Wellbutrin and cravings.

Old 08-27-2016, 10:18 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Anonym0us View Post
I started taking wellbutrin XL 300mg about 46 days ago. Since I started I have had greatly reduced cravings for alcohol - staying sober became easy.

I went 44 days sober and then treated myself to a few pints on my birthday. Interestingly I was able to control it and cut it off after a few. The next day I had zero inclination to drink more or go out again - apart from the social aspect. Normally I would have woke up the day after and wanted a 2l of vodka sadly, but not even an inkling for it anymore. (Towards the end of my drinking career I put that back daily for 6 months, I was in some serious alkie territory. I'm only 25.).

It's quite extraordinary really. I don't intend to play with fire and drink again but does this suggest a huge role in dopamine brain chemistry in my particular case? I find a lot of the things I used to do when drinking - listening to music or re-watching TV series - things I normally wouldn't do sober are now enjoyable without the drink. I asked my doctor about it and he couldn't give me a definitive answer as no one really knows how these drugs actually work, but suggested my dopamine theory was on the right track. He'd heard of it working for smoking, but not so much with drinking.

I'm far from convinced I'm cured, fairly certain if I stopped the drug I'd be getting fall down hammered again in no time. But it might be an option for some people to try, it's been a lifesaver.
I think, you are on the right track Anonymous. I have had a similar experience with Welbutrin. Originally, my doctor prescribed it for depression, after a serious motorcycle accident, which altered my mood a lot to deep down depression. By that time, I was already a few years clean and in the Program. I had spurts before of being 1 year clean (and sober) three times, almost 7 years another time, but wanted to drink many times, but the last time, when I got over 7 years in, with the help of Wellbutrin, it was quite easy for me.
I find it does several things for me...
1. It helps me stay sober
2. I feel a lot more positive in life
3. It his helping me in my marriage
4. I have more motivation to exercise
I just started on it again today, because I don't want to drink again. Been sober 17 days so far again. Drugs haven't been an issue since the mid 1990's for me. Booze have been hard to stay off, since about 2001.
I am only on 150mil Wellbutrin and take it in the morning now. Will report when I feel the changes again. ;-)
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:29 AM
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Agreed, Uncorked. Another thing is, that the other ones you mentioned, which some of them my doctor tried me on before, years ago, diminish your libido, along with weight gain. Wellbutrin has the opposite effect on me.
Drugs like Zoloft and Effexor, also made me feel very dopey, with many unwanted side effects, which I didn't like. Wellbutrin works well with me, but then again everybody is different.
The main bonus for me, aside from increased libido, is that I don't want to drink, while taking Wellbutrin.
I sobered up in NA, years ago, but went to AA meetings too. After going back out a few times and really wanting to come back and stay sober, I just did not feel the same anymore. Most meetings left me wanting to drink after the meeting, so I quit going to them. Glad there are forums like this one and drugs like Wellbutrin.
Like I said, not everybody is the same. 12 Step Programs worked for me, up to a point and then then and then I drank again...after 7 years, after 3 years, after 6 years, after a year a few times, the result was always the same, but some of the rhetoric did not apply to me. I think age mellowed me out (I'm 58 now). For me it was not progressive and I actually managed to get rid of all other drugs in my life, since the mid 80's. I have found, that I also consume less alcolol and consume it a little more responsibly, when I was drinking this last time, for a few years, but not enough to keep drinking, that is why I am here.
Drinking creates a financial burden on me and it is a ticking time bomb, as far as my health is concerned. So far I have been lucky health with, but why push it, right?
Now, I have another trip planned to Nepal, one to Vietnam and a few more to Bali. If I was still drinking, it would be difficult to save away the money for those trips.
Drinking has not left me in the gutter, since the mid 80's, but in the years I did drink since then, it has sure cost me financially, both for the booze themselves and the stupid decisions and promises I made, while drunk.
Glad to be sober another day and wish everyone else another 24 hours
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:22 AM
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I took Wellbutrin for 20+ years. Probably I should not have been on it because I suffer extreme anxiety. This drug is not an SSRI. It is an SNRI; it is also an Aminoketone. Essentially, it is a stimulant, which is probably why it is a commonly used drug for ADD (and if you must undergo a drug test it can mimic an amphetamine). It's use as an anti-smoking agent has not been as successful as advertised. I was a devout non-drinker for 25 years while on it. I can only guess that you may have had some underlying depression (this led to my alcohol use), so now you feel no urge to drink? I have never been a amphetamine user or abuser, so I don't know if these people like to drink as well. Please get as much info as you can about this medication. It affects your brain chemistry.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:36 PM
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I am in the same boat! I am on 300mg XR, and I went a week without drinking and I didn't even think about it. When I realized how long it had been, I thought "should I get liquor?" and I had none of the normal cravings that would accompany that thought. I just read a book and went to sleep. Hell, I went out to dinner tonight with a friend, drank a margarita, and didn't want another one. Now I am home in bed at 8:30 PM instead of halfway to a bender/coke binge. Wellbutrin is fantastic so far.

