Number of lawsuits against Wellbutrin is increasing day by day as a study revealed that it might cause heart birth defects if consumed by pregnant women. Side effects of Wellbutrin on pregnant women were reviewed by U.S. researchers, including scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This report was published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Wellbutrin is brand name for bupropion. It is an antidepressant drug. Wellbutrin is used for treatment of major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder.  It works in brain and effectively treats depressive disorders. It is produced by GlaxoSmithKline.

It is used for treatment of depression. It improves mood and instigate feeling of well being after using it. It acts by maintaining and restoring chemical balance in brain. It helps to restore certain natural chemicals or neurotransmitters in brain. It is also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. It is also used to help people in quitting smoking. It decreases cravings and withdrawal effects. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder.

It can produce serious side effects such as chest pain, fainting, fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat, hearing problems, ringing in the ears, severe headache, mental/mood changes, tremor, unusual weight loss or gain, muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, change in the amount of urine, seizures or allergic reactions such as rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue or throat, severe dizziness, and breathing troubles. Wellbutrin came under scanner as a report in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology associated it with increased risk to pregnant women and unborn children.

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant drug. It was approved by FDA in December 1985. Later in 1986 it was taken off the market as it was linked with a high number of seizures as side effects. It was reintroduced in 1989 after it was found out by federal reviewers that seizures were caused due to high doses. A lowered daily dosage of the drug was prescribed.

The study conducted regarding its heart birth defects involved 12,700 children born in the U.S. between 1997 and 2004. It was determined that women who took Wellbutrin during pregnancy especially in first three months were at higher risk, almost double risk of having birth defects related to heart in their new born, compared to women not on this drug.

The heart birth defect can include restricted flow of blood to the rest of the body from the heart’s left chambers. A surgery is required to rectify the problem. The study did not draw a cause-and-effect relationship between Wellbutrin and birth defects and demanded for more research. But it was advised to take caution while using Wellbutrin during pregnancy.

This fact had led to numerous allegations against the company that it marketed drug for off-label purposes and hid its severe side effects, though it was fully aware of them. Many lawsuits are in offing against GSK related to Wellbutrin side effects.