Mental Health Home > Bupropion During Pregnancy

Bupropion caused an increased risk of birth defects and lower fetal weights when it was given to pregnant rabbits in animal studies. Preliminary studies in humans suggest that bupropion may not cause any problems during pregnancy. A woman may take bupropion during pregnancy if her healthcare provider believes that its benefits outweigh the possible risks to her unborn child.

Is It Safe to Take Bupropion During Pregnancy?

Bupropion hydrochloride (Wellbutrin®) is a pregnancy Category C medicine, meaning it could potentially cause harm to your unborn child.
 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that show side effects to the fetus in animal studies, but for which no adequate human studies in pregnant women have been done.
 
A pregnancy Category C medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to her unborn child.
 
In animal studies, there was an increased risk of birth defects and lower fetal weights when the drug was given to pregnant rabbits. In humans, preliminary studies suggest that bupropion may not cause any problems during pregnancy.
 
It is important to note that depression in the mother may not be healthy for a baby. Therefore, a woman may take bupropion during pregnancy if her healthcare provider decides that the benefits of treating depression in the mother outweigh the possible risks the medication presents to the unborn child.
 

Final Thoughts on Bupropion Use During Pregnancy

Prior to taking bupropion, let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. Your healthcare provider will consider the benefits and the risks of taking the medication during pregnancy before making a recommendation in your particular situation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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