Wellbutrin (known generically as bupropion hydrochloride) is approved to treat patients with major depressive disorder. Wellbutrin side effects may include serious health events, such as Wellbutrin birth defects in infants when taking Wellbutrin while pregnant. Those birth defects include potentially serious congenital heart defects.
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Wellbutrin Birth Defects
An article published in the July 2010 issue of American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology suggests an increased risk of congenital heart defects when infants are exposed to Wellbutrin during early pregnancy. Specifically, an association was found between the use of Wellbutrin during the first trimester and left outflow tract defect, which can restrict blood flow to the infant's body from the left chambers of the heart. Infants born with left outflow tract defect often require surgery to correct the problem.
Left outflow heart defects include coarction of the aorta, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, pulmonary stenosis, aortic stenosis, teralogy of fallot ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects.
The study involved data from 12,700 children born in the US between 1997 and 2004. Researchers found that infants exposed to bupropion during the first trimester were more than two times as likely to have a congenital heart problem. At the time, researchers recommended further studies be conducted.
Wellbutrin is classed as Pregnancy Category C, meaning there are studies conducted in animals that demonstrate a potential risk to the fetus, but there are currently not enough human studies.
Wellbutrin Side Effects
In 1996, the FDA approved a sustained-release tablet of bupropion hydrochloride called Wellbutrin SR and, in 2003, approved an extended-release tablet known as Wellbutrin XL—all manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. The drug was pulled a year later due to the high number of seizures associated with Wellbutrin side effects, but in 1989 federal reviewers allowed it back on the market after determining that reports of seizures were dose specific--Glaxo lowered the daily dosage of the drug.
Wellbutrin belongs to the aminoketone class. It is structurally and chemically unlike other antidepressants, such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. The mechanism of its therapeutic actions is not well understood, but it does appear to block dopamine uptake. Wellbutrin is sometimes used "off-label" for ADHD, weight loss, and even sexual dysfunction.
Wellbutrin FDA Warning
In 2004 GlaxoSmithKline, along with the FDA, issued a Wellbutrin warning to healthcare professionals stating in part, that patients being treated with antidepressants may "experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior". Professionals were encouraged to watch closely for signs of "clinical worsening and suicidality" in their patients, particularly when starting or stopping the drug, as well as when dosages are changed.
Wellbutrin Depression and Suicidal Thoughts
In October 2004 the FDA approved the following for inclusion on a "black box" warning: Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents with MDD and other psychiatric disorders." Wellbutrin is not approved by the FDA to treat depression in children. Patients, especially those younger than 24 years of age, can experience worsening suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Zyban Side Effects
Like Wellbutrin, Zyban is known generically as bupropion hydrochloride. Zyban is used as a smoking cessation drug and Zyban side effects may be similar to Wellbutrin side effects. On July 1, 2009, the FDA required the maker of Zyban to include a boxed warning about the risk of mental health events. Such Zyban adverse effects could include changes in behavior, depressed mood, hostility and suicidal thoughts, in patients when taking Zyban.
Wellbutrin Legal Help
If you or a loved one has experienced side effects from the use of Wellbutrin or if you have taken Wellbutrin while pregnant and your child has suffered from a birth defect, please click the link below to submit your complaint and we will have a lawyer review your case.
Seattle, WA It has been just over a year since a study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology suggesting a link between the use of Wellbutrin early in pregnancy and the development of Wellbutrin birth defects. The study concluded that more data would be needed to confirm potential Wellbutrin side effects on infants. Additional studies have not been conducted, but the FDA has Wellbutrin in pregnancy category C and suggests that it should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk [READ MORE]
Washington, DC There appears to be some disconnect as to just what FDA pregnancy category Wellbutrin is assigned to. Most sources hold that the drug is categorized as 'C', which is described by the Journal of Counseling and Development (JCD) as posing a potential risk to the fetus that cannot be ruled out, due to the fact that animal-based studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but that no well-controlled studies on pregnant women have shown conclusive results [READ MORE]
Durham, NC A long-promised crackdown on pharmaceutical executives accused of potential wrongdoing is gaining momentum with the indictment yesterday of a former vice president and legal counsel of GlaxoSmithKline (Glaxo). While the pharmaceutical giant is headquartered in the UK, its US operations are based in North Carolina [READ MORE]
I have lost my family because of this drug . it made me so depressed I tried to kill myself two times . I spent time in the hospital because this drug . I have a restraining order because I had such rage at times . I am or I should say married 23 years this drug kill my family . I wish I was never put on this . I have nothing anymore my family hates me this is a evil drug . I can't say all that has happened to me on this I'm do sad and mad . there has to be something done just make them stop giving to people .
Posted by Jes
I was never notified about the class action lawsuit a few years ago. I have experienced terrible side effects with bupropion XL 150 2x's a day from Teva pharmaceuticals, I noticed them and ask my doctor if anyone else has complained b/c it just didn't seem the same and more and more I didn't feel like myself almost like I was with-drawling and not taking anything at all. She switched me to SR type and I seen a difference. I am not sure has anyone else missed out on any of the class action lawsuits? Can we do anything now about it?
