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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Does Wellbutrin Treat Anxiety as Well as Depresion?

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Author Topic: Does Wellbutrin Treat Anxiety as Well as Depresion?
seekhelp
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Does anyone know if this anti-depressant has any anti-anxiety properties? I believe Lexapro does as well as Cymbalta. If anyone has feedback, I'd appreciate it.

If not, can anyone list the most reasonable ones that may treat both? Especially those with experience?

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feelfit
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paxil treats anxiety VERY well, works on depression fairly well. Like lyme tx, everyone responds differently....

I could not tolerate anything but paxil and prozac. The rest too many side affects for me.

[Smile]

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jennyflyer
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I have a cousin who takes Cymbalta for both anxiety and depression and is doing very well on it. I'd like to start on it as well, have an appt with a Lyme psych next week. Yikes is that gonna be an expensive appt, but I guess we're all used to that now.

I have been taking Xanax as needed over the past year or so, but I feel I need something to stabilize me on a more regular basis. Sometimes the anxiety attacks come in the middle of the night, so Xanax wouldn't help in that case.

--------------------
Jennifer

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viva
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Seek,

I don't have Lyme (my husband does), but I do take Welbutrin. The way my PCP explained it, Welbutrin is more for the withdrawn, "I can't get myself to do anything" depression, while other medications (I believe the SSRI's, like those mentioned previously in this thread) are more for depression with an anxiety component.

Hope this helps.

Viva

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Erica741
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Some MDs have suggested Wellbutrin to help with my fatigue, but I've been afraid to try it since I'm already on an SNRI and don't want to overdo the psych meds.

Since my fatigue is often a "tired and wired" feeling, I fear that Wellbutrin would be too stimulating.

Now after reading Viva's post, I'm even more reluctant to try it.

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viva
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Erica,

There are a couple of forms of Welbutrin. I think the newer one is XL; if I'm remembering right, that one did jazz me up a little too much.

So I take the "old fashioned" kind: SR--sustained release. My PCP recommends taking it first thing in the morning, then at noon; that way it doesn't keep you up at night. It comes in a generic form too, which is another plus.

Have you discussed your concern about getting too "wired" with your MD?

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drewby
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Wellbutrin will probably increase anxiety. It will speed you up. Its often used with other antidepressants to combat the sleepiness they can can cause. It also has less sexual side effects.

It will give you insanely vivid dreams. I actually thought someone was in my room at night.

Its the same thing as Zyban which I used to try to quit smoking years ago.

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adamm
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I wouldn't take any antidep without the blessing of an LL-psychiatrist. They can accelerate the progression of white matter disease, which most of us already have.

http://stroke.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/39/3/857

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seekhelp
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Well, I don't believe I have clinical depression, but I'm under some pressure to try something. I have no need for a drug to 'get me off the couch' scenario. ANYDAY, I feel up to it, I go full boar and overdo it because I feel I miss so much out of life due to my illness.

That said, I'm under pressure from my PCP and a disability company. I do have anxiety now which bothers me greatly. This in turn depresses me as I feel locked in the house due to fear of getting sicker when going out (which happens). I haven't seen my friends in AGES and don't feel like the same person. Everyday feels like a ticking time bomb when out.

Lyme or not, I'm not so dumb I can't recognize this pattern of symptoms increasing when out in public, when trying to drive, when thinking of meeting with a friend, etc. It's devastating and I feel ashmaed of it. You have to call a spade a spade right?

Most of all, I need to know now that I'm right about my Dx and they're wrong. I'll never know otherwise if I don't try something. Not trying them is the easy way out IMO. Blaming everything on Lyme is easy for me. I'm not giving up Lyme treatment one bit. I'm 'exploring' other options is the way I see it.

I'm missing out on life and it's a shame if anything in the world could prevent/minimize it. These years are precious with my young child and I've missed so much already since I got ill 18+ months ago.

I can't afford a LL-pyschiatrist as I'm sure they too have no interest in taking insurance. If so, I have no compassion for that situation as the drugs they Rx are mainstream and you're paying for a 'better point of view' and an ability to relate. If some do participate w/insurance, wonderful. I understand LLMDs deal with a whole different spectrum of issues due to non-standard treatment.

Now saying that, Wellbutrin seems way off for me. I think my PCP is out of his league playing psychiatrist here and should leave it to an expert. My PCP has no grasp on my issues. I'm not going for drug of the month club. For me to try something, it has to be a solid option that makes sense based on what I feel I am experiencing.

This is a HARD HARD situation for me. I'm not sure paying thousands and thousands of dollars to a LLMD and taking high-risk Abx/anti-malarials makes sense if I'm too ignorant to explore all the what-ifs. I'm putting all my faith in some small botique lab in California that my Western Blot is accurate and the interpretation is correct. It's a leap of faith. I'm just trying to connect dots the best I can and make life more tolerable or at least put my head on the pillow at night and say yes I tried my hardest and exhausted every viable option. Is that so bad?

