Follow
Share

My 69 year old husband has been "diagnosed" by a neuro...a year ago....with Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, low T and peripheral neuropathy in his feet. I believe he has Parkinson's (he now has hand tremors) and his grandfather had it but his doctor believes he just has benign tremors. His voice has become so low I can barely hear him. His doctor tells him to "try to talk louder." His antidepressant (he was getting nasty 2 years ago) was changed from Lexapro to Wellbutrin because his energy levels are so low (even though he is on T shots). But since going on the wellbutrin he has become even nastier (the Lexapro had stopped that) though his energy levels are way up. He is short-tempered, mean, his memory is worse, he is combative, distant and denies he is ever any of those things...it is all me. Can Wellbutrin cause these symptoms? I am 8 years younger than he is. We have been married for 7 years. Is his body just getting used to the Wellbutrin? He has been on it one month now. I honestly cannot stay with him if this continues.

Find Care & Housing
The key answer to the question in your post is that his energy levels are way up since starting Wellbutrin but so is his moodiness. That explains his irritation.
Wellbutrin made me very tense, anxious and irritable.
it’s the Wellbutrin.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to IamAmy
Report

I was on Wellbutrin, Zoloft and Buspirone for chronic PTSD for a number of years. The Wellbutrin was prescribed mainly to offset the Zoloft side effects (increased appetite, weight gain, etc.) It was supposed to curb my appetite and help me lose weight but all it did was make me more anxious/nervous. When I found out in early 2019 that I had liver disease, I weaned myself off of all 3 of those meds. I managed without for 2 years and that was during the time I got stuck with taking care of a toxic father. I recently was put back on Zoloft, but I refused to take the other 2. For someone who already deals with irritability, agitation, or stress, I would think Wellbutrin would be a no-no.
Just my amateur opinion.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NavyVet90
Report

Wellbutrin caused a negative reaction in me! I took it to help stop smoking but noticed within a week it was causing me to become snarky and I found myself laughing quite inappropriately at things - even had to get up and walk out of a church service because I was on the verge of busting out laughing. Problem was the pastor wasn’t trying to be humorous. I weaned myself off after two weeks. It was a shame because it really did help stop the nicotine cravings.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to SatchimosMom
Report
Cover99 Jul 23, 2021
Lol, in all honesty, some church services are unintentionally funny
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
I am so sorry that he is struggling with these issues.

Definitely report his change in behavior to his doctor. He may be on the wrong dosage or may need a different drug to try.

Wishing you all the best best.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report

Talk to his doctor about how his mood has worsened and if there isn't something else that can be tried or put back on what he was on. And some medicines can make their behavior worse OR certain meds shouldn't be given to people with certain conditions. Do some online research (but don't go by that for 100% proof), but speak with his doctor. and its possible that his mental decline is going faster than normal. I wish you luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to wolflover451
Report

Imho, as Wellbutrin can case agitation, he should be seen by his physician.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report

Tall to both him and his Dr and try a different medication
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to bevthegreat
Report

Yes, the behavior can be a result of the Wellbutrin. Everyone does not have the same results with a drug. Ask his doctor to try something else.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BurntCaregiver
Report

I'll add in my two cents here - I'm not a doctor (gerontologist and social worker) but, yes, Wellbutrin can make some people agitated, and can also cause tremor in the hands, especially at higher doses. Plus, extra Testosterone might be making him more aggressive and irritable. It probably shouldn't be given to someone who may have other neurological disorder(s). It seems you need to take your husband to a different doctor to get help to wean off the bad stuff and see what symptoms emerge if he's not on these two things. To truly diagnose PD, sometimes doctors prescribe a Levadopa medication and see whether the person improves on it, but right now the picture is muddled by other medications your husband's on. Also, an SSRI like Lexapro can help with anxiety and make a person's mood more contented, so that's missing from what he's on now.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to KatyAdams
Report

There are some people who has negative behavioral changes with Wellbutrin and cannot take it. I would ask the dr. to change to another drug.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Dccneal
Report

You can get another neurologist to evaluate and treat him. If he has Parkinson's Disease, his physician will be looking for Lewy Bodies for confirmation. Levodopa may help if PD is his problem.

Also other problems can cause the lack of energy. A thorough evaluation by an internist is worthwhile to identify and treat them.

His behavior problems are best addressed by a geriatric psychiatrist. No matter the cause of his dementia, your husband's perception of the world or reality has changed. He sees things that don't make sense or seem threatening. Any threats will make his adrenal system cause "fight or flight" surges. Some people will cry and cower when this happens. Others get agitated and or combative - the "fight response." It appears your husband is the latter. A consistent routine will help. Also antianxiety medications are worth a try. It takes awhile for these medications to reach therapeutic levels in the blood stream. It also takes some trial and error to find the right medication.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Taarna
Report

Yes - long before my moms stroke - a decade or more my mom took that to help quit smoking and it was horrible and she took herself off of it- I since have known a few other people ages 30-50 who have had the same reactions to Wellbutrin and had to discontinue - I would report it to his doctor - he may have you start tapering off. It is so difficult with these meds as they take a month or more to test out and then they do the reverse - praying you find a new solution.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Momheal1
Report

So, my mother is 94+, has peripheral neuropathy in her legs/feet *and has for the past 12+ years*, dementia (moderately advanced now), and tremors in her hands. The neurologist said PD was not the problem 2 years ago when she examined my mother in the hospital during a stay for another bout of pneumonia. She did a 5 second test to determine if my mother had PD, and I can't remember what it was, but immediately said Nope, not PD. So, in the past 2 years, the hand tremors have not worsened, nor has she developed any other PD symptoms, so I'd have to say the test the neuro did was spot on.

