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Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings?

Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings in response to visual cues
...according to researchers at UCLA.
Wellbutrin also lessens meth induced high.
NIDA-supported studies are developing medications for all aspects of meth abuse. For many people, depression is a complicating factor in recovery. In fact, imaging studies show that during withdrawal, the brains of meth addicts resemble those of depressed patients. Antidepressants may help during these beginning stages of treatment. Bupropion, marketed as Welbutrin?, offers promise as an anti-addiction medication for several illicit drugs. Recent study findings reveal that bupropion reduced acute meth-induced subjective effects as well as cue-induced cravings. A recently completed Phase II clinical trial with bupropion has shown it to be significantly effective in reducing meth abuse in low/moderate users. A follow-up trial is planned.

~~National Institute for Drug Abuse addresses United States House of Representatives on June 26, 2oo6

Of course, there's no magic pill/ cure all.
However, maybe Wellbutrin can take a fraction of the edge off.


Loraura Re: Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings in response to visual
I would like to know the definition of "low/moderate users".

Re: Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings in response to visual
That's a great question Miss Loraura!
Unfortunately, I haven't come across the answer.

I know that in the UCLA test led by Thomas Newton "Subjects were then injected with 30 milligrams of methamphetamine and asked to rate the high they experienced on a scale of 1 to 10..."
To the best of my recollection, I wasn't a slammer:  is that a "low/moderate" dose?

Penel0pe Re: Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings in response to visual
"Low / Moderate user:"
Tweeker who has run out of money or resources to get MORE.

OK that was bad.

Re: Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings in response to visual
Heck, if Wellbutrin could make one: less depressed; have lessened meth cravings; help one quit cigs; won't make me fatter; and won't screw up my sex life    I think it might be worth a try!!!
Who knows~~maybe I'd even be able to  watch  Intervention w/o jonzing when I see that light bulb, or even worse that darned tin foil.

Seriously, I'm considering talking to my p-doc about changing my anti-depressant from Lexapro to Wellbutrin.

has anybody had any experience with Wellbutrin?

Loraura Re: Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings in response to visual
Well, the reason I really want to know how they defined it, is because I know how Wellbutrin works. And I know how meth works. And I know that if meth has been abused for long enough, then Wellbutrin can't work.
Wellbutrin needs what meth destroys in order to be effective.

I've posted about this before, so if you've already heard it, feel free to skip it!

Wellbutrin is widely used to aid in quitting smoking.
It does this by increasing the effectiveness of a person's existing dopamine.
A "low" meth user, would likely still have enough dopamine for this to work in the same manner.
But does that mean low in amount, or in duration, or some combination of both?

A "moderate" meth user, would presumably get LESS out of the Wellbutrin treatment because they simply would not have as much dopamine to get the same benefit as a "low" user.

A "high" meth user would get little to no benefit from Wellbutrin treatment because they would have EVEN LESS dopamine than the "moderate" user.

Here's an analogy:
Let's say you have a new car. Presumably is has a new fuel system.
You put nothing but premium gas in it and it runs beautifully.
Somewhere along the line you hear about this additive that will make the car run better, faster, longer, get better gas mileage, better acceleration, and more. (aka meth)

You put that in the gas tank.
And it DOES run faster, better, longer, etc.
But unbeknownst to you, the additive (meth) is corroding the fuel lines.
Small holes begin to develop. The premium gas and additive leaks out. Can't really notice at first. Just put more additive in, no problem.
That makes more holes develop, and existing holes get larger, and the gas and additive are leaking out faster now.
Soon even premium unleaded makes no difference. The additive no longer produces improved performance.
The car runs like shyt now. SO little gas makes it to the carburetor that the car will barely start, and sputters something horrible.
So you hear about a different additive, one that is also supposed to help out the existing mechanism of the car's fuel system. (Wellbutrin)
This one doesn't cause the corrosion like the other one.
So you fill up with premium, add the new additive (Wellbutrin) and expect some great results.
But the Wellbutrin doesn't stand a chance. The fuel lines are shot.
Until they are repaired, the Wellbutrin is wasted without ever making a difference.
The benefit of Wellbutrin is tied directly to the amount of dopamine in someone's brain.
Blocking the reuptake of dopamine doesn't do squat unless there is dopamine to recycle.
Meth destroys dopamine.
Only time, a protein rich diet, and using the dopamine you have left (get a little exercise, don't sleep all day) will cause the body to replace it.
Once the body has been able to replace some of that dopamine, THEN the Wellbutrin stands a chance to help.

