Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 140001

Shown: posts 1 to 14 of 14. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by TerryW on February 7, 2003, at 14:48:08

The warning from GSK says not to split Wellbutrin SR. However, I found that I was too agitated on the prescribed 100mg of Wellburtin SR, which I was taking to counteract the sexual SE of 10 mg of Lexapro.

I discontinued the use of Wellbutrin after less than one week due to the extreme agitation and tension, which was unpleasant and, most importantly, counterproductive to the positive effects of the Lexapro.

Several Questions:

1. Why is there the warning not to split the Wellbutrin?
2. Has any one done split their pills without adverse effects or dimishment of the drug's efficacy?
3. Has anyone else experienced the hightened level of agitation and tension when jut starting Wellbutrin SR? Does this effect eventually fade? (I did not have this problem on 400 mg [I think] of regular Welburtin several years ago.)

Thanks and good luck to everyone.

TW

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by Jack Smith on February 7, 2003, at 16:13:45

In reply to To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by TerryW on February 7, 2003, at 14:48:08

> Several Questions:
>
> 1. Why is there the warning not to split the Wellbutrin?

To answer one of your questions. You are not to split WB SR because then the time release coating will not work. BUT, if you need less, you can get the instant release version--I am sure there are 75 mg tablets, and there may be 50 mg ones. Also, the instant release is available in generics so its cheaper.

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by viridis on February 8, 2003, at 0:38:59

In reply to To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by TerryW on February 7, 2003, at 14:48:08

I went through the same thing, so I phoned GSK and asked one of the people who actually developed the SR version. He said that the slow release has NOTHING to do with the coating -- instead, they imbed the med in a slow-dissolving wax, and the coating is just to protect the med from moisture in the air and make it easier to swallow..

He told me there was no danger in splitting the pills, but they discourage it because they're hard to cut and so accurate dosing is difficult. Also, when split, the pills tend to absorb water from the atmosphere and this degrades the active ingredient. So, he said just split a day or two's worth at a time.

He even faxed me a set of graphs that shows release rates in cut vs. uncut pills. There's a very slight increase in release rate in the first 15 minutes for cut pills, and then the two are essentially identical.

I tried splitting the 150 mg pills (with a pill cutter, which costs a couple of dollars at a drugstore) and it worked fine. I still hated Wellbutrin and got off it (after 8 weeks at 150 mg/day and a couple more at a split 75). But the side effects were about half as intense with half a pill.

BTW, the side effects (including agitation, dizziness, and various other stranger ones) were intense for me and didn't diminish in the 8-10 weeks I was on it, but they stopped as soon as I discontinued it, and there was no withdrawal.

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by sl on February 9, 2003, at 8:59:57

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by viridis on February 8, 2003, at 0:38:59

I had awful side-effects on WellbutrinSR.

But not so much on Wellbutrin immediate-release. :)

sl

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by VMD on February 9, 2003, at 17:56:15

In reply to To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by TerryW on February 7, 2003, at 14:48:08

> 3. Has anyone else experienced the hightened level of agitation and tension when just starting Wellbutrin SR? Does
> this effect eventually fade? (I did not have this problem on 400 mg [I think] of regular Welburtin several years ago.)
>

Once I started on 2 SR 150's a day, I felt at times as if it was too much. I would drag the palms of my hands down across my face and concentrate more on breathing. It went away within 2 weeks. I still get light headed once in a while, but over all Wellbutrin is doing well for me. Wellbutrin is the only drug I am taking.

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by noa on February 9, 2003, at 22:28:29

In reply to To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by TerryW on February 7, 2003, at 14:48:08

Here is why I think you shouldn't split the Effexor XR capsule:

Once, a capsule of Effexor XR cracked in my pocket, when I took it out of my pocket, the little beads spilled into my hand. I noticed that the many beads are of varying sizes. I assume that size affects how long until the active ingredient is released into the blood. I also surmise that to effectively split a time release capsule, one would have to sort all the little multi-sized beads and then divide them evenly, unless one wants to have very uneven up and down experiences with the meds. This is just my conjecture, of course. But if true, I would think it is an awfully tedious way to split your dose.

Question: where did you get a 100 mg. capsule? I thought they only come in 37.5, 75, 150?

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by paxvox on February 11, 2003, at 19:45:41

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by sl on February 9, 2003, at 8:59:57

NO. Do NOT split the SR. Ask your doc for the immediate release.

PAX

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR paxvox

Posted by viridis on February 12, 2003, at 0:47:17

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by paxvox on February 11, 2003, at 19:45:41

Why not? As I described above, GSK's technical services say it's perfectly safe, can back it up with data, and it certainly caused me no additional problems. My pdoc was fine with this too.