Here is a link to a website that discusses a few simple hand tests that can be conducted to see if your DH may have PD (with videos showing you how to do the actual tests):

https://stanfordmedicine25.stanford.edu/the25/parkinsondisease.html

Mother has been taking enough Wellbutrin to make a horse happy since 2011. It hasn't contributed to her nasty temperament a bit; she's always been nasty, and she's still nasty! Cymbalta changed her into a civilized human being 100% who was actually nice to talk to, even, but made her dementia SO bad that she was falling so often (more than usual which is a lot) and lying on the floor of the Memory Care not even realizing she had fallen. So off the Cymbalta she went, and back onto the Wellbutrin and back to being the mean and miserable human she's always been. Yay.

I don't know if the Wellbutrin is contributing to your DH's nastiness or not, the only way to know for sure is to wean him off and see what happens *under his doctor's guidance, of course* My mother has always had hideous reactions to most meds, so I can rest assured there will be SOME madness to deal with if a new med is prescribed.

My mother doesn't have a low speaking voice, which is unfortunate really, b/c her constant talking in a loud voice is enough to drive a sane person to drinking. My father did, however, and I could barely hear him. It was not due to PD, though.........I'm not actually sure WHY he spoke so low that nobody could hear him prior to his death in 2015. He did have a brain tumor and as it grew larger, that's when his voice became inaudible. Did the tumor contribute to it? I have no idea.

I'm sorry you're going down the dementia highway because it truly stinks, all of it. My mother blames me for absolutely everything that's wrong in her life, but then again, she blamed my father for it before he died. The dementia has only worsened the toxic behavior she's always displayed. It's also exacerbated her depression issues and complaints of 'having the blues' I've heard ever since I was a child. The doctor will see her next week to decide if a new anti-depressant should be prescribed, God help us all.

Wishing you the best of luck trying to find peace amidst the chaos of dementia. Sending you a hug.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Jul 15, 2021
Your mom has had horrible reactions to meds. It’s truly sad for everyone concerned. It makes it very tough for you as her caregiver!
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
My husband had been prescribed several different drugs, commonly used for ALZ/dementia patients. One of them caused him to become extremely violent; in point of fact, he actually hit me, something he had never done in the 40+ years we were married. So, yes, it is possible the Wellbritin is contributing to the meanness.
I would talk to a pharmacist to see if they know of any similar problems with the Wellbritin.
Hugs
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Maple3044
Report

I've had a DatScan as part of qualifying for a PD drug trial. It does not tell you for sure if the patient has PD, just verifies that there is deterioration in the area of the brain that deals with dopamine. Very expensive, like $3-5000 if you ate paying cash. Tremor is not always present in PD. Skip the DatScan and just get a more skilled doctor, MDS not just a regular neurologist.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to vegaslady
Report

Don't bother with an expensive DatScan as they are not definitive. Contact the Parkinson's Foundation at 1 800 4 PD INFO to get a list of Movement Disorder Specialists in your area. They are neurologists who specialize in certain diseases like Parkinson's and MS. Getting a PD diagnosis is sometimes hard and sometimes easy. I know people who weren't properly diagnosed for 8 years because they mostly had what are known as non-motor symptoms, without a tremor. Me, I already knew I had PD when I first saw a neurologist...he just confirmed it. You can also ask about the Wellbutrin but I doubt if that is causing the problem. Possibly a progression of disease. But why not go back to Lexapro? I would try a different doctor for at least a consultation.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to vegaslady
Report
Monica19815 Jul 11, 2021
Thank you for your reply and suggestions! I was wondering if it sometimes took a long time to properly diagnose PD. I will look for a specialist in my area. The Lexapro really sapped his energy but his demeanor was much better. Maybe there is another solution that would help both issues.
(1)
Report
Personally I think you need to see another doctor. Or demand more testing.
He has classic signs and symptoms or Parkinson's and he should be checked for LBD. Lewey Body Dementia needs to be properly diagnosed so that appropriate medications can be given and more importantly there are some medications that should NOT be taken.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
Monica19815 Jul 10, 2021
Thanks so much for the reply. He was evaluated for cognitive impairment by a neuro at a very reputable hospital in our area one to two years ago. At that time he had to tremor and his voice was normal so they dismissed PD. I am afraid that, at this point, it will take a crisis for a proper diagnosis. I would gladly pay cash for a DaTscan but don't even know if that is a possibility.
(1)
Report
I am sorry you are going through this. I don't know specifically if Wellbutrin can cause the changes you are describing. What I can tell you is that I have dealt with all kinds of different personality changes from my husband being on (or going off) Cymbalta, Lyrica and Hydrocodone. It is very difficult to know which version of him is going to appear. Not all of it is medicine, I'm sure part of the change is related to his pain, suffering of various illnesses and the residual effects of the stroke. I know how it feels to walk on eggshells. He is not always like this though, and that gives me a reprieve. I can't imagine how hard it is for you to never get a break from bad behavior. I am also coming to think that maybe as people are getting worse and worse in their illnesses and sufferings, it is just a given that they begin to display narcissistic behaviors. I imagine that is because they are suffering so much and have been removed from regular life so long, that all they can focus on is their pain and their needs. I try to have compassion on my husband and realize this may be what is happening. It is not easy when the bad behaviors are happening though, as it is natural to get hurt feelings by it. Anyway, sorry I have no advice, but you are not alone!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to zeph317
Report
Monica19815 Jul 10, 2021
Your response is so appreciated and I thank you for it!! Great advice and insight. Thank you so very much!!
(1)
Report
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter