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Decreased motivation + Result of low dopamine + Wellbutrin

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2022 10:49 am
by brittneyazarwel
Hi! I'm curious if anyone here is aware of any benefit from taking Wellbutrin to help address lack of motivation & energy caused by low dopamine levels as a result of opioid dependency since Bupropion (a NDRI) works on dopamine & norepinephrine?

I stopped taking pain pills/methadone in 2009 & started Suboxone. I tapered off by 2011 & was off for several years until I relapsed in 2015 & have been on Suboxone ever since. I have two kids & am a stay at home mom but feel unbelievably unmotivated, constantly dragging, & have no energy & am super irritable. In 2019 I went thru a range of SSRIs hoping to address what I assumed to be depression. I had issues w side effects & stopped trying to find one that might help. My doctor initially put me on Bupropion bc of the "energizing effects" it can provide but I had headaches & stopped taking it after a short time.

Since then I've done a bit of research into my symptoms & everything seems to point to the impact opioids had on my dopamine levels as the potential cause. SSRIs work on serotonin levels & not dopamine which I thought might explain why I never saw much improvement on them.

Now, I do have to be honest about why I think dopamine might be involved... A handful of times over the years, usually when I'm traveling/driving long distances, I have gotten & taken Adderall & when I do this I notice, not only an increase in energy & focus, but I'm also more patient & less irritated with my 4 yo. Now, I can't take it a lot or for extended periods or I do start to feel strung out (obviously) however, the impact it has on my mood & motivation is a positive.

In researching how opiate dependency impacts the brain neurochemistry & specifically dopamine levels & wondering how remaining on Suboxone might impact that (I've read this lack of motivation & energy improves for some ONCE they're weaned off Suboxone for a time meaning I'd need to work on getting off of it in order to maybe see these issues improve...& that's if my brain were to begin dealing w dopamine normally after all these years on opiates/agonists etc).

When I learned bupropion was a NDRI & had an effect on dopamine levels I questioned whether it would have an impact in this specific situation. Studies it seems haven't been done exactly on the benefit for patients in maintenance treatment (only assessing whether it would help w withdrawals) but it has been studied in meth addiction & appeared to show benefit?

Anyways. Is anyone aware of evidence for Wellbutrin showing improvement in motivation, energy, mood SPECIFICALLY for patients on Suboxone treatment?
Has anyone here been on Wellbutrin while on Suboxone & what effects did that have?