Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Batty

Wellbutrin - safe for heart disease patients?

Recommended Posts

HI there.  Thanks for having me on the forum :)

I was hoping to find out if anyone has experience of taking Bupropion with coronary artery disease?  I have a fairly 'low grade' CAD with 75% of one smaller vessel blocked.  I am on Bisoprolol for blood pressure and heart rhythm, also take aspirin and cholesterol lowering Atorvastatin.  Its been a pretty terrible couple of years for me and I do feel a bit down and gloomy with a really bad lack of energy.  I tried SSRI's before getting diagnosed with CAD and they made me feel worse.  Wellbutrin has a better chance of helping me with depression without those awful side effects of SSRI's so I realy want to try them.  I am scared to try to be honest because I have read there is a chance of Bupropion causing heart disturbances, although apparently the chances of this are very low.

There is a caveat to this - I live in Thailand, and the doctors here have no idea when it comes to this kind of problem.  They simply dont know.  Actually all three doctors I have asked about this (one of them a cardiologist) have never even heard of Bupropion.  All three of them advised against taking it with CAD, I asked if there reasoning for this was because it might disturb my heart rhythm and they replied no, its because we dont know what Bupropion is or what it does so its better to say no, dont take it.  Doctors here, I hate to say, are not the best.  I mean if there was a professional opinion why I should take it based on my condition, I would respect what they have to say.  But advising against it purely because they haven't heard of it I think is poor form.

A further caveat - I did try Bupropion 150 XL daily for 6 days around 12 months back and as far as I can remember, my heart was fine.  I did start to feel a bit mentally wobbly on the 6th day and like an idiot, i stopped because I was busy at work and needed to feel sharper so I figured on taking a break.  I have since learned that there is a teething period and any wobbly side affects should be ridden out as they will go away eventually but I didn't know that at the time.  I didn't resume taking them again because a few months later I was diagnosed with CAD.  I still have the packet here (54 pills left) and would like to resume, but I am just a little scared something terrible might happen and I end up in the ER department with deadly heart issues.  

Does anyone have any advice?  Again, I appreciate I should be asking a doctor about this but over here in Thailand they just have zero clue with this kind of thing, and are completely unwilling to find out.  One doctor even said 'I never heard of Bupropion or Wellbutrin, but let me give you some valium if you feel down'.  Valium is the last thing I need right now, they honestly have no idea!

Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks so much!  Oh, not sure if it makes any difference but I am a 47 year old male.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Batty,

I discourage Wellbutrin/Bupropion when people ask based on my own experience, the warnings that come with the product, and the experiences of hundreds of others I've encountered over the years.  My story:  I was diagnosed with Major Depression/Recurring over 30 years ago and treated by a psychiatrist recommended to me by the therapist I was seeing.  15 years ago the anti-depressant I was on at the time quit working and my psych. put me on 300 mg XL Bupropion.  (He was big on placing patients on high levels of medications.)  Approximately a month later, I began waking up in the morning with horrific anxiety and my body literally shaking as if I'd just heard the worst possible news.  When I could finally pry myself out of bed, it took approximately three hours for the anxiety to subside.  Due to this, I began having to call out of work a lot which wasn't good.

When I reported this to my psych. he prescribed 5 mg of Clonazepam (Klonopin), telling me absolutely nothing (and I ALWAYS ask) about potential side effects, just that "It will make you feel better."  I was in such bad shape due to almost constant anxiety by that time that I did not do the research I usually do before taking any newly prescribed medication.  Therefore, I didn't know that Clonazepam (or any of the benzodiazepine family of drugs) is EXTREMELY addictive and ONLY to be taken for short periods of time, no longer than two weeks continuously, which is stated on the Clonazepam insert.  I didn't find out about this until probably six months later when the anxiety was under control IF I took the med daily and by that time, my body was addicted.

