Damn you, bupropion. You’ve stolen from me the last few cool days when planting would be relatively easy. I’m beaten. I’m NOT going to get the island garden bed planted before the permanent hot weather sets in… because today is the last cool day for the foreseeable future. Right now it’s 69 degrees, the forecast high for the day. Tomorrow’s forecast is for 85, and the rest of the ten days have forecast highs no lower than 76. And I’m heat intolerant.
Nine days ago I had a physical and my doctor was adamant that I have to quit smoking. She prescribed bupropion, which used to be sold under the brand names Wellbutrin (as an antidepressant) and Zyban (as a quit-smoking aid). I took it for 8 days. My sleep was so disrupted and unrestful that I was left exhausted all the time. Even when I was asleep, my dreams were frenetic. It felt like I was getting no delta (deep) sleep at all. I would fall asleep twice during the day, be down for 3 hours each time, and still get up unrefreshed.
In fact, increased REM sleep is listed as one of the advantages of this drug. Yeah, right.
Yesterday I talked to the pharmacist, who told me this side effect is not likely to go away and is the #1 reason people stop taking this drug. I contacted both my primary care doctor’s office and my psychiatrist. They both told me to stop taking it. Hallelujah! But now I have to wait for it to clear my system enough for me to function (likely to take 4-7 days, though possibly less because I took it for such a short time).
I had BIG PLANS for this past week. My roommate moved out on Saturday, and I was all geared up to do all the housework myself again. I knew I could do it on my own – and I could have, if the damned medication hadn’t knocked me flat. I was going to eradicate the trumpet vine sprouts, then design and plant the island bed. I could have, too.
Instead, I got worse and worse as the days passed. Depression symptoms popped up and haven’t gone away yet. I tried, today. I really did. I got nowhere. I’m too groggy from rotten sleep.
Yes, I’ll be able to do what I wanted to do with the housework – but right now it is depressing that I can’t start with the clean state I had when my roommate left. I’ll get over that. As far as the garden goes – I don’t know, I don’t know. My plans have tumbled down around my ears. I’m going to have to wait for the medication-induced depression to go away. To do anything, I have to wait till I get restful sleep again.
No, that’s not true. My first step will be doing tasks in 5-minute segments. I’ll report back on my progress.
For more about the island garden, see Designing a Garden. For more about my landscape renewal and renovation, see my blog at Echo’s Gardens.
 eMed Expert. Bupropion (Wellbutrin). 10 August 2014.
Poor sleep is the worst. It totally wrecks my mental state too. I had a similar reaction to Saphris (new antipsychotic) that freaked me out. I couldn’t sleep, became almost psychotic and had overwhelming urges to jump out the window!
I stopped taking it pretty quick.
But I started taking bupropion last fall because I could not shake a depression that didn’t respond to therapy or the other drugs I was on. I am diagnosed with bipolar II, but my new psychiatrist is doubtful about that and sees major depression instead – “melancholy” type of depression. I have never been on an antidepressant since that diagnosis. I had also started smoking again a few months before that as I was dealing with the PTSD I’d developed after being in the hospital in 2012. So buproprion might kill two birds with one stone.
To my great surprise, it did! I stopped smoking without much trouble, and my depression lifted within a few weeks. All the talk therapy for depression that I’d done and paid a fortune for began to seem like a waste (although getting the PTSD identified and learning how to deal with those memories was very helpful). My energy and motivation and motivation improved tremendously too.
This is something about psychiatric meds that drives me (and all of us) crazy: No two people respond alike to a given medication. The trial and error process is so exhausting and doesn’t seem worth it sometimes.
But I’m glad you were able to identify the source of your sleep and energy problems so readily.
Is it really too late to plant? I hope not! I’ve planted quite a few things during this very hot and humid June.