Wellbutrin Birth Defects

Wellbutrin and birth defects may be linked in recent studies.  Attorneys across the country are investigating birth defect claims filed by Wellbutrin patients. Contact an experienced Wellbutrin attorney for legal help.

Despite the popularity of the antidepressant Wellbutrin, serious doubts have been raised about the safety of the medication, especially in the treatment of pregnant women, due to the possible risk of major birth defects. Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and prescribed to patients struggling with major depressive disorder or seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression occurring mostly in the winter and fall. Wellbutrin (bupropion) was approved by the FDA in 1985 and functions by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for affecting mood. Since its introduction, Wellbutrin has become one of the most widely prescribed antidepressant drugs available. Unfortunately, recent studies have indicated that Wellbutrin use in pregnancy may be linked to the development of major birth defects. If you took Wellbutrin while pregnant and your child was born with a serious birth defect, contact a Wellbutrin attorney for legal help.

Potential Wellbutrin Birth Defects

According to an emerging body of research, children born to women who take the antidepressant Wellbutrin while pregnant may have a significantly increased risk of developing serious side effects. Among these possible Wellbutrin side effects are birth defects like:
  • Heart defects
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Neural tube defects
  • Anal atresia
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Omphalocele
  • Limb defects
Due to the severity of these birth defects, the FDA has advised that physicians carefully consider all possible benefits and potential risks of Wellbutrin treatment before prescribing the drug to women of childbearing age. In light of this birth defect risk, the FDA has also classified Wellbutrin as a pregnancy category C medication, warning consumers that it has the potential to cause serious harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy.

FDA Warnings and Wellbutrin Side Effect Studies

The FDA issued a public health advisory in 2006 warning patients and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of the birth defect PPHN among children exposed to certain antidepressant drugs while pregnant. This FDA warning came on the heels of a New England Journal of Medicine study, in which researchers found a shocking six-times increased risk of PPHN among children whose mothers took certain antidepressants during the third trimester of pregnancy. In 1997, GlaxoSmithKline developed the Bupropion Pregnancy Registry in order to observe the effects of fetal exposure to the antidepressant Wellbutrin. By 2008, Glaxo indicated that 3.6% of the group of children involved in the study who were exposed to Wellbutrin in utero were born with major birth defects. In 2007, the NEJM published two additional antidepressant side effect studies, establishing a potential link between certain antidepressants in pregnancy and life-altering birth defects, including neural tube defects and cranial defects like craniosynostosis.

Wellbutrin Attorneys for Birth Defects

The birth defects allegedly linked to Wellbutrin have the potential to severely restrict an affected individual's ability to perform even simple, everyday tasks. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect like PPHN, and you believe Wellbutrin to be the cause, contact a Wellbutrin attorney for legal help. You may have grounds to file a Wellbutrin lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical cost of treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. It is the duty of drug companies like Glaxo to manufacture safe medications and to immediately notify consumers of any possible side effects of their drugs. Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies intentionally withhold dangerous drug information, in an attempt to make their product more appealing to the public. By hiring an experienced Wellbutrin lawyer to represent your case, you can collect the compensation you deserve and protect yourself and your family from further harm.

Prescription Drugs in The News