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Burgy

The Wellbutrin Honeymoon

138 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post  

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This is a subject that I feel is important enough for its own topic. I have experienced this effect myself, and witnessed it in most people who start this medication.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban, Budeprion) has a unique startup effect, a sort of honeymoon, or mirage in the dessert. When first starting, it can give an instant high, bringing lots of energy, and completely relieve depression. This may be caused by the fact that bupropion is chemically related to amphetamine. Having experimented a few times with meth in my 20s (bad boy, I know) I can say that the feeling is similar, although bupropion is not as intense and doesn't alter you the way meth does (or ruin your life, etc.), thank goodness.

Like all highs, this effect wears off and you fall back to where you were before, which can feel even worse than before, because you were given a glimpse of happiness and relief. This can be very confusing and discouraging, and make you think that bupropion has already given up on you. It hasn't. Like most antidepressants, you have to give it the full 6-8 weeks to build up and stabilize, although you should start feeling better sooner than that. Once you have fully adjusted, you'll enjoy the energizing and brightening effects, although it won't be as intense as the false high in the beginning.

I see so many people go through this and post about it, and I hope that devoting a topic to the subject will help those who are new and struggling with the startup process. By the way, I am on 300mg XL, and loving it. It's a wonderful antidepressant in my opinion, that has lifted me out of the often suicidal darkness I was stuck in for years. I think it's important for people to know that you might have a very difficult startup, so please try to hang in there and give it the full 2 months. Only then will you know what it can really do for you.

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Posted · Report post  

The big teaser, indeed! Many thanks to Burgy for starting this thread, and for offering so much insight. I definitely experienced the start-up rollercoaster ride that he describes.

My doctor recently augmented my Lexapro with Wellbutrin, as the Lex was just not kicking in enough after 10 weeks on it. I felt a wonderful effect from the WB within an hour of popping the first 100mg pill. At first I shook my head in disbelief, figuring it must be the strongest placebo effect I've ever experienced! But as the hours passed, I grew certain that what I was feeling was no placebo. I had a pulsing wave of pleasure that I could feel in my head, and even in my hands (of all things). I also had a mental clarity that I hadn't enjoyed since before my depression hit. I know that WB works on dopamine and norepinephrine (versus seratonin), and I could almost sense it working on a different part of my brain than the Lex.

A las, in the days that followed, I crashed -- even as my doctor doubled my dosage to 200mg a day. But I seem to be leveling out more with each day (despite a now-and-again setback). And I remain convinced that WB is an invaluable part of my treatment. I can really, physically, feel certain of that. Time will tell.

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Posted · Report post  

i`m pesimestic now :(

i`m on my seventh week taking wellbutrin 300 sr , but i didn`t notice these startup effects ..i don`t see any improvement at all ,so i think it`s not for me :(

i aslo take risperdal 1 mg for augmentation

i just need a drug that improves my concentration and memory and gives me energy and motivation !!!

do i ask my pdoc to increase WB to 450 or add an SSRI like lexapro?

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Posted · Report post  

manckar,

In my experience, the people who don't experience the "honeymoon" usually don't experience the longer term, therapeutic benefits, either. Some brains just don't need the increase in dopamine or norepinephrine, and don't respond. Talk to your doctor. Perhaps an AD from another class, like the SSRIs, would be more beneficial to you.

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Posted · Report post  

Yep, when I first started WB it was like drinking a huge cup of coffee. As I gradually went up in dosage, the depression lifted and I started seeing colors again. I actually remember looking at myself in the mirror one morning and realizing that I hadn't done so in many months. I hadn't lifted my head to look around because I was so depressed. This med has helped me tremendously, too. Although, I need adjunct meds; it still was the absolute best at bashing me out of the major depressive state I was in.

Thanks Burgy! It does take 6-8 weeks and it was worth hanging in to get the effect most beneficial for me.

Lucinda :hearts:

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Posted · Report post  

Yah, Burgy, I had that experience in July...I remember that you posted me w/ that theory, and there seems to be alot of truth to that.

We do more research around here than Wyeth, Pfizer, Forest, Eli Lily et al. combined!