What does this have to do with Bupropion?  One of the most common side effects of this med is anxiety.  This info is on the manufacturer's package insert plus any site with info re: Bupropion such as this one that lists anxiety as the first common potential side effect:  https://www.drugs.com/sfx/wellbutrin-side-effects.html

If any anxiety-provoking situation occurred, my anxiety went off the scale, even taking Clonazepam.  Psych. recommended I go on short-term disability from work, which eventually resulted in my having to go on disability (SSDI), greatly impacting the quality of my life, not to mention financially, being embarrassed, etc.  It wasn't until I began seeing posts by others stating similar stories ie. never having an issue with major anxiety until after they began taking Bupropion that I began digging into research and found countless stories exactly like mine.  Even more frightening, I found information that said weaning off a benzo is as difficult as cocaine or heroin!!! I am now part of a support site (not sure if we're allowed to post names of other sites on this forum) for people who are trying to wean off any type of benzo.  In a majority of the "Introduce Yourself" posts on the forum, many/most people report the same pattern over and over ie. Dr. prescribed Bupropion (generally when another anti-depressant quit working) - then begins experiencing anxiety with no situational basis - Dr. places them on one of the benzos (Xanax, Klonopin, Atavan, Restoril (a sleep aid), Valium (one of the oldest benzos), etc.) - Dr. does not advise of its addictive properties and keeps the person on it instead of prescribing for short term use with the end result being addiction to the med.

The Dr. I go to now is an M.D. but prefers using natural supplements as much as possible instead of or to support the use of pharmaceuticals.  Over the last 5ish years he has weaned me off the two anti-depressants the psych. had me on, including Bupropion, and placed me on one of the newer anti-depressants that has many fewer side effects than what I was taking.  I had to be weaned off Bupropion slowly; if not, one can become very ill.  I was also slowly weaned down from 5 mg Clonazepam/Klonopin to 0.5 mg to be taken 1-2x daily as needed.  This seems to be the amount at which further weaning becomes extremely difficult as the proper method (due to entire books written on the topic, a woman in England who specializes in weaning off benzos, etc.) literally includes shaving a teeeeeeny part of the pill off with a razor blade, staying at that level sometimes for months and still going through some uncomfortable withdrawal before shaving off a tiny bit more.  Even at the relatively small amount I'm taking, if I miss more than two days, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms set in.  At one point I ran out of the med several days early due to life circumstances, literally was pacing the floor and could not function and landed in the ER. When given just 1 mg of clonazepam, the hideous withdrawal symptoms completely disappeared.  That's when my Dr. upped my monthly amount from 30 pills to 60 a month so I'd have that buffer.  Re: trying to wean completely off,  Dr. said based on my age (66) and the amount of time I was on a very high dose of Klonopin (over 15 years), it was too hard on my body to try to wean off completely.  I also take a supplement regimen for overall health, to boost my immune system, protect my heart and, since I have a family history of Alzheimers, my mother being our family's most recent victim of this disease, supplements that also protect my brain.  I've lost 35 lbs. and feel better than I have in years.

So, I don't have an answer re: taking Bupropion with heart issues but, due to my personal experience in taking it for many years that caused major anxiety leading to the prescription of a med that left me addicted to a legal drug when I NEVER took illegal drugs nor even drank, nor smoked, and caused me to go on disability that deprived me of the profession I enjoyed, and am now dependent on government assistance financially, I advise people considering Bupropion to at least research the connection between it and anxiety.  There are many other anti-depressant options and, unfortunately, too many doctors who prescribe Bupropion knowing full well its risks.  The term "Big Pharma" exists for a reason.  I am not "anti-meds" as they have been a life-saver for me and many others; I just really advise researching before taking Bupropion as well as making sure one knows the risks of taking benzos for an extended period of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This appears to be an issue without a lot of research. I found an article on PubMed that you can start with. That site is typically good for finding things you might not find on other medical sites. Take a look at the following:

*https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16788327/*

Just remove the * so the link works.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just had written a long-ish post on this thread...only to lose it as I was ending it. 

 If I have it in me ,I may try again.

 But I'd never written anything as detailed as this subject before.

 But I've had strange time on Bupropion before.

 I'm tired from spending time writing post...all for nothing in the end.

 No,I don't no how I lost it,I'd hoped that it had post even if it had been finished...but it's gone.

 I'm shattered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...