Bupropion does pass through breast milk; however, it is unlikely to cause problems in nursing infants when taken in reasonable amounts by the mother. More research is still needed to know for certain that this drug poses no risks when taken by women who are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, it's a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before taking bupropion.
Can Women Who Are Breastfeeding Use Bupropion?
Bupropion (Aplenzin™, Budeprion XL®, Budeprion™ SR, Buproban™, Wellbutrin SR®, Wellbutrin XL™, Wellbutrin®, Zyban®) is passed through breast milk. Because of the potentially serious side effects that could occur in the nursing infant, the manufacturer recommends that healthcare providers look at the possible risks and benefits before recommending bupropion to a breastfeeding woman. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or thinking of starting, make sure to let your healthcare provider know.
Bupropion and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?
A few studies have looked at the use of bupropion in breastfeeding women. These studies compared the level of bupropion in the mother's blood and breast milk to the level in the baby's blood. In these studies, there were no measurable amounts of bupropion found in the blood of the nursing babies, nor were side effects observed in the babies.
However, there has been one case report of a nursing baby who had symptoms consistent with a seizure, but no bupropion blood levels were drawn to confirm a link to the medication. Thus, there is a possibility the seizure was related to bupropion in the breast milk.
From the limited information available, it can be inferred that breastfeeding women taking bupropion in doses up to 300 mg daily produce low levels in breast milk, which would result in virtually undetectable levels in the baby's blood.
It appears that the drug would not be expected to cause side effects in breastfed babies. However, due to the limited data, some may classify bupropion as a drug whose effect on a nursing baby is unknown, but may still be of concern.
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