Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
You have not been feeling yourself lately and are worried that these lingering feelings may be a sign of depression. You may have heard about Wellbutrin and how it is prescribed to treat depression. As with any medication, you need to do some research to see if Wellbutrin might work for you.
Remember that any information within this article is presented only as a starting point. You should always talk to your doctor or healthcare provided who will determine if you are suffering from depression and if Wellbutrin or any other medication is suitable.
Wellbutrin at a glance
Wellbutrin is one of the newer antidepressants on the market. Also known as Bupropion hydrochloride, you may know it as Wellbutrin XL or Wellbutrin SR. SR refers to sustained release, or medication that is slowly released over a period of several hours in your system.
Wellbutrin and depression
Wellbutrin is prescribed in cases of serious clinical depression. Serious depression is defined as having symptoms that last for longer than two weeks including:
*Loss of appetite or eating too much in search of comfort
*Negative feelings such as hopelessness or worthlessness
*Loss of interest in favorite activities
*Severe lethargy that may be accompanied by sleeping too much or too little
*Thoughts of suicide or thinking ‘things would be better if I were not around”
Only your doctor can make a proper diagnosis regarding depression; if you experience any of the above noted symptoms you should make notes of how you are feeling, any recent life changes (menopause, divorce, illness, and increased stress) and discuss this information with your doctor.
Wellbutrin and menopause
During menopause, many women experience physical and emotional changes that can lead to feeling depressed. For a few women, the hormonal imbalances are to blame; for other women menopause occurs when life presents many challenges. Your doc tor needs to know if your depression stems from your past medical history or if it has started during perimenopause or menopause. Never attempt to self-diagnose and never assume severe depression will simply go away on its own.
Wellbutrin XL or Wellbutrin SR tablets contain a dose of either 100 mg or 150 mg. Your doctor will determine the proper amount to take, and generally dosages do not exceed 300 mg per day. Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly. If you miss a dose, never take two pills to make up the difference. Unlike other antidepressants, Wellbutrin acts as a stimulant in the body. Never stop taking Wellbutrin without your doctor’s consent and supervision.
Wellbutrin side effects
Every medication comes with side effects, and Wellbutrin is no exception. Make sure you get a complete list from your doctor, but some of the more common side effects include:
*Irregular heartbeat and/or chest pains
*Feeling either super-elated, super-calm or having sharp mood swings
Do not take Wellbutrin if:
*You are allergic to this drug
*You currently take Zyban (stop smoking aid) as this is also a form Wellbutrin and could lead to overdose
*You have a history of seizures or experience a seizure while taking Wellbutrin
*Use over the counter appetite suppressants
*Drink alcohol in excess (more than one or two drinks per day) or use other drugs
*Are taking prescribed drugs such as beta blockers or other tranquilizers
*Are taking insulin
*Are pregnant, may be pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
*Have a history of anorexia nervosa
Wellbutrin may help you cope with your depression but this medication is not for everyone, nor does every menopausal women need to take Wellbutrin for depression. Your doctor can help you explore various alternatives to help treat severe depression; together you can find the best possible solution for your situation.
Menopause, Your Doctor, and You