Health QuestionsCategory: TreatmentsDepakote and Wellbutrin
misskimmy asked 3 years ago

Hi all, new here and just wanted some opinions.  I have been taking Effexor for about 3 years now and I think I have decided its not working.  I went to my med doc about 2 mos ago and after describing all my symptoms she thinks I may be bipolar.  Makes sense to me too, mind racing all the time, massive mood swings, sometimes within an hour or two.  When I’m happy I spend money on stupid crap that I don’t need instead of paying bills.  Then I get in a low mood and realize what I’ve done and sink into a hole of depression that I can’t even describe.  Thats not even the half of it but I’m too lazy right now to type a book.
 
Anyway, she started me on Depakote, I’m currently taking 250mg twice a day and I don’t think its doing anything.  I realize this is a very low dose but I hesitate to go to much higher because of the weight gain.  Yes, the thought of gaining anymore weight makes me want to crawl in a hole and die.  I’ve already gained about 50 on Effexor so doc and I decided I would switch to Wellbutrin and see how that helps with the depression episodes which seem to be getting worse plus maybe I could lose some weight too which will also help the low episodes.   I’m currently trying to taper off the Effexor which I know is going to suck big time cause I’ve done it before but hey I can get through it.
 
I have an appt with a pdoc in August (never been to one before) and I guess what I want to know is if anyone has had experience with Depakote and Wellbutrin.  Would the Wellbutrin still help me lose weight if I upped the dose of Depakote or should I try a different mood stabilizer?  Or should I just wait and see what the pdoc thinks?
 
Oh what I wouldn’t give to feel normal again…
 
Any thoughts would be appreciated

9 Answers
ragemaxis answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
There is no point in being on the depakote at all if you’re not going to be on enough dosage to be functional.
 
The daze from the depakote is caused by being in a slightly disassociated state with a hint of GABA,  akin to being on both valium and something like ketamine or DXM.    Adding something like WEllbutrin will just make you more agitated feeling,   it wont neccessarily increase your overall level of energy and reduce the weight and make you less depressed.   Because you are working on a totally different playing field you need to look at other things to deal with your energy level like your diet and what time of day you are taking your medication.
 
Additionally,  although the bloat from depakote happens above and beyond any dietary or otherwise changes,  that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about the *other* weight youv’e put on.    Diet,  exercise and work on that.   Stop eating fried foods,  chips,  pop and shit like that and start making smart brain choices and smart body choices.   Continuing to make bad choices in both departments means you’re not going to make any progress.
 
I’ve gained 2.5lbs since I started on Epival (depakene) and yeah, its made me want to eat alot of crappy food.   But i’ve also managed to keep my weight on a steady decline and i’m on *3* drugs which all are associated with weight gain and low energy levels.  How?   Discipline.   There is no other way. But messing around with subtherapeutic levels of drugs and then writing the drug off as being “useless” without getting up to a real level of the drug (have you had your serum levels checked?)  isn’t going to do you any good at all.    Another thing to consider is that the weight gain associated with depakote is also a first drug weight gain for alot of people, and if you’ve already gained x pounds on other medications, chances are you’re not going to gain more weight.   People gain weight on this medication because it changes their lifestyle by removing their mania and making them relatively lazy slobs who eat too much junk food.   If you are already a lazy slob, then perhaps this won’t make a deifference.   I was already a sedentary slob in recovery so it didn’t for me.   I’m not trying to judge anyone’s lifestyle here,  but depakote tends to make people pretty lazy and slobbish because without mania and without upswings it takes alot of disipline and drive to get around to doing things and thats pretty typical behavior.   I’m not making personality judgements here.  
 
Anyways.   I’m at 500mg right now and im lost in a pretty nasty disassociative haze all the time and i’m really not liking it.    So I feel a bit of your pain,  especially since i’m supposed to be dosing up.   But hey,  thats life.   At least im not cycling,  at all.

elvenwonder answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
Sometimes you have to put the weight gain in perspective.  I gained 40 lbs in 4 months on Zyprexa, and the weight did not come off when I stopped taking it.  I usually gain 15-20 lbs on prednisone (for asthma) when I take it for a week, but 10-15 of that comes back off in  a week.  I gained 10 lbs in  a year with 1500 mg Depakote.  Everyone responds differently.
 
