Wellbutrin Side Effects

Potential Wellbutrin side effects like PPHN may lead to injury lawsuits being filed by patients. Contact a Wellbutrin attorney to discuss your legal options.

Recent studies have indicated that the antidepressant Wellbutrin may be associated with an increased risk of serious side effects, namely the development of birth defects among children exposed to the drug during pregnancy. Wellbutrin has been available in the U.S. since it garnered FDA approval in 1985, and is commonly prescribed to patients experiencing major depressive disorder or a condition called seasonal affective disorder, which is a type of depression that occurs mostly during the fall and winter. Wellbutrin (bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant, and functions by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Since its introduction, GlaxoSmithKline's Wellbutrin has become one of the most widely prescribed antidepressant drugs on the market. Unfortunately, an emerging body of research has identified Wellbutrin use in pregnancy as a potential risk factor for the development of major side effects or 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 Side Effects

Researchers have indicated that women who take certain antidepressant drugs while pregnant may have a significantly increased risk of giving birth to children with one or more major birth defects. Among these potential Wellbutrin birth defects are:
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Omphalocele
  • Heart defects
  • Anal atresia
  • Limb defects
  • Neural tube defects
Due to the severity of these side effects, healthcare providers are advised to carefully consider all possible benefits and potential risks of Wellbutrin treatment before prescribing the drug to women of childbearing age.

Wellbutrin Side Effect Studies

In 1997, GlaxoSmithKline developed the Bupropion Pregnancy Registry in order to observe the outcomes of pregnancies involving women who took Wellbutrin while pregnant. By 2008, GSK indicated that 3.6% of the small group of infants involved in the study who were exposed to Wellbutrin during pregnancy were born with major birth defects. Heart defects were one of the most common types of malformations researchers observed, affecting 1.3% of children whose mothers took Wellbutrin while pregnant. In 2006, the New England Journal of Medicine published a revealing study in which researchers found a shocking six-times increased risk of PPHN among children whose mothers took certain antidepressant drugs after the twentieth week of pregnancy, compared to unexposed children.
The following year, the NEJM published two additional studies in which researchers examined the adverse effects of fetal exposure to certain antidepressant drugs, the first of which indicated that children whose mothers took certain antidepressant drugs during early pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to develop birth defects like anal atresia, club foot and limb defects. According to the second study, children exposed to certain antidepressants in pregnancy were more than twice as likely to suffer from devastating birth defects like anencephaly, craniosynostosis and omphalocele. In 2010, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a study in which researchers indicated that women who took Wellbutrin in early pregnancy were significantly more likely to give birth to a baby with a particular type of heart defect called a left outflow tract defect.

Wellbutrin Use in Pregnancy

Wellbutrin has been classified by the FDA as a pregnancy category C medication, which means it may cause serious harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Wellbutrin and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your healthcare provider to discuss alternative treatment options. You should never stop taking a prescription drug without medical consent, as this may cause serious harm to you or your child. However, with the help of your physician, you may be able to find a safer way to treat your medical condition.

Wellbutrin Attorneys for Side Effects

The side effects allegedly linked to Wellbutrin are serious and can significantly alter an affected child's quality of life. If you or a loved one has suffered from a side effect or birth defect and you believe Wellbutrin to be the cause, contact a Wellbutrin attorney to discuss your compensation options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing a Wellbutrin lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, and you should not be held responsible for the resulting consequences. Drug companies like GSK are expected to produce safe and effective medications, and should be held liable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. With the help of a Wellbutrin attorney, victims of potential Wellbutrin side effects can protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve.

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