Notices

Wellbutrin and cravings.

Old 05-21-2013, 04:52 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 8
Wellbutrin and cravings.

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.
Anonym0us is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 04:57 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
1000 Post Club
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest USA
Posts: 2,284
That medication is used in people to stop smoking. Who knows it may have that effect on your drinking. Maybe you are cured even? However, when my addiction began I was frequently able to moderate at 2 or 3 beers at the bar. Eventually it became guzzling cheap plastic bottles of vodka.
Justfor1 is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:02 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Justfor1 View Post
That medication is used in people to stop smoking. Who knows it may have that effect on your drinking. Maybe you are cured even? However, when my addiction began I was frequently able to moderate at 2 or 3 beers at the bar. Eventually it became guzzling cheap plastic bottles of vodka.
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 couple weeks.

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.
Anonym0us is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:06 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
ImReadyToQuit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 456
Wellbrutrin is a anti-depressant that the company marketed for smokers. Don't be fooled. It messes with your brain.
ImReadyToQuit is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:06 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Sudz No More's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Poconos PA
Posts: 1,544
I have long believed there is a correlation between dopamine levels and Alcohol cravings. If Wellbutrin seems to have helped you maybe it did. I though will not tempt fate by trying anything like this. I have accepted that I am an Alcoholic and cannot drink ever. If I were still trying to quit maybe I would be willing to try taking some to see if it helped the early cravings. For now though, I will not play with fire. I simply cannot drink and will not.
Sudz No More is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:07 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
1000 Post Club
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest USA
Posts: 2,284
ANonymous, if it works out please come back and PM me. I am always curious as to those lucky few heavy drinkers who learn moderation.
Justfor1 is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:13 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Sudz No More View Post
I have long believed there is a correlation between dopamine levels and Alcohol cravings. If Wellbutrin seems to have helped you maybe it did. I though will not tempt fate by trying anything like this. I have accepted that I am an Alcoholic and cannot drink ever. If I were still trying to quit maybe I would be willing to try taking some to see if it helped the early cravings. For now though, I will not play with fire. I simply cannot drink and will not.
I think it might be useful for people trying to quit, similar to how it is used for smoking.

I also have some anxiety/depression issues, which is why I take it. I used to take SSRIs in the past but their side effects proved intolerable eventually. That's why my doctor recommended wellbutrin, and it has done a great job so far. There was some insomnia at the start, but that went away after a week or so.
Anonym0us is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:19 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by ImReadyToQuit View Post
Wellbrutrin is a anti-depressant that the company marketed for smokers. Don't be fooled. It messes with your brain.
Why see it that way? The way I understand it any kind of substance abuse screws with dopamine and messes up the brain's reward center. The brain is already 'messed up' from the abuse. If one can take something that regulates that, helps with depression/anxiety (the underlying reason a lot alcoholics drink anyway), and most importantly helps keep you off the bottle, how is that a bad thing?
Anonym0us is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:24 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada. About as far south as you can get
Posts: 4,768
What are you going to do when the Wellbutrin ceases to work?

All the easier, softer ways cease to work in the end.

All the best.

Bob R
2granddaughters is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:33 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
ams0602's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 58
I can relate but sort of in an opposite way. I was definitely drinking too much before I was on Zoloft but it became a whole different animal while I was on Zoloft. The desire was so insanely intense. I didn't want to get drunk three nights a week... I wanted to get blackout drunk 6 nights a week. I was spending money like a crazy person. I was having sexual relationships that I knew I shouldn't be. Just pure craziness.

After being off of it for awhile, the drinking lightened up. It didn't stop, mind you. I have a natural propensity towards substance abuse... But it became more manageable and my actions became more rational.

I've finally quit (9 days, wee!!) and hopefully this time it's for good but those psychoactive meds are serious business. Glad you found one that seriously helped.

Just be careful! (We all know how "moderation" works for us addicts) & Best wishes!
ams0602 is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:39 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by ams0602 View Post
I can relate but sort of in an opposite way. I was definitely drinking too much before I was on Zoloft but it became a whole different animal while I was on Zoloft. The desire was so insanely intense. I didn't want to get drunk three nights a week... I wanted to get blackout drunk 6 nights a week. I was spending money like a crazy person. I was having sexual relationships that I knew I shouldn't be. Just pure craziness.

After being off of it for awhile, the drinking lightened up. It didn't stop, mind you. I have a natural propensity towards substance abuse... But it became more manageable and my actions became more rational.

I've finally quit (9 days, wee!!) and hopefully this time it's for good but those psychoactive meds are serious business. Glad you found one that seriously helped.

Just be careful! (We all know how "moderation" works for us addicts) & Best wishes!
I've actually heard of this, and have looked into it. Something to do with the effect on serotonin and craving a dopamine increase to counteract the effect, which I assume the booze was providing, hence sending your alcoholism into an even higher state. I'm no doctor though lol.

I despise SSRIs though, too many disturbing side effects.

Good job on 9 days.
Anonym0us is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 06:19 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Sober Alcoholic
 
awuh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,539
Naloxone has been used in similar fashion by way of a treatment called the Sinclair method. It works as a result of being an endorphin inhibitor. This may also be the (indirect?) means by which Wellbutrin had a similar effect with you. Itís interesting. Naloxone works only when taken before drinking.

The problem for the alcoholic is that we drink to get drunk. Why take a pill which prevents that? What would be the point? LOL
awuh1 is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 06:45 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Sober Alcoholic
 
awuh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,539
Sorry that should be Naltrexone not Naloxone.
awuh1 is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 07:41 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
AllieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 297
Anon:

We really are in the barbaric early stages of understanding psych meds and neurochemistry, so who knows, but your experience is interesting, and it seems a safe bet that dopamine pathways are implicated. On a side note, did your doc give you the seizure warnings? Wellbutrin and alcohol both lower the seizure threshold, and when they combine some sort of evil alchemy results in exponentially increased seizure risks. For people who have recently quit drinking, I guess that could be considered a bonus (in as much as it's an additional reason to stay sober).

