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tapering off citalopram

Bupropion Tapering

Bupropion tapering at the Alternative to Meds Center could be the best and safest way to make sure withdrawal from bupropion is gentle, gradual, and as comfortable as possible. Our luxurious licensed facility provides comfort and care under the supervision and guidance of a full roster of licensed medical professionals and caregivers who are all familiar with high level patient care during treatment for bupropion tapering protocols. Getting off bupropion doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you have been considering the best options for trying to quit buproprion, please read the below summary of information that may help.

Sold under various brand names (1) bupropion is prescribed for a variety of purposes such as:

  1. Quitting smoking
  2. MDD (major depressive disorder)
  3. To alleviate seasonal affective disorder

Much is Unknown About Bupropion

Did you know that even for the drug manufacturers, the way the drug is purported to work in regards to smoking cessation is unknown?
Of particular interest to women to note, it is not known if taking bupropion harms the fetus, or if a mother’s breast milk will harm the baby.

Known Side Effects of Bupropion

Some of the adverse reactions to bupropion have been reported to include suicidality, insomnia, headaches, dry mouth, seizures, hypertension (high blood pressure), abdominal pain, loss of sex drive, nausea, tremors, dizziness, cardiovascular adverse events such as irregular heartbeat and chest pain. Other troubling side effects include delusions (you think you are someone else), visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there), audio hallucinations (hearing things that aren’t there), confusion, amnesia, paranoia, aggression, and many other difficulties.

Such reactions, especially if these were intense or lasting over a significant period of time, may lead to trying to quit bupropion. More information and recommendations concerning how to get off bupropion safely and gently can be found below, or by calling the Alternative to Meds Center directly.

Bupropion for Smoking Cessation

Some may have opted for bupropion in order to help quit smoking but have also found a number of these adverse side effects have negatively impacted their quality of life. (2)

For those opting to take bupropion for quitting smoking, the statistics are less than encouraging. Studies show that only 6% of smokers remained smoke-free after one year. (3) Just as unfortunate, the unwanted side effects from antidepressants such as bupropion can linger far longer than that. The Alternative to Meds Center can help where bupropion tapering in an inpatient setting is desired.

Bupropion for Depression

For those persons who have begun taking bupropion for depression, there are other avenues of diagnosis and treatment that do not focus only on pharmaceutical treatment. The Alternative to Meds Center provides a wealth of opportunities for diagnostic testing and treatment options within the context of improving natural mental health. Prescription drugs primarily mask symptoms such as depresssion, and at best, only for a time. There are no curative properties of antidepressant medications.

Utilising appropriate treatments concurrently with withdrawal from bupropion can make getting off bupropion a more gentle, much more comfortable experience. For example: removal of toxic load can ease compromised neurochemistry. This is helpful because healthy neurochemistry provides the basis for well-being. Therapeutic nutrition may help alleviate vitamin deficiencies, along with providing a clean, (chemical-free) and nutrient-dense diet.

Treatments are backed up by testing to ensure these aims are being achieved effectively. Other types of therapies made available for physical comfort include therapeutic massage, soothing mineral baths, foot baths, cranial-sacral massage, acupuncture and acupressure, Equine assisted therapy, music and art therapy, and many other genres of treatments that may help to reduce or entirely eliminate symptoms that typically emerge while trying to quit bupropion medication.

citalopram tapering

Caution Regarding Abrupt Withdrawal From

Simply stopping bupropion “cold-turkey” is not recommended for any antidepressant medications, except in the case of the following reactions:

  1. presenting seizures
  2. skin rash or eruptions especially accompanied by fever
  3. swelling in the lips, face, throat, tongue, hands, eyes, legs
  4. chest pain
  5. trouble breathing

These reactions can be life-threatening and are the only cases that require immediate bupropion cessation, and it is recommended that the patient be brought to a hospital or ER setting so that life-saving protocols can immediately be put in place to save the life of the patient.

Except in these cases, the FDA also has issued warnings against abruptly stopping bupropion to avoid serious side effects that can occur during withdrawal from bupropion or from abruptly getting off bupropion products including those that are manufactured in a timed-release or sustained format. Studies done at Harvard also show the various risks involved in getting off bupropion and other types of medications. (4) (2)

How To Get Off Bupropion Safely

As mentioned before, an abrupt bupropion cessation is not recommended. Slowly tapering bupropion is the recommended route, which is best done with guidance and monitoring. At the Alternative to Meds Center, we have specialized in tapering bupropion and other medications in a safe, gentle and gradual way, including for timed-release versions of the drug. Though the process is designed to be incremental, each client is attentively assessed throughout their stay, especially regarding minute changes that can be made to the tapering schedule to increase the efficacy of the process.

For patients who also wish to stop smoking, ask us about gentle and concurrent program steps that can help, without relying on prescription medications or nicotine patches, etc., to deal with co-addiction issues.

Even though many popular TV shows and some movies openly joke about taking antidepressants and “stop-smoking-pills” or treat the subject lightly, there is nothing funny about adverse reactions to them, or the horrific bupropion withdrawal effects that, if not managed correctly, can be severe. At the Alternative to Meds Center, a program can be devised for each client so that their health concerns can be addressed without relying on harsh prescription drugs.

Find Out More About Holistic Bupropion Cessation

For anyone who has been considering how to get off bupropion safely, or even multiple medications, we urge you to contact us at the Alternative to Meds Center. We can advise you on methods that we have used successfully for safely tapering bupropion, and other medications. We also blend the program with other holistic methods to improve both health and lifestyle choices to your benefit, as outlined earlier. We firmly believe there is no better program for bupropion tapering help than what we provide our clients in our comfortable, luxury-style, exceptionally well-staffed, inpatient Alternative to Meds Center.

  1. Article, “Bupropion: 1 Drug, 4 Different Brand Names”, published in CMAJ in 2003, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC264979/, accessed Oct 7, 2019.
  2. FDA Wellbutrin Label information, https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/018644s043lbl.pdf, accessed Oct 7, 2019.
  3. Study: “A comparison of the efficacy of varenicline and bupropion and an evaluation of the effect of the medications in the context of the smoking cessation programme”, Authors Dr Ali Ramazon Benli, Dr Selman Erturhan, Dr Muhammet Ali Oruc, Dr Pinar Kalpakci, Dr Didem Sunay, Dr Yeltekin Demirel, published in the US National Library of Medicine and online Feb 1, 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5286845/, accessed Oct 7, 2019.
  4. Article, “Going Off Antidepressants”, https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants/, accessed Oct 7, 2019.

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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