Posted by South Carolina
I was prescribed Wellbutrin for a minor depression problem by my GP. After a few months of taking it, I became suicidal, was having hallucinations, and had psychotic episodes. I was hospitalized several times in the psych ward.
Posted by West Virginia
I was given the generic form of Wellbutrin while pregnant for my daughter in 2008-2009 and she was born with reactive airway disease (RAD), a double aortic arch (which requires many doctor appointments and surgery), asthma, a hole in her voicebox that caused numerous cases of pnemonia, and sensory issues that she still deals with to this day. She has had tumors/cysts in her nose as well.
Posted by Illinois
My brother was recently prescribed Wellbutrin. He had been taking it for just over a month. On the 14th of this month he committed suicide. I could tell a big difference in him as soon as he started taking it.
Posted by Puerto Rico
My son was born in perfect condition but he was born 09/11/2004 with a heart pulmonary stenosis and has been treated since he was born. Also he lacks one testicle.
Posted by Texas
Wellbutrin was prescribed for my 20-year-old daughter for minor depression issues. After a couple of months, she could sleep less and less and had other side effects like shaking/tremors; then for 10 days she did not sleep at all (I wasn't aware of this as she was in college). Then she went into full-blown episode of basically going crazy, delusions, mania, and had to be hospitalized for 10 days. She had no prior history of psychotic problems.
Posted by Wisconsin
Two miscarriages because of taking Wellbutrin while pregnant. The doctors said that it would be worse to stop taking the Wellbutrin because it would be too much of a shock and that the medication would be safe.
Posted by Oklahoma
Mental anguish, family does not trust my abilities any more, my granddaughter hates me, she thinks I did it for attention. I live every day of life tormented by the fact that this drug caused my depression and destruction of my mind, nerves and in general I feel worthless now.
Posted by Texas
He is our 3rd child and totally different than the other 2, causes problems at all places, no one will take him, needs meds, and could be from the fact that I was on meds all during pregnancy. Other 2 kids are nothing like this.
Posted by California
While on Wellbutrin I experienced deep sadness accompanied by crying frequently. My employer became upset about my emotional condition and as a result I was laid off. When I quit taking the drug my crying, sadness and deep depression went away. It cost me a job that paid $67K ++.
Posted by California
Husband committed suicide while using wellbutrin at the age of 55. This was not a man who would have under normal circumstances done this. I found out after his death that he did not have the proper medical attention when he was prescribed this medication.
Posted by Oregon
I am 27 and have a 4 yo. son and live in Eugene, OR. I was prescribed Wellbutrin in the summer of 2006. Two days later I began having seizures which I had never had before. The seizures have been linked to the Wellbutrin and Wellbutrin was even taken off the market in the 70's due to people having seizures after taking it. I continue to have seizures two years later and during these seizures I almost always dislocated one of my shoulders and end up in the emergency room in pain and they have to put my shoulder back into place. This has happened 26 times. I have had surgeries on BOTH my shoulders in the last 6 months and I was scheduled for a third surgery today but was turned away this morning at McKenzie Willamette Hospital because i did not have $5000 to pay for the operating room. The seizures and resulting dislocation of my shoulders have left me unable to work and have also left me with mounting medical bills. I do receive OHP but it does not cover all the costs associated with the surgeries. Is there any class action suit currently and/or can you help me?
Posted by Colorado
I became manic, and addicted to spending money and charging - obsessive. I couldn't seem to control myself, and I have a huge amount of debt and still the urge to shop, and episodes of hypomania and suicidal ideation, in addition to being unable to make appropriate decisons regarding money and other basic issues.
Posted by Maine
I had never had suicidal thoughts or any attempts prior to taking the wellbutrin. My doctor ordered me to stay on the wellbutrin after the incident, and I did for nearly 3 years after out of fear that I was severely depressed. I have stoppped taking wellbutrin over a month ago, I havent felt better in years. I truly believe that Welbutrin was responsible for my suicide attempt. VERY SCARY.
Posted by New Jersey
I sought help for fatigue and mood issues in January 2004 and was prescribed Wellbutrin by a doctor. I was not told about any adverse effects or warned about any possible complications. Shortly after starting the medication, its effects drove me to a suicide attempt. I did not have any suicidal ideas, feelings, tendencies or thoughts prior to starting the medication. Suicide was not even on the map for me, this medication's actions caused a suicidal effect on me. As a result of the attempt, caused by the medication, I had to withdraw from college and lost my job. My self image and confidence were ruined as a result of these experiences. It has recently come to my attention that Wellbutrin can cause increased suicidal behavior and thoughts in patients who begin taking it and that patients were not told of these risks. I have been grievously affected by Wellbutrin. I am seeking a settlement for my sufferings which are the direct result of the negligence and irresponsibility of the party who manufactured Wellbutrin and put it on the market without being forthcoming about the possible risks and detrimental effects associated with the drug.
