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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What could cause severe tremors while on Wellbutrin for quitting smoking?

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Dr. Ashok Kumar

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 2864 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 18 Oct 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: My sister is 67 y/o, smoker and in relatively good health. She has recently had an episode of severe tremors in her entire body including her head which was jerking also. Not as bad as a person having convulsions. She thought it might have been due to change in medications but has since been changed back to original meds. She was prescribed Wellbutrin to help her quit smoking so we thought it might have been the cause of the tremors. We went to the emergency room and was told they thought it was the Wellbutrin. She was given an injection of Ativan. This all started about 3 weeks ago. She has still been having weakness in her legs and also has affected her left foot and falling. Tremors have pretty much gone but still has slight shaking. She has had bloodwork and it all is good. Dr. is not sure if it is neurological or what is going on. She will be ordering scans or MRI of her brain. Do you have any ideas as to what could be causing this?
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Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 43 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Consultation.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

I read your query and understand your concerns.

I request you to shoot a video of her tremors and post back to me. In case that is not possible please just try to make a mimicry of her first episode tremors and make a video of it.

Without observation of tremors I do not think it is possible to make a conclusive answer.

Having said this I like to state that drug induced as well as drug withdrawal tremors are very common and Wellbutrin could be a cause provided there is no other explanation.

Considering the fact that she is relatively healthy possibility of drug induced tremor is more in compare to other etiologies.

Possibility of neurological illness can be ruled out with MRI scan of the brain.

I hope this helps you.

Regards,

Dr. Ashok Kumar,
Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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