Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Side Effects of Wellbutrin Include Heart Birth Defects

Bupropion hydrochloride—sold as Wellbutrin and Zyban—has been helpful for many people who are battling depression or want to quit smoking. The side effects of Wellbutrin, however, have been the subject of many adverse event reports and FDA health advisories. These reports have included incidences of worsening depression, suicide, seizures, and Wellbutrin birth defects. Such incidences have encouraged many to file a Wellbutrin lawsuit to gain compensation for medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

Minor Side Effects of Wellbutrin

Though Wellbutrin seems to have fewer troublesome side effects like weight gain and sexual problems than other antidepressants, it’s been linked with blurred vision, dry mouth, indigestion, headaches, and constipation, as well as a racing heart. In addition, it may cause insomnia, restlessness, excessive sweating, involuntary quivering, skin reactions, and nausea.

Wellbutrin has also been associated with seizures. In fact, it was pulled from the market shortly after it’s initial approval because of the high number of seizures reported. Research later linked high doses—over 450 mg/day—to most occurrences of seizure, and the drug was reintroduced in 1989 with a lower maximum dose. Other factors that increased risk for seizure included brain trauma, a history of seizures, an eating disorder, or the addition of other drugs associated with seizure risk.

Suicidal Side Effects of Wellbutrin

In 2004, the FDA released a public health advisory warning that patients treated with Wellbutrin who had other psychiatric disorders were at an increased risk of suicidal behavior. Healthcare professionals were encouraged to watch for signs of worsening depression or suicidal thoughts, especially when patients were just starting or stopping the drug.

Later that same year, the FDA required manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline to add a stern “black-box” warning to the label, alerting patients and physicians of the suicidal side effects of Wellbutrin in children and adolescents. In 2009, the FDA again required a black box warning for Zyban concerning serious mental health events, and required Wellbutrin to add more information to their prescribing materials.

Wellbutrin Birth Defects

More recently, Wellbutrin has come under fire for raising the risk of heart birth defects. In a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (July 2010), scientists reviewed information on more than 12,000 infants, and found a link between the use of Wellbutrin and Zyban in the early months of pregnancy and heart birth defects.

Wellbutrin birth defects typically affected the left side of the heart—what is known as left outflow heart birth defects. These can include hypoplastic left heart syndrome, pulmonary stenosis, coarctation of the aorta, and other related conditions. All affect how efficiently the heart is able to pump blood, and require surgery for correction.

A Wellbutrin Lawyer Can Help

If you or your baby has suffered from serious Wellbutrin side effects, you may have a right to compensation. A Wellbutrin lawyer can help you evaluate your potential claim in a Wellbutrin lawsuit. Chaffin Luhana LLP is happy to provide a confidential case evaluation at 1-888-480-1123.