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Re: WELLBUTRIN;...Cutting XL pills? Viridis

Posted by NG on February 20, 2004, at 5:58:21

In reply to Re: WELLBUTRIN;...Breaking SR pills, Watch out... femlite, posted by Viridis on September 16, 2003, at 3:12:53

Viridis mentioned that the developer of Wellbutrin SR said that cutting the pills did not really affect the absorbtion rate. Based on this information, I started cutting some Wellbutrin XL pills in half--I wasn't paying attention to the difference between XL and SR. I'm backing off of that strategy for now, but I have a bunch of halved pills and halving the dosage would be useful.

So... I guess I'm wondering how you managed to get ahold of one of the actual developers to ask about this, so I could ask about XL.

The prescibing packet for both XL and SR say don't cut / divide pills.

> I've mentioned this here before, but the coating on WB SR pills has nothing whatsoever to do with the sustained-release effect.
> When I was on 150 mg SR and couldn't tolerate it, I called the company and spoke to one of the people who actually developed the SR version. He explained that the drug is imbedded in a slowly-dissolving wax, and the coating disappears almost immediately in your stomach. I was told that there was no danger in cutting the pills (they researched this), but they discourage this because:
> 1) It's hard to get exact dosing.
> 2) Once cut, the med can absorb moisture from the atmosphere and lose potency.
> His advice was to go ahead and cut the pills, just do only a few at a time to avoid water-absorption problems. He then faxed me graphs of uptake rates of cut vs. uncut pills, which showed a very slight increase in absorption rate in the first 15 minutes, then almost identical rates. My pdoc said this all made sense, and to try the lower dose with divided pills. It had about half the side effects, still intolerable for me.
> I have no idea whether this applies to other slow-release meds, but these are the facts (from the manufacturer/developer) for Wellbutrin SR.




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