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myrtab229

My Wellbutrin Story, or "how I developed chronic untreatable constipation"

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Hello, I am posting this for a few reasons.  First, to share my story in case anyone else has experienced anything similar.  Second, to make anyone who is concerned about the severity of their constipation while taking Wellbutrin/generic bupropion aware of one person's specific experience.  I think Wellbutrin is an amazing antidepressant and don't want to discourage anyone from taking it.  At the same time, I would've liked to have read something like this earlier in my journey if someone else had experienced it.  Lastly, if anyone has had a similar positive experience with Wellbutrin's effect on their depression but had to stop taking it for any reason and have found another drug that works as well for them, I would love to hear what those other drugs are.

[I will use bupropion and Wellbutrin interchangeably here, but I have only ever been on generic bupropion, Aplenzin, and Forfivo.]

I have been on bupropion on and off (mostly on) for about 7.5 years now.  I noticed constipation as a side effect pretty much immediately after I started Wellbutrin, but it worked so amazingly for my depression, low energy, and lack of interest in life that I didn't really care.  It began as a nuisance but just got progressively worse over the years, growing from a nuisance to an inconvenience, to a disruption, to a constant presence, and eventually to a chronic condition that profoundly changed how I live my life: thinking about it constantly, skipping social events because of the never-ending discomfort, spending around an hour a day on the toilet just waiting, sobbing when nothing helps and I can't take it anymore, no longer being able to read how better or worse I feel because my body can't even remember what's normal.

Early on I tolerated this side effect while trying every basic constipation treatment you can imagine.  These included drinking more water, trying to eat healthier, exercising, taking psyllium fiber, stool softeners, magnesium supplements, milk of magnesia, the occasional stimulant laxative.  This went on in various permutations for a long time.  Sometimes things would help a little and sometimes they'd seem to do nothing, but on average the constipation just got worse.  It was after 5.5 years that things got bad enough I quit the Wellbutrin and stayed off it for about 1.5 years.  The severity of the constipation decreased but it by no means went away.  During this period I finally sought help from real GIs instead of just listening to my psychiatrists tell me over and over to eat more fiber and maybe try a stool softener.  I started on Miralax and went to larger and larger doses, then Linzess, then Amitiza, then Amitiza with senna, then pyridostigmine (Mestinon), and now Mestinon with Miralax.  Miralax and Linzess helped per se, but always brought along excessive trapped gas and cramping.  Amitiza helped without the gas but still wasn't helping enough.  Mestinon I really cannot get a read on.  I will think things are getting better and then they will feel the worst they ever have, as if my system is utterly paralyzed for 1+ days.  Adding Miralax on top has made it so I only have loose stool but hasn't removed the constipation.  (If the concept of being constipated with diarrhea makes no sense to you, thank whatever higher power you may recognize.)  

While trying all these different treatments I had two full blood panels to test for all food allergies/sensitivities including Celiac as well as thyroid issues, several enemas, a colonoscopy prep kit to clear everything out without the actual colonoscopy, an actual upper endoscopy, a sitz marker test, and the most hellacious of them all, an MR defecography.  They cannot find anything wrong except that I have very slow transit, which was already fully aware of.  I've never felt like I can't push and physical exams confirmed that very early on.  The only other finding was that I've developed a slight rectocele because of the years of issues.  I should highlight that both GIs I've worked with as well as all three psychiatrists do not believe that the Wellbutrin is the culprit based pretty much solely on the fact that the constipation didn't resolve itself within a few weeks when I went off Wellbutrin.

Well, going off Wellbutrin brought my depression back.  I needed to do something so I tried other antidepressants in other classes.  I had tried still others before I ever tried bupropion as well, and none of them seem to do anything.  5 doctors had told me for 5 years years that Wellbutrin wasn't causing such chronic, severe constipation so at that point I thought I agreed.  About the time in my GI treatment that I started Amitiza I went back on Wellbutrin.  I didn't think the constipation got worse, but part of that was that I didn't know what was better or worse anymore.  It had devolved into trying to catalog whatever weirdness was going on, as in: lately I have more cramps, the gas seems to have gotten a little better, the stomach grinding seems to have gotten a little worse, my stool is looser or flakier or more red or green or I am using a heating pad more at night or feeling less sick every morning.