I honestly wasn't even trying to quit, but I have gone from party monster to happy homebody since I have been on it for the past month and a half.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:20 AM
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I too have lost my desire to drink alcohol while taking wellbrutin

I'm male 57 years old and I been an every day drinker for over 2 decades vodka was my drug of choice. It was always easy to quit but staying quit was my problem. I quit drinking a few months ago and also saw my doctor at the same time for depression. I notice after being on wellbrutin for just a few days a lost cravings for a lot of stuff, including alcohol. Again drugs react different for everyone and you should always talk with your doctor, however its not always that easy and sometime you have to do research of you own to understand what meds to what. I also take 5 HTP to help boost my serotonin as the wellbrutin is working on dopamine levels. Also I've been on xanax 1mg a day and I needed to take it with the wellbrutin as it acts as a stimulant and can increase irritability I'm feeling better but wouldn't say a feel great but much better and not drinking is great.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:34 AM
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I recently played with fire (moderation) and got burned.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:00 PM
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I've adopted the perspective that the desire for alcohol/intoxication, will always be a 'part' of me. But since it is a very specific , discrete desire among many , many others I have( and will have) it is easy to recognize and identify.
The desire for intoxication was born and fed for years( the Beast) and will always exist, but It is only a desire and I refuse to act on, indulge it. The desire can't feed itself, it doesn't have control of my body, It can't drive to the store, pour a bottle or raise a glass to my lips. It exists only in anticipation of the effects , while I( the whole me) exist with all the consequences of how the intoxication will affect my life.
IT speaks to me through my own thoughts and feelings( the AV), suggesting drinking as an option or doubting that I can remain abstinent in the presence of desire. IT has lied since ITs inception, I understand that now and I understand IT will always lie, IT can go to hell , I have permanently cut off ITs supply. Without ITs supply IT is nothing , IT has no motive power, the AV can whine and throw all the tantrums it wants, but I see ITs supply and life's blood for the poison( the kind that affects my mind, body and soul) for what it is and regardless of desire and simply ( admittedly at times not easily) refuse.
Accepting that that desire will never 'unexist', has made it possible to recognize the desire, separate from it and dismiss it.
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:06 PM
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Welcome to SR wcd
I think if you have any concerns about any of your meds you really do need to go back to your Dr.

Maybe ask about the 5htp while you're there, just in case it's affecting other meds you take?

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Old 06-12-2017, 09:37 PM
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I started taking wellbutrin 2 months ago for depression and anxiety. I'm also an alcoholic who drinks heavily. But the last two months the biggest side effect i have experienced is absolutely no desire to drink. When I do drink only have a few. I find less alcohol makes me fell intoxicated quickly. Like 2 drinks and feel it which is extremely rare for me. But then I stop drinking and then very quickly sober up.

