Wellbutrin Side Effects

Pregnancy can be a stressful affair for many women. The fluctuating hormonal levels as well as the obvious physical changes that the female body goes through during the various trimesters may result in a depressive state setting in.
Wellbutrin is often prescribed to pregnant women to counter any possible depressive moods. However, Wellbutrin has been found to have side effects that may lead to the newborn child(ren) having birth defects when taken by the expecting mother.

What is Wellbutrin (bupropion)

Wellbutrin is a psychotropic drug that is prescribed for treating major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. It has been manufactured and marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) since 1985. It is typically not the first choice of psychiatrists for suppressing the symptoms of depression in pregnant women. Thus, Wellbutrin is usually prescribed to pregnant women when they are not responding well to other conventional treatments involving tircyclic and SSRI antidepressants such as Pamelor and Zoloft. Another factor for its preference for pregnant women is that side-effects concerning weight gain are less common.

Wellbutrin's generic name is bupropion and works by affecting the way that certain chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, transmit messages. Many in the psychiatric community believe that bupropion, or Wellbutrin, works by correcting an unbalance of chemicals in your brain, such as dopamine and serotonin. These substances have a mood uplifting affect and their reuptake by the brain after they have been released is prevented by psychotropic drugs such as Wellbutrin

Wellbutrin Side Effects

Bupropion is a drug used to treat depression. The drug may also be prescribed to those who intend to quit smoking. It is sold under different brand names, such as Wellbutrin. This drug, however, can trigger the following side effects, which may require seeing a doctor at once:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shaking
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Hyperventilation
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety

Wellbutrin Birth Defects

Information regarding birth defects that have been linked to the use of Wellbutrin by pregnant women has come out from the data compiled in GSK's own Bupropion Pregnancy Registry. The following birth defects have been found to be associated with the use of Wellbutrin during the first trimester.

Heart defects

Taking Wellbutrin during the first trimester of pregnancy has been associated with the development of certain heart defects among newborn infants. Termed as left outflow tract defects, their likelihood was determined by researchers working at the Sloan Epidemiology Center of Boston University. This finding was in connection to a much larger ongoing Birth Defects Study being conducted at the research center.

A positive connection between Wellbutrin use during the early pregnancy period and heart defects was also reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Researchers worked with data collected on a total of 12,722 infants. The analyses revealed that the chances of left outflow tract heart defects increased twofold in cases when the pregnant woman is taking Wellbutrin in the period starting a month before conception and till 3 months after it. The findings were published in the AJOG's July 2010 Volume 203, Issue 1.


Craniosynostosis is the term given to a birth defect that causes the gaps between the bony plates of a baby's skull to close prematurely. Normally these gaps or sutures close when the child has attained an age of 2 to 3 years and his or her head has acquired a rounded form. Thus this birth defect results in an infant's head to have an abnormal shape.

The June 2007 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine reported in the findings of a study conducted by Alwan et al. that there was an association found between the use of SSRIs such as Wellbutrin and Paxil by pregnant women in the first trimester and the occurrence Craniosynostosis.


This birth defect causes various organs of the abdomen to protrude through the belly button. Since abdominal parts such as the liver, spleen and the intestines are only covered with a thin tissue-based layer, they are clearly visible when they are sticking out in the navel area.

The study by Alwan et al. also found an association between maternal use of SSRIs such as bupropion and paroxetine in the first 3 months of pregnancy and omphalocele.

Basis for a Wellbutrin Birth Defects Lawsuit

Reports in the media regarding the recall of a particular form of Wellbutrin serve as a red flag. In October 2012, Forbes reported that the FDA had determined that the 300 mg version of Wellbutrin was ineffective. It was also reported that initially the FDA had only approved the lower 150 mg dosage version of Wellbutrin and the one with the higher dose was marketed by the drug maker without specific approval.

The mixed reports regarding the safety and efficacy of Wellbutrin are grounds enough for filing a Wellbutrin birth defects lawsuit. Your case will be furthered supported by scientific research that has been published regarding the links between Wellbutrin the aforementioned birth defects.

Making a Case

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) has been classified as a Pregnancy Category C drug by the FDA. All drugs that fall into this category have demonstrated a damaging effect on the fetus during animal reproductive studies. Furthermore, Pregnancy Category C drugs have not been put through any well-controlled human trials and are prescribed despite potential risks to unborn babies.

If you or your loved one has experienced birth-defects such as those related to the heart, skull or abdomen in their newborn and used Wellbutrin during the pregnancy period, you should typically be eligible to file a lawsuit against the drug's maker and distributer. If you refer your case to an attorney that is experienced in filing lawsuits related to Wellbutrin birth defects, you can increase your chances of receiving compensation against the expenses and suffering that you and your child have experienced and may do in future as well.

For acquiring more information regarding your particular situation, please use the form provided on this page.


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Q:Can you tell me about Wellbutrin Side Effects in pregnancy?

A:Wellbutrin has been linked to various birth defects, when the drug is used in pregnancy. The health of babies can be affected in many ways and they may suffer from various complications. They can have diseases like heart defects, problems in skull, and organ defects in liver, spleen or intestines.

Q:What can I do if my baby is suffering from Wellbutrin birth defects?

A:If your baby is suffering from any Wellbutrin birth defects, you are eligible to file a lawsuit against the drug maker and the distributer. If you contact an experienced attorney, you will have more chances of having compensation against the suffering, and expenses that your child may have gone through.

