Medication Diaries: Entry 2

Entry 1 is here.

I met with a psychiatrist, who was uber helpful. We talked about how I’d been feeling, what meds I had been on and the complaints I’d had about them, and what my concerns were. I told her that the Lexapro had made me fatigued to the point that I was non-functional, and that the sexual side effects were awful. When I talked to her about my hypothyroidism, she immediately said that I probably shouldn’t have been put on an SSRI in the first place. We talked a little about my ADHD and what I’m like when I’m unmedicated (unorganized, terrible time management, make lists with hundreds of items “to do” and never do any of them).

She decided to try me on 150 mg of Wellbutrin. It’s not an SSRI; it’s actually a stimulant. This is GREAT news for someone like me, who is already fatigued enough without a medication to add to it. It’s also been used to treat ADHD and chronic fatigue, as well as depression, so the hopes that this is a good medication for me are there. She also opted to take me off the Adderall for the time being, since Wellbutrin can help with ADHD symptoms. I will meet with her again in 4 weeks to assess my progress.

Day 1, I noticed no side effects at all. This was huge, especially compared to day 1 on Lexapro, which found me sleeping 20 hours and having a headache so severe that even my computer screen was too bright for me to look at.

Day 2 was the same. No headache. No fatigue. No anything, really. I didn’t feel any different, and actually felt like I had a little energy, though getting a solid 11 hours of sleep for the first time in a while may have helped with that.

Day 3 was the first day I drank on it. I’ve been told that I just may not be able to drink on meds, and this saddens me. I’m not gonna  lie; I drink a lot, and my a lot of my socializing revolves around drinking. The medication caused me to get REALLY DRUNK off not a lot of booze. It was way different for me. However, the Lexapro gave me a throbbing headache after one glass of wine; this did not. I had a slight headache the next morning, but nothing unbearable.

Today is a full week on the medication. While I haven’t noticed changes in my mood yet (which is expected. Meds like this usually take 2 weeks to start working, and some may take a full 4-6 weeks before you notice any difference), I also haven’t had the side effects I had with the Lexapro.

So, after one week, things are good.

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  1. JessNo Gravatar
    Posted June 3, 2010 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I was on Welbutrin briefly. It was prescribed for me because I asked for something w/o sexual side effects and something that wouldn’t cause weight gain. Apparently Welbutrin is something used for weight-loss….so beware of appetite changes.

    • Britni TheVadgeWigNo Gravatar
      Posted June 3, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Yeah, that’s because it’s a stimulant. But I’m used to being on stimulants because I was on Adderall for years, so I know how to schedule my meals to remember to eat them.

      Thanks :)

  2. twgNo Gravatar
    Posted June 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny, because my ex (the blarghy one) was on Wellbutrin (and Ativan), and he gained a bunch of weight and could barely maintain an erection. I was always curious why an anti-depressant prescribed specifically because it affects sex drive less ended up running his into the ground. Then again, it also didn’t seem to really help his depression, either. Anyway, just chiming in from over here in bored-at-work-land.

    • KittieNo Gravatar
      Posted June 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      All antidepressants can have unanticipated effects on some individuals. Some people get all hyper on supposedly sedating ads, some gain weight on supposedly weight-reducing ads. :) Most people need to cycle through several different classes and substances to find their perfect fit.

      • twgNo Gravatar
        Posted June 5, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        True, my thought was that he needed to talk to his shrink about adjusting meds, but you know, it wasn’t me going through it so I didn’t say anything.

  3. KittieNo Gravatar
    Posted June 3, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    To get over the fangirl-stuff first:
    I adore you, you made me think HARD about feminism, consent and related topics, I read your entire blog back to way before Profligancy and think you are generally awesome for being the person you are.
    So, this german gal is going to stick to your blog-heels now (everything else would be creepy…). :D

    Back on topic:
    I’ve been diagnosed with a severe episode of Major Depression way back in 2003, aged 17, and this has turned out to be recurring (two more episodes in the following 4 years) and soon becoming a chronic nuisance three and a half years ago. (I’ve also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism five years ago and am currently taking 100µg of l-thyroxine.)
    I’ve been on antidepressants ever since, started out with trimipramine (I’m going to use the substance names, since the meds are marketed under different names in germany) to help me with sleeping. I gained almost 20 pounds in four months, threw a hysterical fit at my shrinks office and switched to mirtazapine.
    Mirtazapine thankfully made me lose 6.5 pounds. It also eradicated my sex drive (like, totally out of existence). It also didn’t do much for my crippling fatigue and general mood, but at least sleep and irritability improved.
    So I switched again, this time to escitaloprame. My sex drive made a brief recurrence but lingered around at less-than-desirable levels, but I lost some more weight. Sleep was ok, fatigue was sort-of-ok-ish, irritability fine and mood pretty blah. Increasing the dosage didn’t help either and made my sex drive plummet to new, unknown lows.

