Generic Name: Bupropion
Indications: Antidepressant commonly prescribed to treat depression, but may be prescribed to aid weight loss or to stop smoking.
FDA Drug Category: C
Summary Recommendations: Antidepressants work on the brain to improve mood. It is important to continue taking Wellbutrin as prescribed even if you find out you are pregnant. Contact your gynecologist or the prescribing physician as soon as you know you are pregnant to talk about treatment options during pregnancy.
Brand names include Zyban, Wellbutrin, Forfivo XL, Buproban, Budeprion and Aplenzin.
General Precautions: Wellbutrin is not compatible with MAOIs. If you have taken an MAOI within the last two weeks, taking Wellbutrin can cause potentially life-threatening side effects. MAOIs are typically prescribed for the treatment of mood disorders, depression, anxiety and other mental conditions. If you are unsure if a medication you have taken in the last two weeks was an MAOI, contact your physician before taking Wellbutrin.
Wellbutrin is not safe for all patients. If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, seizures, heart disease, hypertension, spinal cord or brain tumors or liver disease, it is important to tell the prescribing physician before starting Wellbutrin.
Common side effects reported while taking Wellbutrin include nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, appetite changes, weight loss, weight gain, loss of libido and muscle pain. More severe side effects may include increased heartbeat, seizures, confusion, hallucinations and skin reaction. It is important to report any and all side effects to the prescribing physician.
Drinking alcohol while taking Wellbutrin may increase the risk of side effects. If you have a drinking problem, drink daily or binge drink, discuss your drinking with your physician as you may be at increased risk of seizures.
Effect While Trying to Conceive: Animals studies show no negative impact on fertility though taking Wellbutrin may reduce libido or desire to have intercourse.
Effects on Pregnancy: There have been no reports of negative side effects on pregnancy or the fetus in mothers taking Wellbutrin during pregnancy, but at least one animal study did result in fetal malformations. Due to the results of this study, the Food and Drug Administration placed Wellbutrin in drug category C. The benefits and risks of taking Wellbutrin during pregnancy should be weighed appropriately.
Safe While Breastfeeding: Wellbutrin is passed to the infant in breast milk. It is estimated that about 6% of the maternal dose is passed to the infant. The drug’s manufacturer suggests patients use an alternative medication while breastfeeding to protect the infant from potential side effects.