crohn's/ulcerative colitis and wellbutrin SR

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 7/21/2011 3:29 AM (GMT -7)   
i dont mean to be breaking any forum rules by posting this in two seperate forums but since i have kindof been diagnosed with both diseases i hope its okay

i have been reading about taking wellbutrin to help with crohns disease because it lows TNF etc

alot of the threads i have read said that you take the " immediate release" medication.

in australia only "sustained release" is available

is this worth taking to help with crohn's/colitis symptoms?

thanks for any advice as i really need it
Adelaide, Australia

19 year old male

Osteoporosis diagnosed june 2011 thanks to extensive prednisolone use

crohns disease diagnosed 2000

changed to ulcerative colitis but still unsure - 2008

current meds - Colazide 3 x 2 daily, azathioprine 175mg, nexium 20mg, Prednisolone currently 30mg :(

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 7/21/2011 10:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Anthonyv,

Crohn's colitis means that you have crohn's affecting your colon (where ulcerative colitis typically hangs out) it doesn't mean you have both diseases....did your doc clarify this to you?

Although the same meds used to treat crohn's colitis as used for UC and the fact that the colon shows inflammation those are the 2 things they share in common....however the type of inflammation between the 2 are quite different...with UC the entire area that is inflammed has no patches unlike with CD where the inflammation will be patchy. Also with crohn's (and not UC) the inflammation often goes deeper into the intestinal lining, where as with UC it only penetrates the surface of the lining.

As far as your question about the wellbutrin, you should speak with your doc about it...not everyone responds the same to RX or naturals and hopefully your doc will be able to guide you.
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1552
   Posted 7/21/2011 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I am on Wellbutrin. I started roughly over a month ago. It has not put me in remission but it has greatly improved my symptoms. Part of the reason I may not be in remission is I am taking a smaller dose while I am trying to gain weight. That is the one thing I don't like about it, is the weight loss side effect.

I am currently on 200 mg instead of 300 mg until I gain weight. I started out my dose slowly and didn't have too many side effects like insomnia or being hyped up. It doesn't bother me at all now.

As to why they say to use the immediate release and not SR, I don't know. Maybe the effect is altered by how one is metabolized versus the other?
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 1998, father has UC we were both diagnosed at 20 yrs old.
Previously on Remicade, Humira - No surgeries so far

Meds ~ Sulfasalazine 2/2xday, Wellbutrin, Moducare
Supps ~ Culturellle, psylium seed, folic acid, magnesium, D3, K2, Calcium/Boron, multi-mineral.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 7/22/2011 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I thought trying Wellbutrin for Crohns was worth a try. I have only been trying a Wellbutrin (actually a generic Bupropion) for about two weeks and have seen a significant improvement in the Crohns. However, until I try it for a whole month, I am not going to conclude anything. I am taking the SR formula twice a day. I was having many emergency trips to the bathroom each day prior to starting. After a few days on Bupropion that stopped and was actually constipated for a few days (an unusual symptom for me). I have not had any abdominal pain and cramping like experienced before starting the Bupropion and haven't had any emergency trips since starting it either. I have not lost weight yet even though I would like to drop 10 pounds. Again, I am only two weeks into it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4034
   Posted 8/4/2011 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I just started taking Wellbutrin SR. I have UC but am taking it for depression/anxiety. Did you end up taking it, Anthonyv?
27 years old; diagnosed March 2007

Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa every other night; multivitamin; Ortho Tri-Cyclen

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/27/2013 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I found this and some other threads on this subject after having one of my worst Crohn's flares ever right at the time I had a colonoscopy scheduled (November 7, 2013). This post is duplicated in another thread in this forum but I wanted to share my experience with Wellbutrin in hopes it may help others.

I had been on Remicade in the past but stopped taking it due to fear of side effects and started trying natural therapies. The natural therapies I was on worked to some degree, but when I started noticing I was having more "bad days" than good I scheduled the colonoscopy so I could see where things were at and consult with my Gastro on how to best address the issues.

My Gastro is well aware of my desire to avoid drugs that have a side effect of "cancer" and "death", and thankfully is willing to work with me to experiment with different solutions. After the colonoscopy and subsequent CT Scan (the inflammation found in the procedures was horrible!) I asked him about Wellbutrin for its TNF-inhibiting properties. He said there was nothing in the medical resources available to him that indicated it worked at all for Crohn's, but he was still willing to let me give it a try. Due to insurance restrictions, I could only get started on 200mg daily of the "immediate release" generic (Bupropion) tabs -- one tab twice daily -- and even with that dosage I noticed an incredible turn-around. I'm about 45 days into this treatment and I am having solid bowel movements once or twice a day. Of those 45 days, I had one bad week (somewhere between the 3rd and 4th week), but taking a probiotic capsule once a day for a couple of days cleared it right up. I am amazed! I have a follow-up appointment with my Gastro in about 2.5 weeks and I'm looking forward to getting another round of blood tests to see how my levels look, but I feel great!

There are some side effects of Wellbutrin/Bupropion to be aware of, not all of them bad. The ones I experienced are:
* Headaches. I started having headaches when I started taking the Bupropion and these lasted roughly 3 weeks. I took Ibuprofen as needed to get through them. Headaches are no longer a problem for me.
* Increased aggitation. This seems counter-intuitive for an anti-depressant, but I noticed I was more "on edge" shortly after starting the treatment. This lasted only about 3 weeks, though. I feel balanced and calm now.
* Hot flashes. I started having hideous hot flashes that would wake me almost hourly at night, and were starting to make me miserable at work during the day. I researched alternative therapies for this and found Pycnogenol, Maca Root, apple cider vinegar and Vitamin E could help. I tried the apple cider vinegar solution for a few days (sipping on a glass of water with 2 teaspoons of the vinegar in it) until the other supplements could kick in. I no longer have horrible hot flashes but do periodically feel warm in the night, but it's not so intense that it keeps me awake.
* Increased libido. Holy cow! shocked My sex drive went from zero to 100 in a week, and it hasn't abated at all. My husband is rather delighted with this side effect, as am I. Even if this turns out not to work long term for the Crohn's, it would be worth continuing on the Wellbutrin just for this side effect alone! smilewinkgrin
* Decreased appetite. Being overweight, I'm loving this side effect. I haven't weighed myself since starting, but can tell I've lost some weight just by the way my clothes are fitting.
* Decreased alcohol cravings. Another great side effect! I was drinking waaaaay too much, and once I started drinking, I couldn't stop. Since starting on Wellbutrin, I no longer have serious alcohol cravings. I can go days without a drink, and if I do grab an alcoholic beverage I can have just a couple and stop. Wellbutrin seems to have turned on an indicator in my brain that tells me when I've had enough, and I can simply stop at that point.

I hope to post periodic updates here as I continue down this treatment path. If things continue the way they have up to this point, though, I'm declaring this a "miracle drug"!
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