It's now been about 8 months back on Wellbutrin.  Mentally I feel wonderful again.  But during this time period I have experienced new constipation symptoms including the sensation of pressure on my throat because the organs are being pushed up, being able to consciously sense my intestines, inability to eat for long periods of time, sharp abdominal pains when eating, and a bizarre buzzing sensation in what feels like my intestines and anus.  If I had to guess, the last one is just being able to sense organs that shouldn't be consciously felt.  But nothing is consistent.  It's like that and then it's not like that and then it's different the next day or sometimes hour.  I don't know what's up or down anymore.  But when I look at the symptoms, I have to conclude that the constipation, on average, is worse since I went back on Wellbutrin.

And after all these years I still haven't been able to find a single pattern but the Wellbutrin.  I can eat half of a meal and have sudden diarrhea out of nowhere, then eat the other half the next day and immediately have immobilized guts lasting 24-36 hours.  Sometimes it's worse when I eat fast food, sometimes better.  Same with vegetables, dairy, anything you can think of.  It's not related to what I eat or even if I don't eat at all.  Exercising doesn't make it better nor worse.  More or less sleep or water doesn't correlate with the symptoms.  My heart says it is and always has been the Wellbutrin.

I know supposedly 26% of people experience this side effect but it goes away on its own for many.  I've actually never read an account of such a severe case as my own.  Most people who post just say they quit Wellbutrin early on because of the constipation and never go back.  I'm also aware that the half-life of bupropion is only about 21 hours.  But if I listen to my intuition and the voice that won't go away, I wonder if being on a drug that compounds a problem for 5.5 years means it can't resolve itself after 1.5 years.  My depression didn't return 2 weeks after my last pill; it took 8-10 months before I even realized that I'd backslid.  Can't prolonged usage change your brain chemistry even after you stop a drug?  Couldn't it be the case that it could take a very long time for this side effect to die down once removing the cause?  

I'm not a doctor.  My rational side wants to say, here's the literature, this isn't the problem.  But deep down I know it is.  I'm also terrified of quitting Wellbutrin again.  It's the only drug I've found that has remotely worked for me and I don't want to lose all the progress I've made for the second time, particularly not knowing when or if I'll find an equivalent alternative.

I saw my GI last week and she told me that there isn't really a risk of permanent damage to my system unless I start not being able to pass anything, but just as she doesn't believe me, I don't really believe her.  I am terrified of unknowingly locking in these problems, or worse, for the rest of my life.  I'm only 31.  But I'm also terrified of going off Wellbutrin again.  I would have to just have to walk off the plank and find out if there's anything else that works for me.  Before I ever got on Wellbutrin I went to the bathroom 2-3x a day, and easily, but the depression had reduced my life to being bedridden, jeopardizing my job, a cutting incident, and preoccupation with death which is a precursor to suicidal thoughts.  So the stakes feel very high.

I've found studies showing that:
1. Bupropion inhibits nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
2. Acetylcholine receptors facilitate the release of acetylcholine and so therefore might "play an important role in the regulation of gastrointestinal motility"  
3. Mestinon is a cholinesterase inhibitor and so increases acetylcholine levels.  
This makes me want to stay on the Mestinon longer because it seems like it has a chance of actually addressing the problem eventually, but so far it doesn't seem to be doing much and my doctor is already talking about switching me to prucalopride (Resolor) which I will have to pay ungodly amounts out of pocket to buy from Canada.

I still plan to try brand name Wellbutrin and elimination diets before truly considering giving up Wellbutrin for good.  But it seems like a decision I will eventually have to make unless I can find the answer for the constipation somehow, after all this time.

Anyone who read this far- thank you, and please comment if you have any similar experiences or thoughts.  Thanks again.

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I find your writing style very easy to follow. Thanks for the share. While I am on Welbutron, I have never had any constipation that I've given much notice to. I have had diarrhea since roughly the same time as my start with Welbutron, but my doctors believe that's associated with "Burn pit exposure" from Iraq. Who knows. In your (arguably expert) opinion, should I look into Welbutron as the cause of my diarrhea? 

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Hi myrtab229 🙂

That's rough, sorry to hear about what you're going through. That's why I don't mess with medications. There is something I have heard that can treat constipation. It's called the Master Cleanse. 