Again, the slow release has no relationship to the coating on the pills, but instead is determined by the slow-dissolving internal wax matrix in which the med is imbedded, which dissolves at the same rate whether the pill is divided or not.

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR noa

Posted by wendy b. on February 12, 2003, at 21:22:15

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by noa on February 9, 2003, at 22:28:29

Noa,

Just letting you know - the discussion is about Wellbutrin, not Effexor. That's why the differences in milligrams...

keeping you on track with a smile and a nudge,

Wendy :-]


> Here is why I think you shouldn't split the Effexor XR capsule:
>
> Once, a capsule of Effexor XR cracked in my pocket, when I took it out of my pocket, the little beads spilled into my hand. I noticed that the many beads are of varying sizes. I assume that size affects how long until the active ingredient is released into the blood. I also surmise that to effectively split a time release capsule, one would have to sort all the little multi-sized beads and then divide them evenly, unless one wants to have very uneven up and down experiences with the meds. This is just my conjecture, of course. But if true, I would think it is an awfully tedious way to split your dose.
>
> Question: where did you get a 100 mg. capsule? I thought they only come in 37.5, 75, 150?

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by noa on February 13, 2003, at 18:34:12

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR noa, posted by wendy b. on February 12, 2003, at 21:22:15

Thanks, Wendy. I see it now, but I actually read it as effexor before, who knows why!!

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR

Posted by paxvox on February 13, 2003, at 18:37:50

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR paxvox, posted by viridis on February 12, 2003, at 0:47:17

It doesn't make any sense to split an SR. If THAT's what bothered him, maybe he SHOULD try IR. Also, lower doses of SR (e.g 100mg) are available. I am not so sure about your statements, but when I read my PDR, Glaxo Wellcome seemed fairly adamant that the SR should not be split. Perhaps their concern is that one might chew it up, which COULD change things a bit. Same reason people aren't supposed to chew up their Oxycontin.

PAX

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR paxvox

Posted by viridis on February 13, 2003, at 22:07:31

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR, posted by paxvox on February 13, 2003, at 18:37:50

I don't know if the IR version might be better or not; I was simply suggesting an option that I've tried after being told by the manufacturer and my doctor that it was OK.

In my case, I had a bunch of the 150 mg SR pills (which I'd been given by my previous doctor as free samples; he had cupboards full of them). Rather than getting a prescription for a new dose etc., I wanted to see if 75 mg of the SR would be easier on me. It was about half as bad as 150 mg, so I gave up on it. Maybe the IR would have been better, but Wellbutrin was so negative for me that I didn't pursue it.

I think your point about the risk of chewing the pills is a good one -- that could definitely cause a much faster release of the med than swallowing, so maybe they want to cover themselves by just saying don't divide in any way (which would include chewing). Also, as I mentioned, the person I spoke with did say that it's difficult to get accurate dosing since the pills are hard to cut; that was his explanation for why they discourage it.

Anyway, I really just wanted to suggest that if a person has WB SR and wants to try a lower dose, it appears to be quite safe to split the pills, based on my experience and the advice of both the manufacturer and a doctor.

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR viridis

Posted by KarenRB53 on October 7, 2010, at 9:37:54

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR paxvox, posted by viridis on February 13, 2003, at 22:07:31

> I don't know if the IR version might be better or not; I was simply suggesting an option that I've tried after being told by the manufacturer and my doctor that it was OK.
>
> In my case, I had a bunch of the 150 mg SR pills (which I'd been given by my previous doctor as free samples; he had cupboards full of them). Rather than getting a prescription for a new dose etc., I wanted to see if 75 mg of the SR would be easier on me. It was about half as bad as 150 mg, so I gave up on it. Maybe the IR would have been better, but Wellbutrin was so negative for me that I didn't pursue it.
>
> I think your point about the risk of chewing the pills is a good one -- that could definitely cause a much faster release of the med than swallowing, so maybe they want to cover themselves by just saying don't divide in any way (which would include chewing). Also, as I mentioned, the person I spoke with did say that it's difficult to get accurate dosing since the pills are hard to cut; that was his explanation for why they discourage it.
>
> Anyway, I really just wanted to suggest that if a person has WB SR and wants to try a lower dose, it appears to be quite safe to split the pills, based on my experience and the advice of both the manufacturer and a doctor.

I realize how old this post is but wanted to thank you for this information. I also wanted to ask if there was any mention on splitting the XL (extended release wellbutrin)?? Thanks again.

 

Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR KarenRB53

Posted by Lil'Deb on October 7, 2010, at 12:54:31

In reply to Re: To split or not to split Wellbutrin SR viridis, posted by KarenRB53 on October 7, 2010, at 9:37:54

Extended/sustained release medications should not be split.


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