2Granddaughters:
As I read his/her post, Anon's doctor prescribed Wellbutrin for depression, not for alcohol abuse. I don't know about you, but I know I'm not a psychiatrist.
AllieB is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 08:38 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada. About as far south as you can get
Posts: 4,768
Originally Posted by AllieB View Post

2Granddaughters:
As I read his/her post, Anon's doctor prescribed Wellbutrin for depression, not for alcohol abuse. I don't know about you, but I know I'm not a psychiatrist.
I wonder what the Dr. will prescribe for delusions .......


All the best.

Bob R
2granddaughters is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 08:40 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 211,303
Ok lets remember the OP, and play nice guys.

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 05-21-2013, 08:42 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
AllieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 297
Anon: on a side note, I've been on Wellbutrin in the past, and I did notice that I craved alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate and sugar less, all dopamine related (though an awful lot of life impacts or is impact by dopamine response). Sadly, it had no effect on desire to watch silly tv and eat cheese.
Glad you found something that works for you!
AllieB is offline  
Old 05-22-2013, 08:47 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Grateful to be free
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,680
I wonder if this is one of the reasons that people often lose weight when on Welbutrin, that it decreases cravings?

I never put it all together, but it WAS after (though not immediately after) I went on Wellbutrin that I did get clean and sober once and for all.

I am more stable. I still get extreme thoughts and reactions (impulses?) but I don't feel compelled to act on them immediately without thinking and giving myself a reality check.

I did still have some pretty bad episodes for awhile after I got on Wellbutrin, but I have also made more progress since then. Perhaps a combination of that and working the 12 steps (and maybe it made me able to really work them deeply this time) is what helped me gain true sobriety.

I KNOW moderation is not possible for me.
Threshold is offline  
Old 05-27-2016, 04:54 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1
Wellbutrin and drinking

I've read this thread and have an interesting story:
22 years ago I was drinking a bottle of wine a night and became a bit, became depressed, and was then hanging out in bars to socialize, but then became isolated. During this time I went to a college-town clinic, did weekly group therapy for a year, and was still depressed, and still drinking. The psychiatrist on staff interviewed me for a half-hour and prescribed Wellbutrin. It was good for obsessive-compulsive behaviors and depression he said. It did perk me up, lengthen my stride (literally) and helped me develop as a more socially confident person. I'm a good patient, so I continued to take it... for 20 years. During this time my drinking went through phases, related to stress and social influences. I became involved with a sailing community, and they DRANK. And that's how I really wanted to drink, so I did, too. And I kept taking my pills every day. This went on until I was bothered not so much by the blackout drinking but by the drug interaction. I would wake with a hangover so severe I could not form words (literally) for a day. (The paper in the medication bottle says, "Do not use with alcohol, or, drink only up to one drink." Up-to-but-not-including-one? What does "up-to-one" mean?) The inability to form words was a problem since my work was primarily on the phone. I was still on a wine bottle/night or so, but it was the 1.5 liter size. Finally, something had to give, and clearly it was the medication. I quit the Wellbutrin (saving money!). And that is when my drinking TOOK OFF. Within 6-months I had quit working altogether, and gradually graduated to cheap plastic bottles of vodka (the better kind). After two drinks I couldn't get drunker no matter how much I drank, just pass out. I then made a decision to quit drinking. I believe the Wellbutrin was an effective medication in slowing the progression of my alcoholism. The obsession/compulsion aspect of it was definitely addressed by the Wellbutrin, but it did not stop progressing. The alcoholism progressed to the point it made me want to get rid of the medication. I believe that's what happens when you use Wellbutrin and you are an alcoholic. Eventually you will want to drink without the consequences, even though the Wellbutrin is the thing that initially makes it seem possible to drink with impunity. Wellbutrin is a brain-drug; alcohol is a mind-drug. Not to get semantic, but there is no question in my mind Wellbutrin supports the illusion of control for an alcoholic. I don't want to live in an illusion that can kill me because it's an illusion. I haven't tried the plethora of drug "cures" for alcoholism. My cure is abstinence, and it works wonderfully. I'm not looking for a "cure" that enables drinking with impunity. For me now, drinking is just not that big a pressure that I would take a drug to enable it. If you are seeking a drug to enable drinking without bad consequences, you really need to look at that and admit it. It's not physically-emotionally-mentally healthy to be that desirous of a drink. If you are looking for a "taper-off" drug, Wellbutrin might work to keep you from going batty, but I'd do it under a doctor's careful eye, with a mind for it to be a specific period of time. If you are an alcoholic, tapering off with Wellbutrin might make it seem that you can moderate your drinking. But it will progress. Wellbutrin will not stop the progression of your drinking or your alcoholism. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but I just know what happened to me, and I've talked with others about their experience with Wellbutrin and drinking, and they all match. Not exactly the same, but the cascade of behavior matches. I hope this helps someone.
lovelyweather is offline  
Old 05-27-2016, 09:19 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
uncorked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 709
There is a difference between Wellbutrin and other anti-depressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac and other SSRIs have a well-known side effect of carbohydrate cravings (including alcohol) which typically results in weight gain. I've been on a bunch of them for post partum depression, and have experienced it with every SSRI to some degree, but not while on Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin does not act the same way as SSRIs -- it is strictly for depression, whereas SSRIs are used for anxiety and depression.
uncorked is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:49 AM.