*Note this is not medical advice

Master Cleanse/Lemonade Diet - This is basically a water/lemon fast done for 10 days. This allows the body to ‘reset’ and get rid of toxins and damaged cells. I have done this myself and I felt better afterwards. Many other people report feeling way more energy, more clarity, feeling happier and calmer, overcoming illnesses, pain reduction and just feeling better in general.

If you want you can do some research and check out some success stories regarding it. I hope this helps!

Edited by 20YearsandCounting
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I see you posted this in January. How do you feel now??? I also take welbutrin, well the generic kind. I have been on it for 3 months. This last month I have developed constipation. I am not talking minor either. It hurts when I walk. I even went to the bathroom today and still am swollen and sore, so bad I look pregnant. It hurts my back down my legs and my feet. I have taken laxatives and i go to the bathroom all damn day but right back to cramping and bloating. This is miserable I know it's these meds. Today has been my worst day. I almost cried at work and at times even THOUGHT I might have to go to the ER.  I drink water all day gallons and I have even before. I don't know what else to do besides stop taking them and hopefully go back to normal. :'( 

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I was on wellbutrin and also felt bloated and constipated wow didnt think it was that though. I actually stopped taking it and started taking natural pills and liquid ands it helped a lot better than wellbutrin. I also drank this natural powdered with water and juice and it really helped with my constipation!!

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Hi, I should have updated this a while ago, sorry!  I am really sad to hear that others have had some similar experiences.  Thankfully, since my original post I have been able to find a regimen that makes things manageable for me.  By no means is the constipation gone, but I feel functional and am no longer turning down social engagements to go lie in bed, having awful sharp pains, etc.  This means I am able to stay on the Wellbutrin and still live a pretty normal life, which to me is definitely worth it because of the profound improvement Wellbutrin brings to my mental health.  Dosage is steady at 300mg/day.

The long and short of it is that I need to be on a constipation medicine that works on motility specifically.  As my doctor explained it to me, most available meds pull water into the stool but only a few actually cause intestinal contractions.  Those are the mestinon and the Resolor.  I stayed on the mestinon, 60 mg, 3x a day and stuck to between 1 heaping and 1.5 capfuls of Miralax every night.  I would say it took about 1.5-2 months for things to settle and really start feeling the effects, because when I first started the mestinon it was like everything screeched to a halt.  This supports my very non-scientific theory that these medicines take time to build up their effects but that's just my opinion.  Staying on that regimen I have been able to go consistently at least 1x a day.  I rarely feel fully evacuated, but it's been such a long time since those days I don't really notice it.  The huge difference is that I also rarely have times that I think I'm ready to go and then nothing will come out.  Those are the most frustrating and uncomfortable moments so that makes a big difference.  The Miralax keeps everything very soft and the mestinon helps move it out.

Other things I have figured out about myself/notes:
-Do. Not. Get. Off. This. Schedule.  This is critical for me.  Missing a pill or Miralax 1 night can set me back for 2-3 days.
-A plate of pasta is pretty much guaranteed to cause a back up.  Same with pizza, not quite as bad.  It might have to do with refined carbs like flour but I really don't think I have a gluten sensitivity and the tests show I am not a Celiac.
-I eat largely vegetarian, meat about 2x a month, but that was for ethical and environmental reasons and I don't think that makes or breaks anything with the constipation.  It does mean I am eating softer foods typically, think tofu vs. steak, so I don't think it hurts.  My GI wants me to see a nutritionist because I lost a lot of weight from the Wellbutrin + not being able to eat as much with the constipation and I will still do that at some point.
-Be *hyper* aware of how much I am eating and how quickly.  I typically eat half my lunch and save the rest for late afternoon or dinner.  Even if it tastes delicious, if I hit this point where I suddenly feel this sort of lurch in my stomach I put my fork down immediately.  It's when I keep going that I exacerbate the constipation considerably.  Yes, people will ask me if the food was bad or I didn't like it sometimes at restaurants but you learn how to talk around that.  And it's really none of their business how much I can or can't eat in one sitting.
-I try to eat either plain oatmeal with cinnamon and flax seed or a yogurt for breakfast
-I do take some daily supplements, including a probiotic.  Again, this was not the magic bullet but I don't think it hurts.
-I like popcorn as a snack, this doesn't seem to cause me to have a bowel movement but it also never makes me feel worse, and there are lots of snacks that are more hit or miss.
-I try to exercise a few times a week for health but this really doesn't affect my constipation either way, sadly
-I don't drink as much water as I should many days but again, doing so doesn't really help the constipation

