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Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: wellbutrin & acetylcholine


 Anonymous - Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:45 pm

hi, i started taking wellbutrin a few days ago and recently read that it has moderate anticholinergic effects. this isn't something i would particularly want as im taking this for ADD and depression. i was considering taking a choline supplement (my inital posting was to ask how this would react with the wellbutrin) but then i came apon this:

The efficacy, benefits and negative side effects of these supplements is a topic of continuing debate; research in the New England Journal of Medicine[citation needed] has suggested that choline supplements could have a detrimental effect on individuals who suffer from clinical depression or bipolar disorder, who seem to be hypersensitive to acetylcholine.


will wellbutrin will negativily effect my intelligence and concentration, and if there is anything i can do to prevent lower levels of acetylcholine?
i've been taking it for two days and i already kind of feel kind of dumbed down a bit. im making simple mistakes and forgetting words. a problem which seems to spring of from time to time anyway, perhaps due to some supplement im taking. thanks in advance
 Dr. K. Eisele - Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:53 am

User avatar Banjo:

Actually Wellbutrin has much less anticholinergic effect than other antidepressants. It is known to be helpful for attention deficit disorders as well. According to your source, it is the choline that would be doing the "dumbing-down," not the antidepressant.

Attention deficit disorders respond to dopamine and norepinephrine, and maybe serotonin, but mainly dopamine. Wellbutrin is a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, which means that it causes more dopamine and norepinephrine to be available to help the attention problem.

The happy coincidence (if you believe in coincidence, anyway--I don't) is that depression responds to norepinephrine, dopamine, and especially serotonin.

Acetylcholine opposes/moderates dopamine transmission, in some parts of the brain. An excellent example that demonstrates the relationship between dopamine and acetylcholine is the difference between Parkinson's disease and Huntington's Chorea. An oversimplified explanation is that in Parkinson's disease dopamine is deficient. In Huntington's chorea, acetylcholine is deficient. One of the lead-in symptoms of Parkinson's disease is depression.

Hope this is helpful.

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