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Posted (edited) · Report post  

Correction, Deet: We ARE the research. We're all part of clinical trials that we just don't know about -- you know, kind of like an online-Big-Pharma version of that movie, 'The Truman Show.'

(LOL - totally teasing, of course).

On the Wellbutrin front, I just came across a perfect description of that high-low experience from an online columnist who calls herself ChronicBabe: "Day 1: feeling good. Day 2: feeling really good, and happy with the decision. Day 3: practically euphoric. This Wellbutrin stuff is awesome! Day 4: crash and burn. B*tchy, deflated, exhausted. Days 5 and 6: nightmares. Headaches. Miserable."

I couldn't have said it any better!

Edited by MichaelBlue

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slw    0

Posted · Report post  

the amphetimine idea makes perfect sense -- my son got the same thing from adderall which is an amphetimine.

he said it made his depression & anxiety just disappear completely for the first time in a long time.

it's probably a low amount in this med and your body gets used to it in those first few days.

from my experience with people who do meth (tried it once myself on my 21st birthday & liked it so much i knew i should never do it again), the more they do, the more they want

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Posted · Report post  

I totally experienced the honeymoon thing too. It lasted for a couple weeks for me and then I slipped back into depression for a bit. The WB does seem to be helping me still, but nothing like those first few weeks when nothing could upset me!

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Lek    2

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Well, since this is for research purposes ... I'll add my two cents.

:hearts:

Actually, my honeymoon crash wasn't so bad--perhaps because I'd been down so long that I didn't know which side was up. Or maybe because Burgy had alerted us about this, so I was prepared for it.

The initial 300 mg dose, however, wasn't quite enough for me after the honeymoon person, so I'm now on the maximum 450 mg.

I can say that after adjustment period and the higher dose, it was astonishing how wonderfully different I felt. I enjoyed teaching again and my students are really responding "well" to the new me. It was much easier for me to handle the inevitable bumps and frustrations of daily life, which before would have have me venting inappropriately and irrationally or would have just plunged me deeper into a sense of helplessness. My wacky sense of humor returned and I could smile and enjoy things again. I just wonder why I waited so long to get treatment.

There are some minor, lingering side effects that I can live with: slightly blurred vision, my memory is a bit affected (I even forget to write things down, but my concentration is great), my appetite is not a strong as before, and--pardon my frankness--the most noxious gas I've ever experienced! :bump: (which my boyfriend is adjusting to as well--I feel so sorry for him). He says he can live with it because I'm more like the person I was when we got together.

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Lek, my flatulent friend! :hearts:

I'm so glad WB is working so well for you! Thank goodness you persisted in getting it prescribed! You and Chai must be thrilled to have the old you back!

I got the gases too, and it's not so uncommon, but it faded for me over the first couple of months. I also had the memory issues, but now my memory seems very sharp, as well as my focus. My vision is sharper now too. Everything feels sharper and brighter on WB.

I'll take gassy and happy over my pre-WB self anyday! :bump:

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I'm really glad to hear the "meth-y" feel will wear off because I hate it. I don't suffer from a lack of energy and these jitters are a bit much.

My question is this: is it possible to feel the emotional AD effects after only three days of taking WB? For the first time in months, I had a couple hours today where my heart didn't feel like lead.

Aaron.

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Posted (edited) · Report post  

Aaron- No question. I felt it, too, after just ONE day on the wellbutrin. But it wore off, and there were some bumpy ups and downs over the first few weeks until it started to level off. So don't be discouraged if that starts to happen. As Burgy wrote, you've got to give it 6-8 weeks to stabilize -- just like any AD.

Edited by MichaelBlue

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Posted · Report post  

I just started it yesterday generic 100 SR, and have not felt anything, I hope that does not meant it will not work for me or I got a dud

I really need something soon

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Posted · Report post  

It will take significantly longer :hearts: than one day to feel the effects, especially at such a low dose ( if you are taking only one 100mg daily)

greg

I just started it yesterday generic 100 SR, and have not felt anything, I hope that does not meant it will not work for me or I got a dud

I really need something soon

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Posted · Report post  

It will take significantly longer :hearts: than one day to feel the effects, especially at such a low dose ( if you are taking only one 100mg daily)

greg

I just started it yesterday generic 100 SR, and have not felt anything, I hope that does not meant it will not work for me or I got a dud

I really need something soon

Thank you for the reassurance!!!

and hopefully I did not side track the thread, I apologize if i did.

