Call Mon-Sun:
1 (800) 301-3753
tapering off wellbutrin

Wellbutrin Tapering

For anyone searching for information on Wellbutrin tapering, or for more information before stopping Wellbutrin medication, please be advised that this drug is also prescribed under quite a number of other various and changing names. The list of alternative names includes Zyban, Fortivo XL, Aplenzin, Prolev, Quomem, and others. (1)

All of these various drug names, however, refer to the same drug. Some versions may be timed-release, and this information would be found on the prescription label.

Drug manufacturers have added to the confusion, namely, in what appears to be attempts to extend production beyond patent expiry dates. An example is where the identical drug, named Zyban, is primarily approved for quitting smoking, but Wellbutrin, with exactly the same molecular structure, is not approved for use in quitting smoking. The key point despite the smoke and mirrors of the manufacturers would be to understand that Zyban is the same as Wellbutrin, and should not be viewed as “less toxic” or less habit-forming, or not subject to similar harsh withdrawal effects, etc.

Wellbutrin on the City Streets

Wellbutrin has even found a significant presence in some city streets where it is known as “poor man’s cocaine” due to its euphoric effects when snorted. Wellbutrin is classified as an antidepressant, but because of the drug being a cathinone derivative, it belongs also to a class of drugs chemically related to amphetamines or “bath salts”, which have stimulating effects. (2)

Most of Wellbutrin use is from a prescription, for treatment of depression or other symptoms. Unfortunately, there have been many street users who have been harmed by overuse or overdose and who may require Wellbutrin tapering.

For anyone who has begun a prescription of Wellbutrin who may have concerns about possible adverse effects, Wellbutrin tapering may be an option to consider.
Correctly planned tapering Wellbutrin is important whether the drug was prescribed for depression, or was prescribed under a different name for quitting smoking, or if the drug use was non-prescribed. In all of these cases, trying to quit Wellbutrin without help or assistance is not recommended.

Challenges of Wellbutrin Cessation

Below, we will discuss some of the main challenges with getting off Wellbutrin, and some ways to stay healthy during withdrawal from Wellbutrin (or any other of Wellbutrin’s namesakes).

An important challenge is estimating how quickly or slowly to administer a Wellbutrin tapering program. The Alternative to Meds Center Wellbutrin tapering programs have built-in monitoring involving real-time discussions and coordinated teamwork between the client and the various staff on your team. Our Wellbutrin cessation programs are designed to address this exact point in an alert and flexible way. The client is always consulted at each step so that the estimation of how quickly or slowly to proceed is always in consultation and agreement with the client.

This can help make the process much smoother and often easier to tolerate, and also to administer.

FDA WARNING: The FDA cautions against abruptly stopping Wellbutrin. The same caution would apply to all the other drugs that share the molecular blueprint but may be called by another name. The caution applies to all of these antidepressants. To withdraw from Wellbutrin or other antidepressants abruptly can negatively impact the body.

The Harvard Medical School also has published research papers that caution regarding stopping Wellbutrin or other antidepressants too quickly, and notes there is a potential for worsened depression in such cases. (2) This means in general, that a slower, more gradual method of how to get off Wellbutrin is demonstrably a safer and more reliable treatment choice.

The Alternative to Meds Center has been helping clients getting off Wellbutrin and many other drugs safely and gently for more than a decade and a half. Part of the center’s success comes from offering sound principles of holistic treatment in a safe and nurturing inpatient setting. While the Wellbutrin withdrawal process is ongoing, many therapeutic aids are available such as cranial sacral and other therapeutic forms of massage, mineral and foot baths, nebulized glutathione treatments, music and art therapy, Reiki, acupressure and/or acupuncture, and many others to support client comfort at every step along the way.

wellbutrin tapering

The Importance of Addressing Root Causes

Equally important, if not more so, is working on investigating and correcting root causes for a person’s pre-medication symptoms. This is vital and is where some vast improvements to health can come about, because some actual causal factors can be isolated and can then be addressed. Beginning to resolve these factors will also tend to resolve the person’s symptomology without needing to rely on drugs for relief in the way of masking symptoms, sometimes called the band-aid approach.

It may be true that in the past, the only “solution” that was offered seemed to dampen symptoms with medication. In the past, perhaps that was all that was available, and would be more humane than letting a person suffer. But with today’s testing and other diagnostic and investigative tools, the Alternative to Meds Center can help our clients to truly begin to move forward into a realm of better overall health. Some of these benefits might include experiencing more energy, brighter mood, better quality of sleep, more vitality overall, and therefore less need of medication.

Will a Person’s Original Symptoms Return When Stopping Wellbutrin?

Part of administering a safe and effective Wellbutrin tapering program is helping to prevent a person’s symptoms from returning as the medication is being incrementally reduced. For instance, where a person took Wellbutrin to combat depression, if Wellbutrin tapering is too fast it would not be unusual for the person’s depressive symptoms to return and sometimes can do so with increased intensity. However, the Alternative to Meds Center Program is designed so that fluctuations in mood or other reactions can be monitored extremely closely and can be mitigated through exact supplementation, therapies, or adjusting the speed of the taper to compensate. The goal is to administer Wellbutrin tapering without these fluctuations, and without major or intense Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms, and without a return of original symptoms as much as is possible.

However, if a person took Wellbutrin to stop smoking, it is more usual that there is no set of “pre-medication symptoms”. Therefore, side effects that emerge during withdrawal of Wellbutrin can be clearly attributed to trying to quit Wellbutrin rather than assuming the person is suffering from a “return of mental illness”.

Each client is a unique person with their own history. The results we achieve for our clients at the Alternative to Meds Center would never be possible with a cookie-cutter style program. Each client has a program designed specifically for their needs and their health profile, etc.

More Information Regarding Successful Wellbutrin Tapering Protocols

There is much more to learn about the programs delivered at the Alternative to Meds Center and what they entail in terms of treatments and therapies that are available to our clients. We believe there is no more comprehensive program for Wellbutrin tapering help than what is delivered in our comfortable, luxurious and nurturing inpatient facility.

Please contact us at the Alternative to Meds Center so we can provide you with many more details about the various techniques and protocols that are used to help our clients meet their individual health goals. We invite you to contact us and discover how easy it may be for you or your loved one to begin their Wellbutrin tapering treatment: your Wellbutrin tapering program will be designed to be gradual, without harsh side effects, and surprisingly comfortable.

  1. Article, “Bupropion: 1 Drug, 4 Different Brand Names”, published in CMAJ in 2003, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC264979/, accessed Sept 24, 2019.
  2. Article, “Focus on Bupropion Toxicity and Abuse” published by The British Columbia Drug and Poison Information Center, http://www.dpic.org/article/professional/focus-bupropion-toxicity-and-abuse, accessed Sept 28, 2019.
  3. Article, “Going Off Antidepressants”, https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants, accessed Sept 24, 2019.
  4. FDA Wellbutrin label, https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/018644s043lbl.pdf, accessed Sept 28, 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.

View Bio

We Accept Most Major Insurance Providers.

Call Now to Verify BlueCross BlueShield Cigna Aetna