One day on Clindamycin and I feel different. I did more in one day today than the last seven days. Coincidence? This seems to be the only Abx that touches my issues. How very strange. I keep wondering if my elevated ASO titers are a bigger issue than docs think and this Abx is hitting this and not Lyme/Babesia. It seems to have a quick impact. A total mystery. [Smile]

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Erica741
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quote:
Originally posted by viva:


Have you discussed your concern about getting too "wired" with your MD?

Thank for the info Viva!

My LLMD said the "wired" sensation is from my Babesia, which makes sense to me since I developed tachyardia and this wired feeling only after starting Mepron and it gets worse on increased babs treatment (ie. higher dose Mepron, artemisinin, and a babs herbal tincture). My LLMD is so convinced that it's a necessary babs herx that he put me on a beta blocker to help me push through it (he also followed up with an EKG and echocardiogram which were normal).

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TF
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I had high anxiety with lots of fears. This was all very unlike me. I had been taking xanax for over 2 years. But, things got worse, and it wasn't taking care of the problem. Zoloft ultimately took care of the problem for me.

I first tried various antidepressants the PCP gave me (Lexapro, Cymbalta). Also tried some the gyn gave me. I was overwhelmed by everything they gave me--made me a zombie.

So, they said it was time I went to a psychiatrist who has more expertise in these types of drugs.

You ARE paying for expertise when you see a psychiatrist. He called my condition agitated depression. (I didn't feel depressed--I felt wired.)

He started me out on a very, very small dose based on my history. He had me phone in weekly (no charge) and so after 1 appt I was doing well. I saw him twice, I believe. It was expensive, but worth every penny. Living with high anxiety is no life at all. With this drug, I got my normal mind back again.

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seekhelp
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I have such a hard time determing physical vs. mental symptoms. For example, I try to walk through a drug store and break out into cold sweats. it happens sometimes at homes, but very often when out by myself.

I feel like something triggers I'm not even aware of or can physically control. I don't doubt my Lyme, but I know the regular me left a while back. When I stop Abx, all hell breaks loose. It's obvious a bacterial infection must be there to cause this. I am not a believer in Abx placebo effect one bit, especially since I doubted my Dx at first!

The issue is even if I'm having a decent day physically (not often, but), it can turn bad if I go out. That's not right and is a separate issue that should be addressed. It's a vicious circle.

The good thing about a LL Psych would be he/she wouldn't look at you like you're from Mars if you say you have Lyme/TBDs. I hate condescending docs as we all do here. I just can't afford to pay extra money for that piece of mind. Maybe they bring other qualities to the table from a medication perspective I'm not factoring in. I'm sure others will educate me who have experience.

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Keebler
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-

you said: . . . "having a decent day physically (not often, but), it can turn bad if I go out."


Most likely that is because adrenals get tanked from being overwhelmed. that is very common with lyme. When adrenal function hits bottom, so will blood sugar and so will mood. And that can last for days - until the adrenals can charge back up a bit.


Same for the liver. Exertion makes the liver work harder. If it is overwhelmed, depression is a huge result.


All this is very common with lyme patients. If an Rx can help, great. But realize that most of these also impact the liver so you need to choose wisely and not just to try to disprove your doctor's theory.


It's also important to realize that since you are very early in your treatment, life simply won't return to normal for a while. You may have to slow down - or be more selective in output - so that your body can pull through this.


There is no shame in that. Sometimes, actually, there is a freedom.

-

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TF
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This sounds like you are suffering with agoraphobia.

Since lyme disease can cause all types of mental illness (Burrascano lists anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis--hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, bipolar) it is most likely the cause of your problems.

Even if the psychiatrist does not believe in lyme-induced agoraphobia, he can treat the agoraphobia and help you feel much better now.

Once you are getting the upper hand on these diseases, I would expect you will notice the agoraphobia leave and you could taper off the meds and be done.

Perhaps the most upsetting part of having lyme is how it changes our personalities. (That was extremely upsetting to me. My husband even remarked on it--how "timid" I had become, etc.) However, I can tell you that there is normal life after lyme.

It has been 4 years now since I completed my treatment for lyme, babesiosis, and bartonella. I am back to my normal personality, symtom-free, and enjoying my life--the same life I had before lyme disease.

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JillF
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wellbutrin gave me horrible side effects
paxil gave me anxiety attacks, which i never had before
i tried one or two other drugs that cause side effects to the point where i had to quit them

i found that st johns' wort worked better for me than any anti-anxiety/depression drug i tried. and no side effects

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