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Posted · Report post  

Well, my Wellbutrin honeymoon is definitely over, and it ends in divorce-- with hives breaking out whenever a little pressure is applied to my skin, I don't see this marriage having much of a future. That's a real disappointment because I did feel better inside for a couple days. Now I'm faced with the awful decision between an SSRI or nothing...

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Posted (edited) · Report post  

Aaronteds:

Sorry to hear this. Some people do break out in hives from wellbutrin, and they are advised to immediately stop the medicine as a result. I see from one of your earlier posts that you tried, but disliked, lexapro. And it sounds like you aren't looking forward to starting a typical ssri again.

But you may want to ask your doctor about effexor, which works on seratonin AND norepinephrine. Wellbutrin, as you probably know, acts on dopamine and norepinephrine. Good luck.

Edited by MichaelBlue

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Posted · Report post  

That's a real disappointment because I did feel better inside for a couple days.

Sorry to hear this, aaronteds. A good friend of mine had a similar reaction. He felt better on WB, but developed an unbearable, all-over itch and had to stop. The itching continued for a few weeks after, so be prepared for that possibility. Benadryl helped him get some relief.

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I experienced a similar 'honeymoon' phenomenon-type feeling with W XL. Probably after about two weeks of initial adjusting to the drug, side effects, etc., I went through a period of intense euphoria that lasted for about 4-6 weeks but was most intense in the two weeks after I first upped my dosage to 2 pills per day.

Having never done meth, I cannot comment on that, however, I can confirm that the feelings were similar to an ecstasy high. (tried once. :shocked: ) I felt connected to those around me. At work, when I would normally grab my coffee in the morning and make a B-line straight to my cubicle, W XL was sending me on a different path. Now I was cheerfully walking up to mildly suspicious co-workers, whose companionship I'd once gladly passed on, :mad1: and asking them how their weekend was. ....then standing there with a huge smile on my face :bump: while waiting for them to get over their state of semi-shock to respond. But the thing is, no matter how much of a friendship elitist I'd once considered myself to be, I would swear to you that this was the 'real' me. I really *was* genuinely concerned with the well-being of others and wanted to talk with them. :tear2: I'm not a friendship snob at all I found out. It was my depression that was hindering my ability to engage socially. Finally a surge of dopamine to my brain had enabled me to act on my usual disposition of shyness and reservation to open up and enjoy human connection. :nod:

There was a flip side to that, the aftermath of which I am still cleaning up so user beware; I became downright flirtatious for an embarrassing period of two or three weeks. I am not a flirt naturally. Yet with my new-found social graces, I found myself engaged in a few new friendships with men in the office. :shocked: One of which was my superior. I honestly did not intend to come on to him, yet, I felt so full of love so abruptly, in hindsight it could have only seemed like I'd developed a new interest in this person. :blush21: He began emailing me and calling me outside of work. After I started to settle into the drug I realized that he had the wrong idea (thanks to me and my sudden burst of attention on him, her, and everyone around me) and had to have a slightly awkward discussion with him on how, 'sorry if you got the wrong idea I think you are interesting and would like to be FREINDS'. Luckily he was understanding. Kind of. :hearts:

Additionally, journal entries from that time tell me that I was having fantasies about my auto-mechanic sales rep. I remember sitting in my car after I'd picked it up from getting my oil change in a state of bliss thinking.... wow! he is so hot and dreamy!!! :cry: (Ugh, trust me, he IS NOT HOT in any sense of the word. even if he is... RANDOM hey?)

Having shared all this, that euphoria did eventually wear off after a quite a few weeks. I have to say that I did enjoy it but settled into a more 'normal' and healthy mental state. Thank you for allowing me to share my experiences.

best.