Q:Can you tell me about Wellbutrin and legal issues associated with it?

A:Wellbutrin is classified as a category C drug by FDA. All drugs in this category have indicated damaging effects on fetuses during animal reproductive studies. These drugs have not been put through appropriate human trials and are prescribed despite potential risks. If you or your loved one has experienced Wellbutrin side effects, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer and distributor.

Q:What are Wellbutrin psychological side effects?

A:There are a number of psychological side effects caused by the drug. Although, these side effects are rare, they do affect those using the drug. Psychological side effects include delusions, excessive cheerfulness and activity, paranoia, loss of normal personality and reality, suicidal thoughts, thoughts of hurting others, aggressive behavior, and anger.

Q:When should one contact a Wellbutrin side effects lawyer?

A:If you or loved one has suffered any kind of side effects after using Wellbutrin, you are eligible to file a lawsuit and demand compensation, against the suffering and expenses incurred. In order to have an effective lawsuit, it is preferable that you contact a lawyer who is experienced in cases related to the side effects of Wellbutrin.

Q:I have heard that there are several bad side effects of Wellbutrin on babies. Can Omphalocele be linked to Wellbutrin?

A:Yes, Omphalocele is also one of the birth defects found in unborn or newborn babies, where mothers used Wellbutrin in pregnancy. If you or your loved ones are suffering from the side effects of the drug, it is strongly recommended that you contact a Wellbutrin lawyer, and file a lawsuit for compensation.

Q:Are there any side effects from stopping Wellbutrin?

A:Although, any serious symptoms of withdrawing Wellbutrin are not known, it is recommended that you see a doctor and find out how to stop using the drug. Usually, gradual tapering of the drug is done, so that depression symptoms do not return and side effects are minimized. Do not stop using the drug without consultation.

Q:Can you tell me about antidepressants Wellbutrin side effects?

A:While there are many birth defects associated with the use of Wellbutrin, there can be several side effects on the patient as well. Less serious effects include drowsiness, nausea, headache, dizziness, sweating, and weight loss. While serious side effects include trouble breathing, irrational fears, confusion, seizures, hallucinations, and irregular heartbeat.

Q:What are the long term side effects of Wellbutrin?

A:The long term side effects of the drug are unknown. However, there are some serious side effects experienced by people using the drug. These side effects include anxiety, lack of trust, agitation, hallucination, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate. It may also increase the risk of liver disease, dependence on alcohol, and food disorders.

Q:Is Wellbutrin safe to use in pregnancy?

A:Wellbutrin is not a safe option if you are suffering from depression and want to use it during pregnancy. It can have several side effects on the mother. Besides, there are serious birth defects associated with it. It is not safe for you or your baby to use the drug, and you must discuss its side effects with a physician, if you have been prescribed with it.

Q:Can you tell me about the common side effects of Wellbutrin?

A:Wellbutrin may have a number of side effects, which can vary in patients. The most common side effects of Wellbutrin include dry mouth, agitation, nausea, insomnia, headache, constipation, and tremors. Patients may experience side effects such as weight loss, and seizures may also occur when a high dose of the drug is taken.

Q:Can nausea and dry mouth occur as Wellbutrin initial side effects?

A:Yes, nausea and dry mouth are among the common initial side effects experienced by patients who are using the drug. There are several other side effects associated with the drug as well, such as headache, constipation, weight loss, and tremors. If you are experiencing such effects, it is best to consult your doctor and discuss your condition in detail.

Q:Can you give me tips about getting off Wellbutrin side effects?

A:If you are experiencing Wellbutrin side effects, it is best to consult your doctor. Your doctor may replace your medicines or will guide you about reducing the side effects. However, it is not recommended that you stop Wellbutrin abruptly, without a consultation with your doctor, as it can cause several adverse effects.

Q:I have heard of various starting Wellbutrin side effects. Is it a safe drug?

A:The drug Wellbutrin can come with several starting side effects, which can vary among patients. Common side effects include dry mouth, agitation, insomnia, tremors, and constipation. Patients may experience weight loss. It is recommended that you discuss the effects of drug in detail with your doctor, and be very careful of using this drug in pregnancy, as it can result in various birth defects.

Q:Is Wellbutrin addictive?

A:There is not much research about the drug to say conclusively that it causes addiction in patients. As of now, there are no formal statistics available to support that it is addictive. However, you may consult your doctor before starting or withdrawing the drug, as it may contain various other side effects.

Q:Can you tell me how to minimize side effects of stopping Wellbutrin?

A:If you wish to stop the intake of Wellbutrin, you will need to consult your doctor first. Abruptly stopping the drug may result in several side effects and worsening of your condition. Usually, a slow tapering of the drug is advised to reduce side effects or prevent any adverse reactions.

Q:I have heard that people experience various side effects from Wellbutrin. Can I look for other drug options?

A:Yes, Wellbutrin has a number of side effects. It can cause adverse reactions and is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, as it may result in various birth defects. If you are prescribed Wellbutrin by your doctor, it is better to discuss the side effects, and look for substitute medicines, with a fewer side effects.

Q:Can you give me some key information on depression Wellbutrin?

A:Wellbutrin is a psychotropic drug, and is prescribed to treat patients who are going through a major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. It is not a preferred choice of psychiatrists to treat symptoms of depression in pregnant women, as it may lead to serious birth defects. It is usually prescribed in cases where other drugs are ineffective.