Posted by Colorado
I was hypomanic for months, and finally developed a shopping addiction, which has left my husband and me in a large amount of debt. I felt completely and utterly out of control on the drug, and it has taken almost three years to feel more or less normal. I have finally felt that I could work and have obtained a job, but it will be at least two more years before I can repair my credit and rebuild my husband's trust. I am convinced that Wellbutrin was possibly the worst choice to treat my depression, and I feel that it has, for the time being, ruined my life.
Posted by Ohio
I changed and went into a form of mania when I was taking Wellbutrin for depression as prescribed by my Psychiatrist approximately 4 years ago. I went into a very heightened stage of activity. My conduct while on this medication has done irreparable damage to my marriage of 17 years (shock, lack of trust, hurt, debt). I lost my job. I know the medication played a vital role in this situation.
It is my understanding that when someone is in this ï¿½fight or flightï¿½ mode, their sense of judgment is broken down. Lack of judgment and compulsive behaviors ensued. I began leading a secret life and running up credit card debt. I had never exhibited this type of behavior before.
Not long after my doctor added another medication to my Wellbutrin (early June 2006) the compulsive tendencies began to wane. Shortly after that I stopped taking Wellbutrin.
I am still struggling with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt resulting from this experience.
I have the records to show my medical history of taking the drug and the credit card records to show the debt that was incurred during that time.
The damage to my family (morally, financially, etc.) is done. I would like assistance in recovering whatever I can financially and can only hope that someone can help us to get the warning out so this doesnï¿½t happen to anyone else!
Posted by North Dakota
His wife and my husband are dealing with PTSD as a result of the crime and the crime scene. I am suffering the loss of my twin brother whom was my best friend. The home was severely damaged in his rage and it was $1500 to conceal the damage and remove body fluids in one room alone. This could have been prevented had the doctors been more aware of these side effects I believe. This is a severely dangerous drug and I am deeply mourning my brother's loss.
Posted by Minnesota
I have not been able to work since and went on disablitity. This was due to going into a coma for nine days and nearly dying. I had a very reputable witness who called the paramedics after several seizures and then coma. It has changed my life totally. I was a recognized professional photographic artist for years and when this happened I could not continue my work
Posted by Texas
In 2003, I was hospitalized for overdose of Wellbutrin (prescribed for depression), Covera (prescribed for migraines), and Singulair (prescribed for asthma/allergies) in an attempted suicide. I was prescribed to and regularly took all of the above mentioned medicines. I've had more than one psychiatrist agree that this happened during a manic episode caused by the Wellbutrin that I was prescribed to. My heart stopped and my body seized. I had to be put into a drug induced coma and my body paralyzed. I was placed in the Intensive Care Unit. Upon recovery, I was placed in the various mental care units in the hospital for about a week afterwards. I was only 19 and almost ended my life in a manic episode. I have since made great strides, and have since been prescribed to various mood stabilizers, but I currently take none and am under no psychological treatment. The episode caused me and my family great pain and stress. Knowing now the medicine I was on most likely was the cause of the entire episode.
Posted by California
I was employed at $95K plus benefits at job for over 2 1/2 years. As a result of the adverse side effects of Wellbutrin I became irrational and abruptly quit my job. I notified my employer by email a few days later that I had been suicidal and these thoughts led to my irrational decision to quit. My employer offered to keep me on staff but I said no because I was still in a state of irrational thinking and I became increasingly paranoid of what everyone at the company thought about me. I refused to return to the office.
I am now employed at $52K annual but I strongly believe had I not been put on Wellbutrin as a deterrant to stop smoking I would not have suddenly quit my job and become so irrational. I was in Budapest on company business when I ran out of Wellbutrin on or around Nov 9, 2006. I did not know that stopping suddenly could throw me into such a tail spin. I had previously mentioned to the nurse at my DR's office that I some concerns a few weeks after originally being put on the substance. I was only asked if I stopped smoking while on it, and because I had she suggested I not stop taking it.
I believe it affected me for a long time after taking it. I moved from San Francisco to LA within a month of quitting and I did not want anything to do with people socially and I lost confidence in myself. I suffered so much stress that I began to get nose bleeds and I have continued to battle suicidal thoughts. I am in a business that is somewhat known and I was interviewed on a radio talk show in Feb 07 where they asked me why I suddenly quit. By then I had figured out that Wellbutrin had caused me to quit suddenly for seemingly no reason and I expressed that on the show.
I found this website by searching wellbutrin+suicide. I had no idea so many people have had the same or similar experience. I think it is a dangerous substance especially when given to people like me for the purpose of stopping smoking not depression. I fully support people being warned about this drug. If there is a class-action suit filed I would sign it.
I am a 41 year old male and I have been clean and sober for 18+ years in a 12 step program.