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Posted (edited) · Report post  

OMG! I am so excited I found this thread!!!

I posted in another thread about being new to WB about this exact thing.

So from what I have gathered, this "honeymoon effect" is a positive sign that this could work for me?

I started on 150XL for 2 weeks then upped to 300XL a few days ago. Its been about 3 weeks total

Anyway, within the first day I felt great, I was so positive, I didn't feel like divorcing my husband was the only way out, I actually functioned normally through out the day, Also I wasn't binge eating.

After about 4-5 days I back to feeling all the negative thoughts of worthlessness, and avoiding all social contact, and I cant apply myself to anything. Almost worse than before! :hearts: Wanting food all day again!

Anyway, I was thinking that was a sign it was not the right med for me.

But according to this thread, it seems that it could actually be a sign that it should work, that there are other people who have experienced this same thing.

So does it come back (the normal feeling) all at once or gradually at the 2 month period?

This is my first time treating my depression. I have been in denial for a few years since it started.

Anyway I want to make sure I understood correct in that the "honeymoon effect" can be a positive sign.

Edited by Niffer

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I'm so glad I could put your mind at ease (((((((Niffer))))))). What you're going through sounds very much like my own experience. It'll probably vary a bit from person to person, but for me, I started feeling better again about a month after first starting, and I was pretty stable at 2 months. During the first few weeks you may go up and down a bit, feeling it kick in one day, then give out the next, or even have some peaks and valleys in the same day. At 2 months, you'll have a pretty good idea of what Wellbutrin can do for you. The "honeymoon" effect can be very discouraging and even tormenting, but I believe that it's actually a good sign, sort of an indicator that you're responsive to the drug.

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The "honeymoon" effect can be very discouraging and even tormenting, but I believe that it's actually a good sign, sort of an indicator that you're responsive to the drug.

Awesome!!!

Thats what I was hoping! :hearts:

Thanks so much!!

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Posted · Report post  

The "honeymoon" effect can be very discouraging and even tormenting, but I believe that it's actually a good sign, sort of an indicator that you're responsive to the drug.

Awesome!!!

Thats what I was hoping! :bump:

Thanks so much!!

Niffer:

Burgy is right. Early reaction to WB may be just a "teaser" but it is proof that your system is responsive to the med. Hang in there. It'll take a few weeks for the med's "real" effects to show, but they will.

Keep us posted, please.

:hearts:

-Bean

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Posted (edited) · Report post  

Here is what I posted in the other topic. I thought I would put it here too since it gives a little more detail about my experiance and possibly help some one else.

:hearts:

I started WB 150XL about 18 days ago. With in 2 days I could not believe how “normal” I felt. I was tackling tasks I gave up on years ago. I had desires I haven’t had in years, I felt so awake, and I enjoyed little things as simple as listening to music in the car. My appetite was under control, I wasn’t bingeing all day long. All the negative things in my life didn’t corrode my days.

I was thrilled that this was working.

Well with in a week that all went away, negativity floods my thoughts again. I feel useless and don’t even have the motivation to change a light bulb. I just don’t care about diddlysquat. I have been on the WB XL 300 for the past 3 days and I still don’t feel any improvement.

Is it possible that “alive” or “normal” feeling will come back when the medicine has more time?

Was that just the placebo effect or what?

My doctor is very open and generally listens well. I was wondering if I should give it more time or should I consider suggesting something else or adding to the WB for my depression.

I haven’t ever been treated before, Ive been in denial for the past couple years thinking things will get better.

I can’t afford to gain weight or loose a sex drive that is non-existent as it is (poor husband).

Any help is appreciated.

OH, I rotate between Ambien and Lunesta for my insomnia (had before but got worse on the WB) because each one will only work for 1 or 2 nights then quit. I take the WB 8am, could the sleeping pills interfere with the WB effectiveness?

Thanks to all whole share the stories that are similar.

Its almost as if knowing more about the "honeymoon effect" is having a "placebo" effect on me already. Isn't that a shame!!!! :bump:

Edited by Niffer

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