I also have ADD and find that the wellbutrin reduces the side effects of feeling emotions intensely. I believe the balancing or serotonin and dopamine has leveled me out and strongly has reduced my intake. Which makes working through all the ******** a lot easier to deal with.

My doctor had the exact same response as yours did. He was very shocked that it helped reduce the desire and mentioned the smoking studies which I've also read up on.

Be nice to see a lot more research on this especially since pretty much all literature states you should avoid drinking while taking this medication.

Thank you for sharing your experience it's the first one i found similar to mine.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:34 PM
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I just have to post here about how Wellbutrin (Buproprion) literally turned my life around and dispel any fearmongering about its use.

I have suffered with severe bipolar disorder and ADD since I was teen. I tried an SSRI about twenty years ago and really got into exercise, which helped. But I was still mostly depressed and ended up binge drinking and becoming addicted to pornography. Then in my thirties I turned to hardcore drug use (cocaine and eventually crack cocaine and meth) to deal with my feelings of self-hatred. The drugs made me feel absolutely amazing, but of course that came with a heavy price. My life slowly crumbled over the last few years. And lately my anxiety had ramped up, too. I couldn't even hold down a job anymore.

About a month ago, I got on Wellbutrin. Two weeks in, it's like a switch got flipped in my brain. My mood stabilized and I felt confident and motivated and energized. Everyone sees the difference. It's like I'm finally the person I was supposed to be. And, much to my surprise, my intense craving for crack and meth vanished. None of the usual triggers work anymore. I don't even have the urge to drink alcohol. I have to force myself to take a few sips in social settings.

Of course, Bupropion works by inhibiting reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine. These are the very neurochemicals that control pleasure, motivation, and addiction. And Bupropion can be abused; high doses act like cocaine. But at 300 mg/day, I don't want to abuse it. I'm stable, happy, focused. It has freed me from addiction and depression.

Maybe it will stop working eventually, but right now I'm just glad to have a reprieve from chasing cheap highs that destroy my savings and leave me feeling worthless when the high wears off. Maybe it's a crutch, but my damaged brain needs a crutch. I am getting my life back. I'll happily accept the risks involved with this drug since it is keeping me from even thinking about coke/crack and meth, which would destroy me a lot faster than Buproprion ever could.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:20 PM
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Hi there I too have been on zyban to quit smoking which been a month now since I had a cigarette. I have been an alcoholic all my life,binge drinker and cocaine user. I have not used cocaine for 3 years. Since I have been on zyban I have no cravings for alcohol. It's a miracle drug to me like I can't believe it. I tried having a beer and i just didn't want it. Even the emotions that are attached with drinking are not there either. I think every alcoholic should try. It may work it may not but so worth a try.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonym0us View Post
Yeah I'm aware that moderation is often a slippery slope. Can't count the times I went to a bar for a few pints (though deep down I knew i was going for more than a few) and ended up blacked out on vodka for a

It's quite hard to explain, just my brain chemistry feels different. It just feels easier to abstain, not sure how to describe that. I'm probably going to count my blessings, stay quit and not even return to moderation though, no need to play with fire lol.
I totally agree with u
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:04 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Hi teena - welcome
just curious - why did you try having a beer if you had no cravings to tho?

I think there's more than just a physical addiction for most of us too - there's what AA calls the mental obsession...

and there's really no pill that I know of that addresses that?

