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Can Wellbutrin Cause Restless Leg Syndrome

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Restless Legs Syndrome Triggers

Restless Leg Syndrome

You want to relax but your legs have other plans. Where does that creepy-crawly feeling come from? It could be iron deficiency, pregnancy or even weak veins. Here’s how to treat these common restless leg symptoms..

Millions of women cant sit or lie still long enough to take a flight, see a movie, watch their daughters dance recital, make love or fall asleep.Blame restless legs syndrome , a neurological sleep and movement disorder that causes painful, crawling sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them.For some women, the only solution is to walk all night, says Mark Buchfuhrer, M.D., an internist and pulmonary specialist at SomnoMedix Sleep Disorders Center in Los Angeles and co-author of Restless Legs Syndrome: Coping with Your Sleepless Nights .

To isolate triggers, record your eating, exercise, medication and sleep habits in a diary and watch for patterns, Bainbridge says. If symptoms dont quit, see your doctor. You may need blood tests for iron deficiency, thyroid disease, kidney disease, liver disease and/or diabetes all of which are associated with RLS, says Dr. Buchfuhrer.Read on for 8 things that trigger restless legs syndrome symptoms and how to prevent them.Restless Legs Syndrome #1: MedicationThe most common RLS triggers are prescription and over-the-counter medications, Dr. Buchfuhrer says.Because they block dopamine, the worst culprits include:

To Avoid a Flare:

Restless Legs Syndrome #3: Boredom

To Avoid a Flare:

To Avoid a Flare:

Are There Any Nutritional Supplements That Might Help

If you are low in iron, a good supplement would be iron for a few months to see if that helps. Iron can cause GI upset, though, so I only recommend it for people who are low in iron. Magnesium is being studied right now as a treatment, but there isnt enough data to offer it as an official treatment.

Levodopa And Other Dopaminergic Drugs

Dopaminergic drugs increase the availability of the chemical messenger dopamine in the brain and are one of the first-line treatments for severe RLS and PLMD. These drugs reduce the number of limb movements per hour and improve the subjective quality of sleep. People with either condition who take these drugs have experienced up to 100% initial reduction in symptoms.

Dopaminergic drugs, however, can have severe side effects . They do not appear to be as helpful for RLS related to dialysis as they do for RLS from other causes.

Dopaminergic drugs include dopamine precursors and dopamine receptor agonists.

Dopamine Precursors

The dopamine precursor levodopa was once a popular drug for severe RLS, although today it is usually recommended only for patients with occasional symptoms who may take it nightly as needed. It may also be helpful for long car rides or plane trips. The standard preparations combine levodopa with carbidopa, which improves the action and duration of levodopa and reduces some of its side effects, particularly nausea. Levodopa combinations are well tolerated and safe.

Levodopa acts fast, and the treatment is usually effective within the first few days of therapy.

A rebound effect causes increased leg movements at night or in the morning as the dose wears off, or as tolerance to the drug builds up.


Side Effects

Long-term use of dopaminergic drugs can lead to tolerance, in which the drugs become less effective.

Withdrawal Symptoms

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Environmental And Dietary Factors

The following environmental and dietary factors can trigger or worsen RLS:

  • Iron deficiency. People who are deficient in iron are at risk for RLS, even if they do not have anemia.
  • Folic acid or magnesium deficiencies.
  • Smoking.
  • Caffeine. Coffee drinking is specifically associated with PLMD.
  • Stress.

Drugs that may worsen or provoke RLS include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Metoclopramide
  • Antihistamines
  • Spinal anesthesia

Role Of Dopamine In Rls


Although cerebrospinal fluid is a crude method for assessing the dopamine system in the brain, data from CSF indicated possible increase in brain dopamine production. Imaging studies using special radioactive chemicals have found reduced receptor and transporter function in the brain of more severely affected RLS patients.

Tissues from the Brain Bank have shown that the dopamine cells are normal in appearance and number, with no indication of damage. However, these studies also found that the dopamine receptors were decreased and the proteins associated with producing dopamine were increased.

The composite results suggest the presence of increased production and release of dopamine a malfunction of the receptors that bind the dopamine and transmit the dopamine signal to other cells. The increase in dopamine may be the brain cells’ response to the poor signal.

When you cannot hear the voices clearly on the TV, you turn up the volume. Cells interact with each other in the similar manner: if a cell cannot hear the dopamine message from another cell, it “tells” the other cell to “turn up” the dopamine. Thus despite the increase in dopamine, the end result may be a decrease in the effect that dopamine has on certain brains cells at certain times of the day leading to the develop of RLS symptoms.

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Other Conditions Associated With Restless Legs Syndrome

The following medical conditions are also associated with RLS, although the relationships are not clear. In some cases, these conditions may contribute to RLS. Others may have a common cause, or they may coexist due to other risk factors:

  • Osteoarthritis . About three-quarters of patients with RLS also have osteoarthritis, a common condition affecting older adults.
  • Varicose veins. Varicose veins occur in about 1 in 7 patients with RLS.
  • Obesity.
  • Diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes may have higher rates of secondary RLS. Nerve pain related to their diabetes cannot fully explain the higher rate of RLS.
  • Hypertension .
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
  • Chronic alcoholism.
  • Sleep apnea and snoring.
  • Chronic headaches.
  • Brain or spinal injuries.
  • Many muscle and nerve disorders. Of particular interest is hereditary ataxia, a group of genetic diseases that affects the central nervous system and causes loss of motor control. Researchers believe that hereditary ataxia may supply clues to the genetic causes of RLS.
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder .
  • Psychiatric disorders, such as depression.

