Citation: I am nemo.. "For Anxiety and Smoking Cessation: experience with Bupropion, Clonazepam & Zolpidem (ID 44333)". Erowid.org. Mar 30, 2007. erowid.org/exp/44333
I'm in the middle of my second course of Wellbutrin SR for the purpose of smoking cessation. I did 6 weeks of Wellbutrin SR a few years years ago. It helped me stop smoking then. But, foolishly, I started puffing the devil's weed again about a year ago. Having grown sick of it, I sought out my old friend, Wellbutrin SR. This report will attempt to explain what Wellbutrin SR does, its overall effects on the body and mind, and why (I believe) it works very well as a smoking cessation treatment. Before I get to the nitty-gritty, however, it is important that we all recognize that drugs like Wellbutrin SR work differently for different people. What's more, Wellbutrin SR and other anti-depressants can have terrible side effects. Do your research. You are warned!
Timeline: Day 1. I've been smoking like a madman -probably 2 packs a day. I've been at it for almost a year. Prior to that I had been smoke-free for 4 or 5 years (following a course of Wellbutrin SR!). So I go to see my doctor. I ask for the drug. I get the script filled and begin the ramp-up dose of 1 150mg pill a day. I continue to smoke.
Day 4. Still on the ramp-up dosage. I am starting to feel the presence of the Wellbutrin SR in my system. It's definitely a stimulant. I've been a bit depressed (and anxious) for the past few weeks. Though I've never been diagnosed with depression, I am certain that I have true bouts of the clinical stuff. Anyway, I feel energetic like I haven't in some time. But I also feel edgy. And my stomach is wrecked. I've got what the polite among us would call 'loose stool.' I'm taking my dose in the morning, but I am still feeling the effects when I go to bed. My dreams are totally nuts. They are quite vivd and I'm having (and remebering) lots of them each night. Somehow I am not feeling well-rested, however. Here's where the smoking cessation magic begins to work. I feel as though my senses of smell, taste, sound, and touch are enhanced by the Wellbutrin SR. Cigarettes start to taste and smell like shit. I'm still smoking a few cigs a day, but afterwards I feel compelled to wash my hands with great care. Then I gargle. I've got to get rid of the taste and smell! Cigarettes are fast becoming repulsive...I am almost there.
Day 5. I have my last cigarette this morning. I know it's my last when I have it -actually, I know it when I realize that I can't finish smoking it! It's too disgusting. And here's the real trick: I don't get the nicotine buzz that I expect. It's gone. My best guess is that the Wellbutrin SR is, in effect, overriding it. With no nico-buzz, I have no reason to go forward. I quit. Yuck. Today I take my morning dose PLUS I take another 150mg pill at night. That makes 300mg per day. Could it be that easy? No. This is where things start to get kind of shitty.
Day 7. Sleep sucks. I've got super-dark circles under my eyes. I feel like shit. I wonder if this is nicotine withdrawl or the side effects of the Wellbutrin SR (?). There's no way to tell because it's all happening at once. Somehow I don't remember this low-point feeling from when I previously took Wellbutrin. Maybe I had it. Maybe I didn't. Maybe it's because I am 5 years older (presently 31) now than I was then. Or maybe it's some withdrawl symptoms from alcohol --I quit drinking my usual 3 or 4 drinks (most nights) when I went on the Wellbutrin because I gathered that there is a very real possibility that the combination can induce a seizure. And, for the record, I also discontinued the use of cannabis (I have always been an occasional user) when I started the Wellbutrin. No matter what it is that's working on me, I feel a bit freaked out.
Day 8. Still no good sleep. More feeling like shit. But I don't even think about cigs anymore. It's so far out of my mind that it's like I never smoked at all. Smells are still extra-vivid. Same for taste, touch, and sound. My sex drive is actually UP! Music that I haven't listened to for a while sounds really good: my old copy of Exile on Main Street is getting heavy play. No real apetite, though. And more loose stool! Because I am very worried about my sleeplessness, I decide to cut back my dosage to 150mg for a couple of days. I also procure 5 2mg tabs of Klonopin. I start to take 1/2 of one at night, a couple of hours before bed.
Day 10. Have been on 150mg daily dose for past couple of days. No cigs. 1mg Klonopin in the evening. I've been getting some sleep for the past couple of nights and I feel better. But I miss the 'Incredible Hulk' (thanks for apt description, other poster!) feeling that I had back around days 4 and 5. So I go back up to 300mg. Today I decide that the best way to do this is to take the second pill at about 6pm. That gives me a while for it to work though my system before bedtime. FYI: I genearlly go to sleep around midnight and I get up at about 7.
Day 11. Stopped the 1mg nightly Klonopin. Still slept OK. Some of the amped up energy has come back, but its not like that day 5 rush! I'm doing a lot of foot tapping. And, of course, NO CIGS! Nice.
Day 16. Apetite returning to normal. Energy levels are good. I feel like the Wellbutrin is probably working on my depression about as well as it is my nicotine habit! Increased sensory awareness still present. Perhaps smell and taste can be attributed to the fact that I'm not all smoked out. Food tastes good. Sleep is a little bit light for my taste...I'm not feeling well rested. So I acquire some Ambien. I am determined not to use it every night. Maybe 1 in 3. We'll see.
Day 21. [DAY THIS IS WRITTEN] Sleep is good. Not over-using the Ambien. Feel a little hyper, maybe a bit jittery. But it's not too bad. I'm still off the alcohol and the pot, too. I find it very easy to work and to be very productive right now. I will take this drug for another week or two. I think 5 weeks will be sufficient to ensure that my nicotine addiction is long gone AND that my psychological addiction to the act of smoking has slipped away. I realize that both are very powerful, independent forces.
RETROSPECT: Wellbutrin SR may not work like this for everyone, but it has helped me kick the nicotine habit twice. (I am determined not slip up again and go back to tobacco use. It just hurts my body too much and is not enjoyable when the addiction really takes over.) A few of my friends have tried to quit smoking using Wellbutrin SR, but they had to quit the drug because it made them feel way too bad. For certain, Wellbutrin is not an easy drug to take, especially in the first couple of weeks. Only by very closely watching my doses and by adding in some sleep-aids was I able to do it this time.
Finally, let me mention that, as an amateur psychonaut and substance experimentation enthusiast, Wellbutrin (in its many forms: SR, XL, IR) is no good for getting any kicks. If you just want to play, I suggest you look somewhere else.
And good luck to you if you are trying to quit smoking.
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