If you do not treat your disease, you will not get better.  Would you rather be fat and happy, or skinny and miserable?  Also, I really recommend you stick to  a pdoc for your meds.  I speak from experience!

ragemaxis answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
it took me 4 years to lose my bloat from seroquel … but i lost it STILL ON SEROQUEL … know how I lost it ?  my brain slowly finally healed alot of the damage that was causing some of my depression.   Unfortunately thats what usually ends up happening.   The weight gain happens because of a metabolic or biological change,  or even a change of activity.   But it isn’t until the actual overall condition improves and you start making major changes and being happy and your dopamine increases (and the resulting biological and metabolic changes associated with that happen) that you end up losing the weight.    Most of the people I know who gain weight from medications,  (unless they are really prone to obesity,  which is unfortunate and requires specialized help) … unless they get into really bad lazy habits like far too many people on downers do eventually, over the same kind of time frame do lose the weight.   But we’re talking a few years and some serious lifestyle changes.   Shitty, eh?

illuminated answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
I never gained any weight with any of my drugs. I run a lot. I chalk it all up to exercise. If you just fit SOME exercise into your schedule, you might not gain any weight. I took Depakote and Wellbutrin together for almost a year and my pdoc gradually took me off the Depakote but the Wellbutrin still works great.

CharlieTuna answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
Depakote & Wellbutrin didn’t work out well for me. The Wellburtin threw me into a manic overdrive and thought up a new and improved SI. At midnight I decided that I needed to take a long walk and think about the implications of my new SI. By the time I got back I was just too tired to act upon it.  
 
I ended up in outpatient therapy for a couple of months to readjust my attitude. I was also taken off of Wellbutrin and the pdoc upped my valproic acid and told me to drink ginger tea if it bothered my stomach.
 
I tried to tolerate the increase of valproic acid and it didn’t work out. Then I decided the pdoc was really bipolar anyway and wasn’t thinking in his right mind. I dropped the increase and went back to my ‘normal’ dose 1000mg and decided to leave my creative SI thinking for another time. As is just don’t go there and if you do take a midnight walk on the wild side to the 7-11 store and talk to the clerks for awhile.

misskimmy asked 3 years ago

Hi all, new here and just wanted some opinions.  I have been taking Effexor for about 3 years now and I think I have decided its not working.  I went to my med doc about 2 mos ago and after describing all my symptoms she thinks I may be bipolar.  Makes sense to me too, mind racing all the time, massive mood swings, sometimes within an hour or two.  When I’m happy I spend money on stupid crap that I don’t need instead of paying bills.  Then I get in a low mood and realize what I’ve done and sink into a hole of depression that I can’t even describe.  Thats not even the half of it but I’m too lazy right now to type a book.
 
Anyway, she started me on Depakote, I’m currently taking 250mg twice a day and I don’t think its doing anything.  I realize this is a very low dose but I hesitate to go to much higher because of the weight gain.  Yes, the thought of gaining anymore weight makes me want to crawl in a hole and die.  I’ve already gained about 50 on Effexor so doc and I decided I would switch to Wellbutrin and see how that helps with the depression episodes which seem to be getting worse plus maybe I could lose some weight too which will also help the low episodes.   I’m currently trying to taper off the Effexor which I know is going to suck big time cause I’ve done it before but hey I can get through it.
 
I have an appt with a pdoc in August (never been to one before) and I guess what I want to know is if anyone has had experience with Depakote and Wellbutrin.  Would the Wellbutrin still help me lose weight if I upped the dose of Depakote or should I try a different mood stabilizer?  Or should I just wait and see what the pdoc thinks?
 
Oh what I wouldn’t give to feel normal again…
 
Any thoughts would be appreciated

9 Answers
ragemaxis answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
There is no point in being on the depakote at all if you’re not going to be on enough dosage to be functional.
 
The daze from the depakote is caused by being in a slightly disassociated state with a hint of GABA,  akin to being on both valium and something like ketamine or DXM.    Adding something like WEllbutrin will just make you more agitated feeling,   it wont neccessarily increase your overall level of energy and reduce the weight and make you less depressed.   Because you are working on a totally different playing field you need to look at other things to deal with your energy level like your diet and what time of day you are taking your medication.
 
