Professor claims Wellbutrin does not have a lethal dose

  1. On on one of my latest psych test the professor had a question comparing tricyclic antidepressants to Wellbutrin. The professor stated the correct answer for the question was that Wellbutrin does not have a potentially lethal dose.

    I checked the package insert and the PDR to verify that there is a lethal dose for Wellbutrin. The professor disagreed with the package insert, the PDR and with me. She said the answer she gave is correct and that is the end of discussion. She told our entire class that Wellbutrin does not have a lethal dose.

    I am floored. I can only imagine one of my classmates telling a depressed patient...."Go ahead and take all the Wellbutrin you want when you are feeling down....it can't hurt you"

    Somebody I'm sure will get a patient killed if they follow this advice. I have brought up my professors error the the department head but am finding she is of no use either.

    What advice would you give to corrrect this dissemination of incorrect information to class of 60 nursing students?? Should I go talk to the dean or just let it go??
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Melina
    She "disagreed" with the PDR?? Is she an RN educator? I would be worried about my license if I were her.

    ~Mel'
  4. by   DrugReptoNurse
    She has a MSN and has been teaching at the university for over ten years.
  5. by   jmgrn65
    well ask if she is willing to take 10 or even 20 150mg tablets of wellbutrin to test her theory! I bet she would back down on that one real quick.
  6. by   sunnyjohn
    Hypertension, Liver failure?

    Maybe your professor misunderstood... Seems strange. Everything has a "lethal" dose, even air.
  7. by   EricJRN
    Even at therapeutic doses, Wellbutrin has some risk of lethality from status epilepticus if given to a patient with decreased seizure threshold.

    Always hard to know how to handle these situations with professors. Since it was only one question, I would probably file it away in the back of my mind for now. I will admit that it is scary that she couldn't admit the error or show documentation for her point.
  8. by   neneRN
    EVERY med has a lethal dose; I'm sure there are dosing instructions on Wellbutrin like any other med, and that's for a reason; like another poster said, otherwise you could just take as many as you wanted until you felt "better"
  9. by   kukukajoo
    WOW!! Rock in a hard place for you- if you challenge, she may retialiate, but she SHOULD not be giving out incorrect information. I am one of those who look for the information if I get an answer wrong and if I find the test is incorrect, then I challenge, and the reactions from the professors is not very good. They have gotten really annoyed even when I can show them in the text that answer B is correct because it is written verbatim in the book and refused to give me the points.
  10. by   Vida
    Fight it! Fight everything! Why should they get away with giving out wrong information? ESPECIALLY when it risks the health other people?
    I had this one prof who was such a flake - making alot of students miserable, so I actually went ahead and challenged her, and spoke with her head...for 5 things - including giving out wrong info and breaches of confidentiality. They sent her away for a year. If you do it professionally and properly, it works.

    I was a student in the 1st yr of a revised lpn program, and man they didnt really have their SH#$ together. I complained about everything. But, politley. One teacher suggested I create a students council for the program to facilitate thoughts/concerns between students and faculty. I did. It worked. Every week our little council met with the program coordinator to talk about our concerns.
    Get what you pay for, advocate for other students, protect the public from morons, dont let them get away with it!

    yeeeee

    Vida
  11. by   TachyBrady
    I think what your professor is getting at is that an overdose of a tricyclic is acutely lethal causing cardiac dysrhthmias whereas an overdose of wellbutrin will not immediately harm a person. Like tylenol, wellbutrin may have eventual liver (or other) damage but an overdose will not kill you right then and there. I beleive this is one of the reasons that tricyclics are not as popular as they once were. I also beleive that d/t the acute lethal affects of tricyclics, they are prescribed only in small amounts... 2-4 week supply at a time. If a person REALLY wanted to commit suicide and die, the way to go would be a tricyclic overdose... quick, sure, and relatively painless.
  12. by   TachyBrady
    p.s. surely to gosh your class mates have more common sense than to tell a patient to take a med other than prescribed.
  13. by   DrugReptoNurse
    I spoke to the chairperson today of the psychiatric nursing department. I was told that the answer "Wellbutrin does not have a lethal dose" is correct.

    I am seriously considering switching nursing schools after hearing this. I can't believe I am dealing with instructors who disagree with the Physicians Desk Reference.
  14. by   morte
    Quote from DrugReptoNurse
    I spoke to the chairperson today of the psychiatric nursing department. I was told that the answer "Wellbutrin does not have a lethal dose" is correct.

    I am seriously considering switching nursing schools after hearing this. I can't believe I am dealing with instructors who disagree with the Physicians Desk Reference.
    get it in writing, signed, with explanation

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