Side effects I experienced from the Mestinon were increased urge to urinate, random bouts of sweating (I don't really sweat normally and suddenly I'd find myself with wet armpits sometimes), and occasional foot cramps.  All these are small prices to pay for a sustainable constipation management program, IMO.  I have also heard that Huperzine-A works in the same manner and may even be more effective than mestinon, but I have yet to try that.  My doctor is always wary of herbal supplements and liver toxicity, though she said if I did find something like that that worked she would just test my liver levels regularly.  I may still try this, TBD.

I did recently start a trial of the Resolor and it was having a positive effect, though my GI movement was more stop and start than with the mestinon.  I have decided to invest in a one month supply to give it more time to settle in and see if it's any better than the mestinon.  I not, I will return to the mestinon and my doctor said I could potentially keep Resolor on hand as a backup when I need a boost to the mestinon.  I stay on the Miralax whether it's mestinon or Resolor.  I'll post back after I complete the Resolor trial.

@Rache1, it is up to you but my first question would be how well is the Wellbutrin working?  Is it making a huge positive impact or is it just ok?  If it helps a little but perhaps there are other drugs that could work the same or better for you I would say stop the Wellbutrin and keep looking.  If you can find an alternative it would always be preferable to avoid this problem altogether instead of having to treat it.  However, if the Wellbutrin is changing your life, or if it's the only drug that seems to do anything for you (both were true for me), then I would stay on it and see if things resolve themselves.  For many people supposedly the side effect DOES go away.  You're only 3 months in so if you do feel it's worth sticking it out and you can tolerate that, you can always decide after 6 months or even a year if it's the right long-term solution for you or not.  Hang in there, I know all too well how physically debilitating it can be and the accompanying frustration.  I have cried in the bathroom at work many times if that makes you feel any better :/ I don't wish that on anyone.  Best of luck to you and post back how you're doing later on if you can!

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Thank you SO much for this post. I'm very new to Wellbutrin. Like Nov/Dec 2016 began w 75mg to Jan full on 450mgs type of new.

I'm here because I developed diverticulitis. I thought it was gas. I'm not used to being constipated with getting diarrhea once a month due to my period. So i ignored irregular bowel movements which i realize now were slowly getting worse. I was sitting in the hospital this past weekend trying to figure out if it could be anything else beside the obvious, getting my eating in order and my age. I started slowly coming to realizing it just might be the wellbutrin. Doctors kept asking me if i had a colonoscopy and the answer was yes oddly enough i had one last fall because of rectal bleeding due to constipation and hardened stools. The GI doctor asked if i wanted one to be sure that was it since we both suspected it was the hardened stool. He went in and yep he found some hemorrhoids but thats it.

So now i'm like how the hell does one develop diverticulitis in the space of 6 months? Yes i'm old(43) but i only aged 6 months and suddenly my bad eating habits caught up with me? Which brings me here because i have already started getting push back from talking to regular folks and i haven't even broached this with my therapist and psychiatrist yet i just came out of the hospital yesterday and am trying to get myself together frankly it was a scary episode. This was going on for three weeks in total btw i purchased some generic Omeprazole which worked for two days so i stopped taking it. a week later i was back took it for two days stopped three days later it was back so i took it for a week and the day after that week it all hit me its not acid reflux. I took a laxative the next day and had a bowel movement but the pain was still there and it was extreme pain. I went to the emergency room that night and they checked me in once i had a CT scan. I was also crying in the work bathroom and cringing and wincing in pain that would flutuate. I would lie down on my left side as thats where the pain was and it helped oddly. It ran from what felt like the top of my stomach to the bottom. Stomach in the non medical sense think full belly on the left side breast to chest.

Meanwhile my mind is working over time on my suspicions i started looking online and found this forum. Seeing all the constipation posts and especially this post is very helpful and confirms my suspicions going forward. Doesn't mean I will not change my diet and supplement fiber and whatever else i need. I do need to lose weight and wellbutrin has been very helpful in getting me moving as well.

