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Do Extra Strength Medications XL Really Work?

Medication Manager Life Coach: GO-GO-GO LIFT! LIFT! 1-2-3, LIFT!!!!
Medication Manager Life Coach: You CALL that EXTRA Strength!
Caption: Look How Far the Ordinary Medication goes to get the XL Label

My 9 Favorite Over-Medicated Cartoons | Over-Medicated Cartoon 2| Over-Medicated Cartoon 3| Over-Medicated Cartoon 4| Over-Medicated Cartoon 5| Over-Medicated Cartoon 6| Over-Medicated Cartoon 7| Over-Medicated Cartoon 8| Over-Medicated Cartoon 9

In this Mental Health Humor series of cartoons, we tackle the the huge question…”is Bigger Better?”

Labels can be confusing…”extra strength” or “maximum strength“…Best recognized in the mental health community and on psychotropic medications as XL or XR (extended release).

For example:

  • prescription medication Wellbutrin XL (Bupropion Hydrochloride Extended-Release.)
  • SEROQUEL XR bipolar disorder
  • Depakote ER
Do these drugs even work? As a consumer, who already takes meds –legally prescribed drugs, it was important that I decided to weigh the benefits of the XL or XR (extended release). And, of course, to research thoroughly what these labels actually mean.
When I was on Wellbutrin 150 mgItwice a day – i was never stable… I even had my diagnosis changed to Bipolar mixed state and rapid cycling. Yet, when Wellbutrin XL  came out and I was able to get on the manufacturer program to get it.  My moods evened out.  With that, my Diagnosis, went back to Bipolar Disorder 2 for a while. For me that worked…but that is not the same result for everyone.

Over-The-Counter Labels

If over-the-counter labels are important to decipher accurately…how more important is it to clearly understand our “prescription” drugs and their potency and possible side-effects and interactions with any other drugs. Asking questions is important. Accurate answers could save your health!
Always ask your Doctor and Pharmacist, in whom you trust and with whom you have honest communication, about any drug(s) you are not familiar with and any possible side-effects. Please, do Your own research about any drug you choose to take. Some claims about drugs, just aren’t true. Well, not true to you…meaning drugs affect us all differently. What may mean “extra” strength to someone else: could mean “ordinary” to you!


Do Extra Strength Medications XL Really Work?

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2014). Do Extra Strength Medications XL Really Work?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Nov 2014
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