Muscle Spasms&Stomach Pain
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Q:  Muscle Spasms & Stomach Pain-Med Related?

Dr. Phelps,

I am diagnosed with bp11 and ADHD.  I have shown some improvement on the Trileptal.  Recently I have had a major depressive episode (most likely related to seasonal changes).  My doctor put me on a low dose of Wellbutrin for the depresson and ADHD.  The Wellburtin has helped some.  I have also noticed that I'm having muscel spasms, stomach pain, and sometimes feel like people are looking at me. I'm wondering how much of it is the Wellbutrin and how much of it could be me.

Dear Karen -- 
Well, yes, I think the Wellbutrin could do that. ("I think", because it's not something we see with Wellbutrin often; but I saw a patient who had gotten muscle spasms so severe it was thought perhaps to be a seizure, in this case when Wellbutrin was added to Paxil). 

  Not sure what that stomach pain is, except that in folks with "irritable bowel syndrome", which is common with bipolar disorder, when anxiety/energy goes up, often the IBS gets worse too.  Similarly, the Wellbutrin could be doing something similar to muscle tone (IBS for the gut muscles, "muscle spasms" for the skeletal muscles) and thereby cause the spasms you've noted.  Ask you doctor -- including maybe a trial of tapering down to see what happens?  Maybe substitute a trial of light therapy if things get worse again?

Dr. Phelps

Published December, 2001


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