Edited by freshlydepressed

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hey everyone! i took a 150mg pill of bupropion like 10 days ago and got constipated more or less the day after that. i immediately stopped taking it, since my digestion is kinda my sanctuary. but despite taking only one freakin pill, the symptoms wont go away. yea i have a pretty sensitive gut and 3 times defecation a day is normal for me - so that the actual 1 motion atm feels like constipation. i also have gas, cramps, noises from the guts and the feeling as if the whole bowel somehow burns.

 

@myrtab229      since im also 31, went to the toilet 2-3 times a day, too and could related a lot with your descriptions i would be most interested in your opinion. did the constipation recover for you at some time, when you were off bupropion? did the constipation came up with the first pill for you, too?

 

did i really messed up my guts with just one pill for good? 😕

Edited by 20YearsandCounting
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Myrtab

I'm also having constipation like never before after 2 months of Wellbutrin generic. I started on 150 then took 2 150 pills in the AM. No problems. 

As soon as I went to 300 one pill and from another generic manufacturer I immediately got constipated. I would recommend another brand if you haven't. 

Also my mother has had constipation and digestive issues forever and recently her Dr gave her the new drug called Constella. She's sensitive to laxitives yet this along with LaxaDay (peg 3350) works for her 'chronic constipation'. 

She takes the smaller of the 2 doses but I tried taking 2 of them twice, and they work like nothing else. Maybe her dose and method might work for you. She's just been getting trial packs from her Dr for the last year or so, and maybe you could get it that way also. 

Im very glad I read your story as I'm seriously considering either going down in dose or quitting. Im going to try the first generic brand I was taking firstly. After a week of that I'll try 150. Another week and I'll drop it if I'm still like this. 

My gas could peel paint and I've nearly killed my wife and kids with it, lol. I've done everything suggested, water, exercise, peg 3350, fiber, etc. And when I do go, it's half the size of my 5 year olds BMs. 

I have this feeling like I ate something crazy spicy hot 2 days ago, like my guts are reeling in pain. Only 1 other time have I had constipation and after a week it was gone. This is week 2 and it's like my guts are frozen. Nothing moves. Diarrhea and constipation says it all. 

Good luck and I hope you continue to find your way. 

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I may be behind on this or late to the party.  I came here looking for someone who dealt with similar symptoms.  My friend.. The Wellbutrin is NOT the problem.  A large depletion of serotonin is what is ruining your plumbing.  Many people don't realize 95% of serotonin is made in your gut.  It has a huge effect on digestion, pooping etc, etc..  That being said, one other big thing that serotonin helps with is the peristalsis movement.  In laymans terms, not only is your mind depressed, but everything else along with it.  Nerves, organs, endocrine system I.E. SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM.  I can probably relate to exactly what you're dealing with right down to the consistency of stools.  Funny because through all of my treatments, this is the one symptom that gets left behind.  Not a lot of people have this symptom, but I would put money on the fact that this problem of yours would improve by taking some kind of serotonergic medication, although those are always the heaviest hitters when it comes to getting off them.  If anyone else has any experience with this, I'd love to hear about.. It still haunts me, hope to find some people who have learned to combat this problem.  I should also mention, I take Wellbutrin myself.  When I first got bit by the black dog I was taking lexapro which HELPED this whole problem.  When I got off it and started taking Wellbutrin, it came back but made me feel better all around otherwise.

Edited by WhiskeyTango

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I'm taking Wellbutrin 150 mg for many years now and have severe constipation.  I had to take laxatives, otherwise I will have no bowel movements at all.  Lately, laxatives do not help anymore, so I need to drink Picoprep - the stuff you have to drink prior to a gastroscopy - once a week, to clean my colon.  Over the years I had several tests - colonoscopies, gastroscopies, bowel transit time tests, barium clisma and MRI scans. I tried extra fiber, more fruit, more water etc etc. Today I recieved the results for tests for Helicobacter pylori and parasites.  Everything is normal - good news!, but what is the cause of my problems?  NO docter EVER told me it can be from Wellbutrin.   After reading all the comments,  I really consider quiting Wellbutrin.  Any advice to make it easier?

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I have been taking wellbutrin for several years.  I even went up to two a day.  It never dawned on me that It was the culprit of severe constipation that I had been experiencing until today.  I also take effexor, which is what made a big difference in my depression  for me when I started taking it with the Welbutrin.  I had tried linzess and sometimes it works and sometimes not.  You see, I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) so I thought that was the culprit since I get constipated from that sometimes.  