Re: Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings in response to visual
I noticed as soon as i started taking welbutrin at 3 months clean it nearly doubled my energy level making me feel normal-ish. When i first started taking it, it almost felt like i was tweeking (like when i could still get a good high)....it was unpleasant....but my brain is used to it now and it doesn't feel like that. I think it'd help after the first months....i couldn't see it making me feel better earlier on...the "dope attacks" were too intense.....I was a moderate or even a low user to the more hardcore, everyday all day users...i couldn't afford it....still i can say with a relative degree of certainty it wouldn't make me feel better for the first 2 months....but then again nothing does.
vctry7 Re: Wellbutrin lessens meth cravings in response to visual
I couldn't get past the side effects to see if Wellbutrin would've worked well for me. I was shaky, my heart pounded, and my thoughts ran about 100 miles an hour. I also felt panicky. To me, it was like all the bad effects of speed without any of the good. I've heard other people say that it really helped them, though.

Wellbutrin verses Lexapro
Ok, I've searched the archives and found your post(s) on 12/9/06 regarding Wellbutrin:
In my personal opinion, this is a good medication to TRY under doctor's care, for people with 6 months or more clean time from meth who still suffer from symptoms associated with low dopamine levels.

Symptoms like depression, lack of energy, anhedonia (just don't care, nothing matters), etc.

I have the 3 symptoms aforementioned.   However, I also have anxiety. The fact that Lexapro is anti-depressant/ anti-anxiety is probably why my p-doc has selected it; I'm also on Buspar for anxiety, btw, and I'm also on Artane & the mood stabilizer, Abilify.

AnyWhoo, I wonder if Lexapro is probably part of the reason I have so much fatigue, mentally and physically. I feel extremely sleepy/ drowsy a lot of the time, & one of Lexapro's possible side effects is somnolence.

I've been clean off meth for 2 1/2 years and all drugs since March 2oo6. Since my teen years--before even trying any drugs--I've been diagnosed as Bipolar. Recently I've been told that I have "traits of" Borderline Personality Disorder.

With my clean time considered~~Do you think it might be helpful for me to discuss switching from Lexapro to (maybe) Wellbutrin with my p-doc?

Re: Wellbutrin verses Lexapro
I think I am just a meany LOL
I do not believe in using anything to take the edge off. I don't think it sets a good stage - learning to get over one drug by depending on another. This of course is just my personal opinion .... I also believe in do what works for you ..... and wouldn't judge if this was what one chooses to do - I however would never advise it myself.

Re: Wellbutrin verses Lexapro
Thanks for your concern.
I understand your concerns about using one medication to get over a drug. Cross addiction is a very real problem, one that I have to keep in the front of my mind even before picking up a caffeinated soda pop.  you see, my therapist says that the word that described me best is "addict"~` better than any other term in my laundry list of psych diagnoses.

Yet I was on anti-depressant meds long before I even touched my first drug. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that pre-dates all of my drug related damage. I have been very honest with my p-doc about my history of addiction, and he still feels that I need to be on an anti-depressant. It might as well be one that has a little perk to it such as the possible reduction of cravings.

Re: Wellbutrin verses Lexapro
I agree. I have nothing against anyone who has the sincere need for pysch Meds. none what so ever ....

Loraura Re: Wellbutrin verses Lexapro
With my clean time considered~~ Do you think it might be helpful for me to discuss switching from Lexapro to (maybe) Wellbutrin with my p-doc?

I would never DISCOURAGE someone from talking to their doc if they feel their meds are not working as well as they should.
For some people Lexapro is a wonder drug. For others (like me, and forget suzzette) it was an absolute nightmare.

Lexapro works in the same manner that Wellbutrin does, but on a different brain chemical, called Serotonin.
If low Seratonin activity is the cause of your symptoms, then Lexapro is likely to help.
If Dopamine is the cause, then Lexapro may help SOME, but in a "jack one chemical up to try to make up for another chemical being too low" problem. My personal opinion, and I am NOT a physician or psychiatrist or psychologist (see warning below, this site doesn't give medical advice) is that if meth has been in the picture, and Seratonin altering drugs like Lexapro still leave you with the symptoms of low dopamine, then perhaps a dopamine-acting drug like Wellbutrin should be considered.

But switching psych meds is NOT an easy thing to do.
Some can't be taken together.
Some may have to be stopped completely before starting a new one, leaving some time where discomfort is worse than before.

So really -- talk to your doc, be honest about your drug history, clean time, and how you are feeling. Ask your doc what THEY think about giving Wellbutrin a try.
Go talk to your doc.

If you want to know how dopamine works, I wrote about it here in more detail:

See also:

Meth Rehab Facility and Treatment Center Issues, Concerns and Questions

Back to Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine Questions, Answers & Advice

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