    Sooo, I switched again, got venlafaxine, and this baby finally did the trick after we doubled the initial dosage. I’m generally fine now, I’m back to enjoying sex and life, getting my tasks almost done in time, mood is stable and decent and I managed to get my body weight back on track. Sleep is still shitty, but since I got rid of the fatigue I could care less.

    Somewhere in between I developed some chronic pain issues and the specialized pain doc I’m seeing thinks it might be fibromyalgia, but well, life aint no fun fair, right? Motrin and TENS generally get the job done.

    Getting the meds right for you takes time, has its setbacks, is generally a nuisance and overall shitty, but it’s so, so worth it. That’s all I wanted to say. Hang in there.

  4. HollyNo Gravatar
    Posted June 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I have been on a few different antidepressants and I have also experienced a wide array of side effects from them. I have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and I also have quite the case of Agoraphobia, which was said to be set off by said PTSD. I was first on Zoloft, I gained a good 30 pounds, couldn’t have sex because I swore every ounce of moisture in my vagina dried up and left me feeling very sandpaper-like. I was then prescribed Lexapro and that made me incredibly tired, just like you mentioned, and I was also missing my sex drive. I was then prescribed Wellbutrin, but the psychiatrist I went to was a little weary about it because of my anxiety problems and the fact that Wellbutrin has made a percentage of people even more depressed and caused suicidal tendencies in some. I decided to try it anyway since nothing else was working for me and I swear, it was the best stuff I was on! It was amazing and did not make me feel suicidal in the least. I lost the excess weight I had put on from the other medications and while my sex drive didn’t go back to the way it was before the medication, there was a significant improvement.

    While I decided to stop medication all together a few years ago and am now unmedicated (no lectures, please and thank you), Wellbutrin was a good medication to get me through the particularly horrible place I was in mentally and I hope it works for you.

  5. Garnet JoyceNo Gravatar
    Posted June 6, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I was prescribed Wellbutrin to quit smoking years and years ago. Just wanted to share with you some of my side-effects because no one told me they would happen and I really didn’t like experiencing them. There was that whole getting drunk really really easily thing that you experienced. I had 3 drinks one night after about a week of being on the meds and I was TRASHED. Super bad because I was on a first date. Once I learned this though I was able to just have one or two drinks when I went out so I didn’t get falling down drunk.

    The one thing I really really hated though was the memory loss. It really screwed with my short term memory and even worse if I’d had any alcohol. I couldn’t remember anything I’d just said, what I’d ordered at the restaurant, where I put stuff that I just set down. It was a bit unnerving. I talked to my mom about it and she researched it and found that it was something that a lot of people experienced on Wellbutrin but were never told about.

  6. ReekyNo Gravatar
    Posted June 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I took Wellbutrin a while back. Had anxiety and depression. Doctor prescribed it because of the low sexual side effects. It had some mild “anger” side effects but when I read about you drinking on it I HAD to comment.

    Drinking on Wellbutrin increases your risk for seisures!

    “Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Wellbutrin. Alcohol may increase your risk of a seizure while you are taking this medicine. If you drink alcohol regularly, talk with your doctor before changing the amount you drink.”

    • Garnet JoyceNo Gravatar
      Posted June 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Wow see that shit pisses me off because my doctor didn’t even tell me not to drink at all and I was friggin 22. All I did was drink! And since she was giving me samples there were no warnings or information with the pills. Luckily, I made it out to the other side okay and a non-smoker.

One Trackback

  1. By Medication Diaries: Entry 5 on July 13, 2010 at 12:01 am

    [...] on both of my new prescriptions, and so far, so good. There’s nothing new to report on the Wellbutrin front. My symptoms have continued to improve, and I’ve had no negative side [...]

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