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Old 12-16-2017, 04:21 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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There is research going on that indicates alcoholics have dopamine issues. Either we don't produce enough of it naturally, or we can't uptake it effectively. Thus, we turn to drinking to self medicate ourselves. Wellbutrin helping with dopamine uptake would make sense in that it would lessen cravings. As folks have said, brain chemistry is poorly understood, but I feel that down the line, the correlation between dopamine levels in our brains and alcoholism will be better established.
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Old 12-19-2017, 03:03 PM
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I took Wellbutrin 7 or 8 years ago. It really helped a lot with my cravings for alcohol, and sugar. I lost weight on it, and wanted to work out more, because I had so much energy, and less hangovers. Unfortunately, I found myself becoming increasingly angry after a year or so. I actually started grinding my teeth, which I had never done before. I was yelling at my kids a lot. My Dr said it was from too much dopamine. It makes some people really angry, but can also give you a feeling of self control.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:11 PM
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I am so glad I found this thread. I am an alcoholic and have been struggling with my drinking for the past 4 years. I had always been a heavy drinker, but about 9 years ago I had my first six pack during the day (not after work), and steadily began drinking at lunch after that. I travel a lot for my job and was drinking in SkyClubs at the airport whenever I was in an airport. Mornings, lunch, evenings. It didnt matter.

About a year and a half ago I started going to AA, but it just wasn't for me for some reason. Then I started drinking at 9AM after going to the liquor store and getting a pint of Vodka, chugging half of it and going to Mcdonalds. So bad. I was heading in a very bad direction, into a very bad spot.

Finally I white knocked it 5 days sober and went to my Dr. to tell her all about it. She knew my history but didn't know it was that bad. I told her that I didn't want to do anything but drink, and had no desire to work, exercise or hang out with my family. Also couldn't focus for more than 5 minutes on anything.

She listened and put me on Wellbutrin. 150MG for 7 days then 300MG XL.

Unbelievable. Immediately after taking it I had no desire to drink. None. My focus was amazing, and I stopped procrastinating and was incredibly productive. I would think about a drink, and immediately the DESIRE disappeared. It was incredible. I would be in a Sky Club at the airport and everyone is desire. I was at meetings out at dinner, everyone drinking, no desire.

It's been three weeks, and I told my wife today that it was the first day in years that I went an entire day and not once had a thought about a drink.

I looked all around Google searches and have not seen many threads/sites with the subject of this drug to be prescribed for alcoholics. I am truly shocked at this given my experience. Absolutely phenomenal. I can't wait for tomorrow, and highly suggest this pill for anyone struggling. Of course it may not work for you, but I am convinced this drug saved my life.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:57 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Hi Lucky Dude

I'm glad you've found something thats helping.

Hope its not too much of a downer if I add it's my experience that you'll probably be revisited by cravings at some stage.

Any craving free time tho is awesome - make the most of it

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Old 03-19-2018, 10:37 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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I think it took the edge off of some of my cravings, especially for nicotine which I gave up 4 months in after picking up the habit in rehab. It is sometimes used to help people quit smoking, and there has been rumblings that it helps with cravings for any number of addictive substances and behaviors.

It ain't a magic bullet, and for some people it has no effect on cravings whatsoever.

Still, I agree it's worth a try, and has a very mild side effect profile for an antidepressant, as it works on dopamine rather than serotonin or norepinephrine. It also might help relieve some of the depression that many have in early sobriety, myself definitely included.

It's like one of those commercials..."Talk to your doctor about...."
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:48 PM
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Congrats on such an interesting thread. I have also often thought about the connection between becoming addicted and the role of chemical imbalances of any type. I basically went from someone who could have mood swings at the drop of a hat to a much more balanced individual with Lexapro. However, it did not effect my actual sobriety one way or the other. It just made me more centered. At the end of the day I am not sure if it even matters as it is basically a chicken or the egg discussion. Whatever it takes for you to be sober and live a more fulfilled life I would go with. God Bless!
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:41 PM
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No pill or injection ever cured me and I had lots of them, including the topic of this discussion, responsibly prescribed, but statistics show that some medicines have resulted in miraculous success stories in other people.

On YouTube there is a cool feature about dopamine. It's called "The science of addiction: Here is your brain on drugs" (alcohol is a drug).

It's short and illustrated and by the National Geographic. For those scientifically inclined it's quite interesting and will not take much more than a minute to watch. Look it up! My cellphone will not let me paste a link but it's easy to find.
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