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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.




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