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Hi, everyone. I'm new to the board and am in search of some answers about the comparison between Wellbutrin XL and SR.

My boyfriend has been on Ritalin + 300mg Wellbutrin XL for about a month now due to moderate adult ADD, and this combination's done wonders for him. He's taking the XL at about 11pm, and this gets him awake and ready to go to work quickly in the morning. Work puts significant demands for concentration on him - and this is just fine until about 5pm, when he's found that the XL wears off and his ability to focus is pretty much gone.

After sharing this with his doctor, the doc put him on Wellbutrin SR, 2x/day, 200mg/time. This just happened today, so he hasn't started the dosage yet. We are wondering how he should time his doses to facilitate maximum concentration at work for the maximum amount of hours. If he needs to work till 7 or 8pm - this has previously been impossible on XL because it has worn off, leaving him unable to focus past 5pm. He's hoping to time doses of SR so that working late, and concentrating while doing so, will be possible. We know it needs to be 6-10 hrs apart - but should he still take the SR at night so it can kick in first thing in the morning? Should he take it in the morning because it will kick in sooner than XL does? How long should he expect to feel the effects of a dose of SR?

The doctor had little to no input on this. So I'm hoping someone here can answer my questions:

1. *How much* faster does SR release than XL? Like, would a dose of SR taken at 3 am make one peak at 8am or at noon? and when would that dose's effects stop being felt?

2. Would a dose of SR taken at noon make one only start feeling that dose's effects a few hours later (making a person who works "lose a few hours" in the afternoon before the SR would kick in)? For how long, in the course of the day, does one usually feel the effects of Wellbutrin SR?

What is your boyfriend's Ritalin dose? When does he take it? Is it a time release or an instant release formula?

The reason I ask is that Wellbutrin is not a stimulant and doesn't have the peaks and valleys effect of stimulant meds. Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that is only used off-label as a treatment for ADHD, and like most antidepressants takes time for the effect to build up (two weeks to a month). Once the effect is in place, it shouldn't wax and wane. As a Dopamine and Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, it will lead to a constantly higher supply of those neurotransmitters, and that should not vary by time of day.

On the other hand, Ritalin [i]is[/i] a stimulant med and works only for a short time. Ritalin instant release formulas are generally active for about four hours, sustained release formulas for twice that. It is likely the loss of the Ritalin effect that's causing your boyfriend's lack of focus after 5 pm. In my experience, your boyfriend should talk to his doctor about getting an IR dose of Ritalin to compliment his SR on days that he's required to focus past 5.

As Wellbutrin is not a stimulant, it shouldn't matter what time of day your boyfriend takes it, it shouldn't interfere with his sleep.

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