Recently I went to get my wellbutrin and the pharmacy didnt have it in stock and thinking about it, I decided to go off wellbutrin anyway because I was not sure if it did much for me  I didnt have problems going off it like some others that you are not supposed to go off entirely too fast.  It made virtually no difference in my depression.  But low and behold the constipation went away. That is what made me find this forum.

Effexor works very well for me.  I am 71 years old and have been depressed so much of my life.  I wish this drug would have been available a long time ago.  The reason I got on it in the first place is because i was just taking one wellbutrin daily, but I felt anxious and the dr advised this..and the anxiety went away.  The only two situations  with effexor is  that (1)  you have wild dreams.  I dont have bad ones...mostly good ones, but they involve people I know or knew and the situation can go on and on.  It can be entertaining (if you will) reflecting on some of these dreams.  I have had affairs with celebrities. Ha, and (2) you cannot go off it suddenly or you will feel ill symptoms, like dizzyness, light headedness, etc.  

it has been weeks since I went off the welbutrin, so i will see if, in fact, I gain weight without it.  Not sure yet.

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I just wanted to stop by and say that I've been on Wellbutrin since 2000 and only started having stomach issues when the generic changed. In 2004 I had to experiment with different manufacturers. Originally I was talking 300 xl 1x a day. But the generic faded out by the afternoon & gave me terrible stomach issues. It took almost 2 years to find that the generic, by Sandoz, 150 2x a day was the only thing that worked. I've been on it ever since with no issues. UNTIL my pharmacy switched over to Watson generic but the pharmacy didn't tell me. My rx specifically states it must be Sandoz or name brand wellbutrin. I started having stomach pains, bloating, gas, loss of appetite. I was tired, lethargic and nauseated. I was given zofran because my Dr thought I had the stomach flu. After 10 days I was in the ER for pain and dehydration. I knew something was wrong. I followed up with my Dr, did blood work, stool testing. Everything came back normal. I met with a gastroenterologist and wound up having to have exploratory surgery. Nothing abnormal was found so we scheduled a colonoscpy. It was time to refill my rx and I looked at the pills, Googled, and realized I had been given Watson brand generic! My pharmacy apologized & gave me what they had, it's been 4 days and all of my symptoms are disappearing. It had been so long since I had issues I completely forgot about it and I'm so happy to say that I don't have to do the colonoscpy unless I want it for part of my physical. Please be aware that the fillers in some generics cause terrible side effects & don't be shy about asking your pharmacist to try another brand. It was an amazing pharmacist, not a Dr, who worked with me to figure this all out. I spent over a month in pain, between constipation or diarrhea, when it could have been avoided. I hope you all find what works best for you too! 

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@hbmama My mother also had stomach issues with Wellbutrin that seemingly vanished when she began taking the name brand instead of generic. Her psychiatrist suggested she change. Its unfortunate that it's quite a bit more expensive than generic and Medicaid will cover only so much. 

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Yes! Sandoz generic is on back order, but if they have it at her pharmacy I'd highly recommend it. I know I'm not the only one who knows the others cause gastrointestinal problems. It goes on backorder at least once a year but my pharmacy usually orders ahead to keep stock. They have a new computer that fills rx so that's how mine got messed up. So glad I know for certain, now I have it documented for my insurance that I need Sandoz or brand name only. If my insurance will cover the brand name I will go back to 300 xl 1x a day 

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I suffered profound constipation via bupropion both name brand and generic. I know it was the bupropion bc of the saga of thinking it was anything else first. It got worse and worse. The last 7 years I went about 210 times total! I ad calendars with marks year after year..2 marks per month usually. So I went every 12 to 14 days for the last years. I did not abuse laxitives. I tried all all all lifestyle things over and over ..12 caps of miralax per day..yes there is constpsted diahrea..combinations of lifestyle changes etv including years of thyroid and higher and higher and colonoscopy and balloon test. And finally electric stimulation that helped by a fee days sometimes. And that is just the worst of it..I took it longer but it was only severe like 7 to 9 days for years..I would be happy if only that. I was only on 150. I was on combonation cymbalta 20 and bupropion..but even after getting off cymbalta ..it helped...but problem continued. When I switchef to imediate release it was better.. Now I take none but do miss it. I never knew about Mistonine you mentioned. I also have diminished sweat as you do. I think we have something about our system. I do miss it. It helped with depression and my orthostatic intolerance. 

