Is it safe to take medication at regular intervals?

In summary: I would definitely talk to your doctor about long term useage, side effects and dependency. Bring up your concern about it, and see what he says.
  • #1
ShawnD
Science Advisor
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I have a prescription for Wellbutrin, a drug which blocks reuptake of dopamine (strong) and noradrenaline (weak). I got this prescription because my family wasn't keen on my idea of self-medicating with ephedrine (strong noradrenaline response) and caffeine (strong dopamine response). I was very curious to see if this drug actually works, so I chewed the first pill in order to get all of the drug as an instant release. Outlook on life is great, I feel motivated to do things, and right now I feel very happy. Overall I would say this drug is very effective.

Now comes the tricky part. Do I take this medication as prescribed, for an indefinite period of time? My concern is that it will work now, but will cause severe problems in the long run. People who take things like Paxil end up being very reliant on Paxil, and the withdrawal from that medication is arguably worse than the depression it's supposed to treat. People who take lots of street drugs say over and over again that they need drugs just to make them feel normal again. People who smoke cigarettes have severe withdrawal when they try to stop.

Do I take the medication as prescribed? It seems less likely to lead to addiction if I use medication sparingly, but maybe there's something I'm missing here. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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  • #2
I'd be really surprised if you could chew up a tablet of Wellbutrin and have any kind of legitimate "instant" therapeutic effect. I'd say it's all placebo.

Take the drug as directed by your doctor.

- Warren
 
  • #3
Shawn, I can't speak to the medical side of this question. I'm not qualified; you should check with your doctor.

But I do have an opinion about meds in general. There's a widespread belief (at least among the people I know) that if you don't take meds, you're somehow a better person.

For example, I can't stand hearing people BRAG that "I don't take any pills, not even aspirin," usually in a holier-than-thou tone.

Complete bunk! Look, some people have medical issues and need to take medications. So what?

If you take meds to be healthy, so be it. There's no sense at all in being miserable when help is right there. Be thankful that medical science is here for you.
 
  • #4
You should talk to your doctor about long term useage, side effects and dependency. Bring up your concern about it, and see what he says.
 
  • #5
chroot said:
I'd be really surprised if you could chew up a tablet of Wellbutrin and have any kind of legitimate "instant" therapeutic effect. I'd say it's all placebo.

Take the drug as directed by your doctor.

Pills are time released. That's why the pills have letters at the end such as IR (instant release), SR (slow release), or XR (extended release). The instructions for those kinds of drugs specifically say not to chew the pill, because then everything is instant release.

I trust patients more than I trust doctors, that's why I'm asking for advice here.
 
  • #6
Hi, Shawn. I was on Wellbutrin for several years, then a combination of that and Citalopram, and just dropped the Wellbutrin a few weeks ago. For me, the Citalopram (SSRI) works just as well as or better than the combination.
With any of those things, it takes at least a week or 2 before you'll notice any effect, and it will be a gradual change. If you think that you feel it right away, it's almost certainly a placebo factor.
Always take the meds in the prescribed manner (no chewing unless directed to). I've never noticed any sort of dependency myself, other than feeling a bit owly if I miss more than a few days due to a lapsed perscription or something.
 
  • #7
I'm glad to hear you didn't notice any dependency problems. That has always been my biggest concern when taking any kind of medication.
 

1. Is it safe to take medication at regular intervals?

Yes, it is generally safe to take medication at regular intervals as prescribed by your doctor or healthcare provider. This ensures consistent levels of medication in your body, helping it to work effectively and preventing potential side effects from missed or irregular doses.

2. Can I adjust the intervals at which I take my medication?

No, it is important to follow the prescribed intervals for taking your medication. Changing the intervals without consulting your doctor can disrupt the effectiveness of the medication and may lead to potential harm or complications.

3. Are there any risks associated with taking medication at regular intervals?

In general, taking medication at regular intervals is safe. However, some medications may have specific instructions for timing or may interact with other medications or food, so it is always important to follow your doctor's instructions and inform them of any other medications you may be taking.

4. What should I do if I miss a dose at a regular interval?

If you miss a dose of medication at a regular interval, it is important to take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time of your next dose, it is best to wait and take the next dose at the regular time. Do not double up on doses unless instructed by your doctor.

5. Can I stop taking my medication at regular intervals when I start feeling better?

No, it is important to continue taking your medication at regular intervals until your doctor instructs you to stop. Stopping medication too soon can lead to a relapse of symptoms or may not fully treat the underlying condition. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your medication schedule.

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