What Treatment Options Are Available

The first and often best option is massage. Massaging the legs every evening helps prevent symptoms most of the time. Massage before sleep helps. I recommend it as a first-line treatment before considering medications. Warm compresses or cold compresses may help. My patients who use electric massages get great benefits.

The next step is to swap out medications that can worsen symptoms such as certain antidepressants and antihistamines. If your doctor finds that you have low levels of iron, replacing it can help, too. The last resort is using medications made to treat restless legs, and the good news is that there has been progress in finding new medications.

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Wellbutrin Withdrawal: Overview Symptoms & Coping

Wellbutrin is a common antidepressant. Over the past few decades, it has helped millions of people claw their way out of depression. It is also used to help people quit smoking. While this drug has a variety of potential benefits, like all antidepressants, it doesnt work for everyone.

If you are considering stopping Wellbutrin, either because it isnt working or because it worked and you feel better, you will want to know what to expect. This article will give you a good overview of what Wellbutrin withdrawal is like and how long it will last.

Overview Of Study Design

Sertraline (Zoloft)

The study was a randomized controlled trial of a bupropion regimen for adults with RLS. Active drug group participants were given a once-daily, 150-mg, sustained-release dose of bupropion for 6 weeks. Control group participants received identical placebo capsules. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline and weekly for 6 weeks.

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What Medications Do You Usually Recommend What Are The Possible Side Effects

Dopamine medication can help, but can occasionally have the side effect of the body getting used to it if taken at high doses. Another class of medication is related to gabapentin, a medication historically used for seizures. There are some new medications such as Neupro, a dopamine patch you place on your skin instead of swallowing as a pill. Horizant is a new gabapentin/neurontin-related medication that needs less adjusting of doses compared to older medications.

Pain relievers dont work for RLS. If they help, you probably have something else. I have had many people take over-the-counter sleep aids. Benadryl is an ingredient in most of these treatments and makes RLS symptoms worse. Then they take even higher doses and it sets off a bad spiral. Other medications that make it worse: dopamine antagonists, lithium carbonate, antidepressants such as tricyclics, SSRIs . Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that is an exception and has not been

shown to increase symptoms of RLS.

What Type Of Medications Work On Restless Leg Syndrome

If your symptoms are severe or interfering with your activities, medication may be recommended. Your provider can help decide which treatment is best for you, but several options are available:

  • Iron supplementation

  • Anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin enacarbil , , and

  • Dopaminergic medications, such as , , and

The anti-seizure medicines are quickly becoming favored as a first-choice treatment option because they seem to be as effective as the dopaminergic medications, with fewer side effects. There is also a risk of symptoms worsening with long-term use of dopaminergic medications.

Sometimes, other medications like benzodiazepines may be prescribed for more restful sleep, but these can be addictive so its best to avoid them if possible.

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Could Restless Leg Syndrome Be A Sign Of A Different Disorder Or Disease

Most people with RLS are believed to have a condition called periodic limb movements in sleep , which causes involuntary movement of the legs during sleep. However, not all people with PLMS have RMS.

Research has also suggested links between RLS and other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, migraine, and Parkinsons disease. More research is needed to confirm and understand these links.

If Im Pregnant Are My Dietary Needs The Same

(PDF) Resolution of Pregabalin and Mirtazapine Associated ...

According to a 2009 study, up to 26 percent of pregnant women have RLS. The exact cause isnt clear, but changing hormones, low dopamine levels, and nutrient deficiencies may be responsible.

If youre pregnant and have RLS symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about getting your iron levels checked. If theyre low, your doctor may recommend eating more iron-rich foods or taking iron supplements.

If diet and lifestyle changes dont help, your doctor may prescribe antiepileptic drugs, opioids, and certain benzodiazepines. According to a 2008 study, these drugs are safe to use during pregnancy. Because all drugs pass through the placenta to your unborn baby, you should use the least amount necessary for the shortest amount of time.

In many cases, pregnancy-related RLS goes away on its own after your baby is born.

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How To Safely Stop Taking Bupropion

If youre prescribed bupropion and want to stop using it, talk to your healthcare provider before you make any sudden changes to your usage of this medication.

Your healthcare provider will usually recommend slowly tapering down your dosage of bupropion. To prevent you from experiencing withdrawal symptoms, youll take a slightly lower dosage of bupropion as each week passes until you can safely stop using the medication.

The amount of time youll need to safely taper off bupropion can vary. If youve used bupropion for years, you may need to taper down your dosage more slowly than a short-term user.

If youre prescribed bupropion to treat depression and want to stop taking it because you dont feel its effective, talk to your healthcare provider first. They may recommend adjusting your dosage or changing to a different type of antidepressant.