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OiWhy did it take me so long to find this? I hope my bowels aren't permanently damaged. I have kidney diseases, Crohn's diseases, bipolar and since March I have unexplained low blood pressure, hypoglycemia and can't have bowel movements and Drs can't find a reason. I got the kidney failure from lithium. Then for two years I was on strong medications for migraines till I got blood problems.... It all came from Crohn's medicine. As soon as I stopped that medicine, my blood pressure went to low and I had to stop taking the blood pressure meds. At the same time I got hypoglycemia and endocrinologist can't find anything. I'm on a dairy free, gluten free, low fodmap diet, no meats or fat because my food doesn't digest.Im going for physical therapy to get my intestines to work again. They say I was constipated to long now my nervous system doesn't tell the intestines to move. Taking both linzess and miralax wouldn't work anymore, I add enemas and my heart started racing. I'm back to just ememas and kidney Dr says it has to much phosphorous, it will damage my kidneys. I don't have hard stools...I eat oatmeal with strawberry's every lunch....I just can't move it out. I was on reglan for awhile but didn't help. Garden of life enzymes help in digestive. I went from 105lbs to 117lbs and have a swollen belly but Drs can't find anything. Everytime I suspect a medicine is making me sick, the Drs disagree with me, they say I've taken it so long it doesn't make me sick anymore. I just want to stop taking the bupropion myself so I don't have to fight the Dr. I have the extended release so I can't break it in half. I would rather Battle some depression then die from a problem caused by not being able to have a bowel movement. The Drs say if the stool stays in you to long the toxins are released back into your body. I didn't mean to make this so long. But if this problem comes from bupropion, I would encourage every one to make sure you want to continue taking it until the gut stops working altogether. This is a huge complicated expensive problem that I would never wish on someone else. I thank everyone for sharing

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Drat. I have been taking Wellbutrin 150 XL since October and it’s been great for my depression. But the constipation has gotten so bad I am nearly ready to go back to my doctor and tell him I want to get off of it.

This is the only AD I’ve ever taken. I think my depression was situational and the situation that caused it has pretty much resolved (recovery from bad accident) so I feel confident, or at least hopeful, that the depression won’t return if I quit taking Wellbutrin. 

I’m having a routine colonoscopy on Friday, so I will be “cleaning out” on Thursday. If I have any issues with that, or if the constipation returns after my colonoscopy, I will definitely set an appointment with my doctor about it. I’ve gotten to the point where I am taking Miralax once or twice a day, drinking lots of water, etc, but nothing helps. I’m not even feeling the urge to “go” anymore. God only knows what’s lurking down there—LOL. 

I’m sorry others are having this problem, but I’m relieved to see that I am not alone.

ChopinLover

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I too have been taking Wellbutrin for about two months.  The constipation snuck up on me.  At first I barely noticed I was having fewer and fewer 'movements'.  Then at one point I realized it hadn't happened in like four days.  I would feel like I had to go, but then wouldn't be able to.  

Finally I reviewed the side effects of this drug, and saw constipation on the list, and found this thread.  

The really sad part is Wellbutrin was working for me in every way.  Gave me energy and enthusiasm, a more positive attitude.  I was communicating and relating better with people.  

It figures there'd have to be this impossible side effect.  So I've been off it for a couple of days.  I took a laxative to get things restarted.  I was starting to feel very uncomfortable 'down there', and I believe it can lead one to more serious GI problems. 

It figures something seemingly so good would have to have a dark side, it's always been like that in my life. 

- John

 

 

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My problem seems to have resolved itself, at least for now. I’ve been quite regular for the past couple of weeks. I’m not sure why, since I’m not doing anything different, but at least it’s one less thing to worry about.

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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?  

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The original post here sounds like one I could have written myself. Has anyone figured out the actual cause of why Bupoprion/wellbutrin would cause slow gut motility? Would taking something natural that increases serotonin improve the situation? Please help! The GI distress is making my depression worse,

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Hi KatrinaSurvivor,

I think you are right in thinking that there might be some factor in the Sustained release that slows down the system! I take the Sandoz brand and have the slow motility that nothing seems to fix. And yes, more fiber makes it worse. I am going to try and find a natural alternative or ask for the IR.

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