a bit sooner than SR (after about 2 hours), it also gets to a lower serum level more quickly as well. That meant I could take my second dose earlier and it was easier to get to sleep. I'm glad to report that this has worked successfully for me for several months now. Many of the forms of generic bupropion out there are really not very good (if I'm to believe the postings of many users). They are frustrated by their pharmacies switching their generics without warning. Bupropion seems to be a medication that has to be precise in order to be effective. Mylan, Sandoz, and of course the prohibitively expensive brand name Wellbutrin are three that seem to work well for most people. I had some issues with Sandoz but I have relatives who have done well on it. I just wanted to update this post for others searching for a generic bupropion that works for them.
  11. I'm sorry you've been having such a difficult time. I hope you've seen some improvement since you posted this. I really sympathize with what you're going through, even though I have no experience with those particular drugs other than Remeron, which is sedating at low doses. I hope it helps you sleeps and may help with the anxiety. Everyone is different. I, too, have hypothyroidism and have to take Synthroid. Has your doctor checked your Synthroid levels lately? Too much Synthroid can make you anxious and even have tremors. The usual Synthroid lab test is not as good as the Free T-3 test. You can request that. It gives a better picture of how your body is actually processing the Synthroid. When you said how alone and afraid you were, it reminded me of something I said to my husband only last night. I've been on the same generic of bupropion (Wellbutrin) for many years, and suddenly, the manufacturer stopped making it. I've tried 3 other generic versions of bupropion with disastrous results. I couldn't take the side effects. I'm back on the last of my stash of the old stuff, but eventually it will run out. I have to find a replacement, because I have to take this drug. It's the only one that has worked for my depression. Buy grandchildren spent the night this weekend, and I was holding myself together with scotch tape and rubber bands for their sake. We try to remain functional for the sake of our families, but it can be so-o-o difficult. No one understands how hard it is. I hope you will post and let me know how you're doing now.
  12. I was first prescribed Wellbutrin over 20 years ago, and it was the only drug that helped my terrible suicidal depression. This was not my first depressive episode, but it was the worst. They had tried every drug on the market and nothing worked. I even had shock treatments, which didn't work, either. Wellbutrin had just come on the market and when they tried it, it was almost miraculous. The depression dissipated and I've been on it ever since (I suffer from major depressive disorder). When generic Wellbutrin became available, I started taking Mylan bupropion and there was a smooth transition. No problems. Suddenly, last year, the stores of Mylan started to dry up. I found out, to my dismay, that Mylan had decided to stop making all of their bupropion products in June of 2018. I've managed to stockpile some from various sources, but I've been trying other generics to find one that worked for me. I never expected it to be such an ordeal and I'm feeling hopeless. I was first given Solco, which made me nauseated, gave me headaches and drove my blood pressure sky high. My doctor tried to tell me that I was "anticipating" a problem and that it was a "self-fulfilling" prophecy. He was so wrong. I was busy and focused on other things and was confounded by why I was suddenly so nauseated and miserable and didn't even think to check my blood pressure until I began to suspect, after several weeks, that the new generic bupropion might be the problem. I had enough Mylan that I was able to go back on it, but it took a month for my blood pressure to normalize. Then I tried Watson. At first, I thought it would be okay, but quickly discovered that it's sustained release properties were a joke. It would take me up very quickly and drop me like a lead balloon 8 hours later. I couldn't stay awake in the afternoon. But the worst thing was that after about a week, I became extremely depressed again. I went back on Mylan until I stabilized again, then I tried Sandoz. At first I thought I had found the magic bullet. It is genuinely sustained release. I'm on a high dose (400mg SR daily) and I did have some issues with nausea and tinnitus, but figured I could work around those things. I didn't become depressed, but after exactly a month on Sandoz, I became extremely constipated. I was forced to take a lot of laxatives. I didn't want to believe that it was the Sandoz. After several weeks, my husband suggested that it might be the Sandoz, but I was still reluctant to accept it. I didn't want to try another generic bupropion. So I toughed it out for another 2 months on Sandoz, but finally, the combination of nausea, tinnitus, and especially the constipation drove me back on Mylan. I've been on Mylan now for 2 weeks, but I'm still having constipation issues. I hope that it will get better after I've been back on Mylan longer. I've been lucky, my mail-order pharmacy has been able to supply me with Mylan, but I know that will run out eventually. I've been buying the other generics out-of-pocket in order to try them because my insurance company wouldn't pay for both the Mylan and the other generic at the same time. I want to keep getting Mylan as long as they will send it to me, but I have to find another generic that I can tolerate and that will work for me. I'm terrified that I will go back into the awful depression that I've experienced before. I've been reading hundreds of accounts of people's experiences with different generics of bupropion. I know that what works for some won't necessarily work for another. I've read some good things about Anchen, and wondered if I should try it next. My doctor is prepared to go through the authorization process for the brand name, but I know the insurance company will fight it. Can anyone help or advise me?
  13. Brain zaps aren't unusual during withdrawal. The only way I know to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal are to go slowly and drop down in small increments. Anyone going through the misery of withdrawal has my complete sympathy! Good luck!!!!!!!
  14. I'm glad you thought it was worth posting. And congrats on your Paxil taper! It is possible to get off of Aciphex - if you do it slowly enough. The first month I dropped half a pill a week. I kept on with small reductions each month but soon had to cut the pills into quarters. In the end, I was taking 1/4 every three days. I think that's the point at which I stopped. The discomfort I experienced was mild. I hope you will find it encouraging that others have managed to get off of Aciphex. And I was on it for almost 10 years! I hope others will share their experiences and insights about this topic. So many of us are struggling with this issue. We can learn so much from each other and benefit so much from the support of others.
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