Additionally,  although the bloat from depakote happens above and beyond any dietary or otherwise changes,  that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about the *other* weight youv’e put on.    Diet,  exercise and work on that.   Stop eating fried foods,  chips,  pop and shit like that and start making smart brain choices and smart body choices.   Continuing to make bad choices in both departments means you’re not going to make any progress.
 
I’ve gained 2.5lbs since I started on Epival (depakene) and yeah, its made me want to eat alot of crappy food.   But i’ve also managed to keep my weight on a steady decline and i’m on *3* drugs which all are associated with weight gain and low energy levels.  How?   Discipline.   There is no other way. But messing around with subtherapeutic levels of drugs and then writing the drug off as being “useless” without getting up to a real level of the drug (have you had your serum levels checked?)  isn’t going to do you any good at all.    Another thing to consider is that the weight gain associated with depakote is also a first drug weight gain for alot of people, and if you’ve already gained x pounds on other medications, chances are you’re not going to gain more weight.   People gain weight on this medication because it changes their lifestyle by removing their mania and making them relatively lazy slobs who eat too much junk food.   If you are already a lazy slob, then perhaps this won’t make a deifference.   I was already a sedentary slob in recovery so it didn’t for me.   I’m not trying to judge anyone’s lifestyle here,  but depakote tends to make people pretty lazy and slobbish because without mania and without upswings it takes alot of disipline and drive to get around to doing things and thats pretty typical behavior.   I’m not making personality judgements here.  
 
Anyways.   I’m at 500mg right now and im lost in a pretty nasty disassociative haze all the time and i’m really not liking it.    So I feel a bit of your pain,  especially since i’m supposed to be dosing up.   But hey,  thats life.   At least im not cycling,  at all.

elvenwonder answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
Sometimes you have to put the weight gain in perspective.  I gained 40 lbs in 4 months on Zyprexa, and the weight did not come off when I stopped taking it.  I usually gain 15-20 lbs on prednisone (for asthma) when I take it for a week, but 10-15 of that comes back off in  a week.  I gained 10 lbs in  a year with 1500 mg Depakote.  Everyone responds differently.
 
If you do not treat your disease, you will not get better.  Would you rather be fat and happy, or skinny and miserable?  Also, I really recommend you stick to  a pdoc for your meds.  I speak from experience!

ragemaxis answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
it took me 4 years to lose my bloat from seroquel … but i lost it STILL ON SEROQUEL … know how I lost it ?  my brain slowly finally healed alot of the damage that was causing some of my depression.   Unfortunately thats what usually ends up happening.   The weight gain happens because of a metabolic or biological change,  or even a change of activity.   But it isn’t until the actual overall condition improves and you start making major changes and being happy and your dopamine increases (and the resulting biological and metabolic changes associated with that happen) that you end up losing the weight.    Most of the people I know who gain weight from medications,  (unless they are really prone to obesity,  which is unfortunate and requires specialized help) … unless they get into really bad lazy habits like far too many people on downers do eventually, over the same kind of time frame do lose the weight.   But we’re talking a few years and some serious lifestyle changes.   Shitty, eh?

illuminated answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
I never gained any weight with any of my drugs. I run a lot. I chalk it all up to exercise. If you just fit SOME exercise into your schedule, you might not gain any weight. I took Depakote and Wellbutrin together for almost a year and my pdoc gradually took me off the Depakote but the Wellbutrin still works great.

CharlieTuna answered 3 years ago

Re: Depakote and Wellbutrin
Depakote & Wellbutrin didn’t work out well for me. The Wellburtin threw me into a manic overdrive and thought up a new and improved SI. At midnight I decided that I needed to take a long walk and think about the implications of my new SI. By the time I got back I was just too tired to act upon it.  
 
I ended up in outpatient therapy for a couple of months to readjust my attitude. I was also taken off of Wellbutrin and the pdoc upped my valproic acid and told me to drink ginger tea if it bothered my stomach.
 
I tried to tolerate the increase of valproic acid and it didn’t work out. Then I decided the pdoc was really bipolar anyway and wasn’t thinking in his right mind. I dropped the increase and went back to my ‘normal’ dose 1000mg and decided to leave my creative SI thinking for another time. As is just don’t go there and if you do take a midnight walk on the wild side to the 7-11 store and talk to the clerks for awhile.