In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend taking an additional antidepressant medication at the same time as bupropion.

If you notice any withdrawal symptoms after you stop using bupropion, dont make any sudden changes to your dosage without first talking to your healthcare provider for help. You should also talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you notice any of your depression symptoms returning.

Tips For Successfully Going Off Wellbutrin

If youre prescribed bupropion but feel its time to stop using it, its important to take things slow to avoid withdrawal symptoms. You may find the following tips helpful:

  • Try psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can be very helpful for treating depression. If you feel like its time to stop using bupropion, a regular therapy session may improve your mood and help you stay focused on recovering.

  • Keep in touch with your healthcare provider. Its important to keep in touch with your healthcare provider as you taper down and stop using bupropion. Let them know about any symptoms you notice as you taper down your dosage or after you stop using your medication completely.

  • Closely follow the taper dosage. Your dosage of bupropion will go down over time. Its important to continue using the medication as prescribed, even when your daily dosage is comparatively low.

  • Focus on healthy living. Regular exercise, healthy eating and optimal sleep all play an important role in improving your mood and helping you recover from depression without experiencing a relapse.

  • Dont rush. Stopping antidepressants isnt a race. Take it slow and remember that the goal is to treat your depression as effectively as possible over the long term, not just to complete treatment and successfully stop taking your medication.

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What Is The Evidence For The Iron

Watch a video of Dr. Christopher Earley discussing: What Is the Evidence for the Iron-Dopamine Hypothesis?/p>

Role of Iron in RLS

The single most consistent finding and the strongest environmental risk factor associated with RLS is iron insufficiency. Professor Nordlander first recognized the association between iron deficiency and RLS, and reported that treatment of the iron deficiency markedly improved, if not eliminated, the RLS symptoms.

Despite this strong association between serum iron insufficiency and RLS, only about 15% of the RLS clinical population appears to have peripheral iron deficiency . To account for this, Professor Nordlander in proposing his iron deficiency hypothesis of RLS stated It is possiblethat there can exist an iron deficiency in the tissues in spite of normal serum iron.

This hypothesis has led investigators to examine whether the brain could be deficient in iron in the face of otherwise normal serum iron measures.

All studies to date support the concept of diminished brain iron in patients with RLS even when blood tests indicate that their iron stores are normal. Cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture has shown that the iron storage protein ferritin is low in RLS patients, despite these patients having normal serum levels of iron and ferritin.

What Antidepressant Does Not Aggravate Restless Leg Syndrome

Wellbutrin Review (re-upload)

farmerswife over a year ago


Guest over a year ago

over a year ago

In reply to marti on 2012-11-20 – click to read

over a year ago


I suddenly started with this RLS problem. Then I checked out this site. I quit the St. John’s wort I had been taking three times a day and the problem has subsided. I was taking the Research Grade as prescribed. So, It must be true that something that affects seratonin which, I believe tamps down dopamine will do this. It is scary. As movement disorders from medication can become permanent. I would stay away from Ldopa or the others that help RLS as they , as far as I can gather from reading about this up dopamine. Maybe wrong, but experience is the best teacher.

Trying to cope with mild depression and anxiety with upbeat thinking and exercise.

Once I took Celexa for six years and woke up one morning with my little finger on my right hand moving and it did not stop for days. I took benedryl finally and it stopped. But, needless to say, this scared me big time. Then I went to St. John’s Wort. Must be careful with that too.

I quit all meds and am trying my best to get by without. I know for some this is not easy.

Good Luck To All Of You

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Signs And Symptoms Of Wellbutrin Withdrawal

Most people do not experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking Wellbutrin. Among those who do, the symptoms range in severity from mild to moderate. However, if you are quitting Wellbutrin and a more common class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , your symptoms may be more severe.

Many people take Wellbutrin as part of an antidepressant cocktail. Research has indicated that Wellbutrin may work to boost the effects of other antidepressants. Doctors often prescribe it in conjunction with SSRIs.

Antidepressants affect the levels of certain neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are like your bodys chemical messengers. They help nerve cells communicate and are involved in managing many of the complex functions your body performs, like eating and sleeping. They also play a role in your emotions and moods.

Most of the modern antidepressants out there affect a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in mood stabilization. Although the exact causes of depression are unknown, doctors believe that low levels of serotonin are a contributing factor.

SSRIs, like Prozac and Lexapro, increase your serotonin levels. But when you abruptly stop taking these drugs, it can be a real shock to the system. As the body adjusts to lower serotonin levels, it is not uncommon to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Adding Iron To Your Diet

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, lack of iron or the incorrect use of iron in the brain are the main causes of RLS. Several conditions may impact iron levels, including:

  • kidney failure

2009 study showed people who are obese have an increased risk of RLS. This may be because obesity is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and lower dopamine receptors. All of these conditions have the potential to cause RLS.

Some people report that avoiding gluten eases RLS. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Its found in foods such as breads and baked goods, as well as in some condiments, soups, and salad dressings.

There isnt any scientific evidence that gluten causes RLS. If you feel gluten may be behind your symptoms, consider eliminating gluten for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.

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