As a pregnant woman, don’t you fret over what to eat and drink during pregnancy? And, at such a delicate time, OTC drugs and quick fixes are also viewed with a rather skeptical eye. After all, you don’t want to endanger your pregnancy or your unborn baby’s health in any way!
Sometimes, the onset of certain conditions can force you to take specific medications, as the risk of not taking such medications may outweigh the risk of taking them. And, if your doctor has prescribed you some Bupropion or Wellbutrin during pregnancy to treat depression, you may want to read our post below and find out more about how this drug may affect your pregnancy.
What Is Wellbutrin Or Bupropion?
Bupropion is a type of medicinal drug that is used to treat depression. It is available in the market under the trade name of Wellbutrin. Sometimes, Bupropion is also available under the trade name of Zyban, especially when used to help people give up smoking. Taking Wellbutrin during pregnancy can significantly help to remove your feelings of sadness and also improve your mood. It can make you feel happier and calmer than before.
Bupropion is part of the antidepressants that are also known as Norepinephrine–dopamine` reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). It is also thought that the drug can actually help you feel better, as it acts as a balancer of the many natural chemicals, also known as neurotransmitters, which are present in your brain (1).
Wellbutrin, or Bupropion, also acts as an effective medication against SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (2).
[ Read: Safe Medications During Pregnancy ]
Is It Safe To Take Wellbutrin During Pregnancy?
There are no medical reports to suggest that if you do take Bupropion while you are pregnant, it can cause any withdrawal symptoms for your baby. It is true that in some cases, infants, whose mothers did take other antidepressants towards the last term of their pregnancy, experienced certain withdrawal symptoms such as disturbance in sleep, jitteriness, difficulties in eating and such. In most cases, the symptoms will go away within a few days or weeks after the birth.
As always, the best person who can give you all the required information about taking Bupropion, or Wellbutrin, while you are pregnant, is your doctor. Make sure that you speak about all the aspects in detail and make an informed choice.
A Study Highlighting The Effects Of Bupropion Intake In Pregnant Women:
While Bupropion was initially used to treat depression, it was also found out that it helped patients who were being treated for giving up smoking. A study was conducted to find out whether the intake of bupropion during the months of pregnancy can have any risk for the health of the unborn baby or the mother. It was also conducted to check whether taking the drug during pregnancy could cause in any malformations in the unborn baby, during pregnancy or at the time of birth. The next objective of the study was to find out the rate of livebirths, stillbirths, mean birth weight, mean gestational age at the time of birth, spontaneous as well as therapeutic abortions and more. Here is a more detailed look at what the study concluded:
For The Study:
Pregnant women who were already taking Bupropion were enrolled to take part in the study, along with women who were trying to conceive. The health results of the women were conducted between four months and one year after the delivery.
The study conducted tests on a total of 136 women who had been taking Bupropion during their first trimester of the pregnancy. According to the results that were found:
- There was a total of 105 live births
- There were no major malformations found in the babies who were born
- The mean birth weight was about 3450 gm.
- The mean gestational age at the time of delivery was around 40 weeks
- The number therapeutic abortions were 10
- There was 1 case of stillbirth and 1 case of neonatal death
- There was a total of 20 spontaneous abortions
Based on the results of the study, the researchers concluded that taking Bupropion while you are pregnant will not increase any risk of major malformations in the baby. The results of the higher rates of spontaneous abortions were also same as the results of other studies that were done to check the safety of using antidepressants at the time of being pregnant (3).
[ Read: Depression During Pregnancy ]
Findings Of Study To Show Whether It Is Safe To Take Bupropion While You Are Pregnant:
While the study above does not conclude that there is any major risk in taking Wellbutrin while pregnant, there was another study that claims otherwise.
According to a report that was published in a news report site, a study was conducted in the US to check the effects of Bupropion intake on pregnant women. The study was carried out on 12,700 US infants. The results showed that in cases where women did take Bupropion in the earlier months of their pregnancy, there was more than double the risk of heart defects in the infants. It was as compared to those infants whose mothers did not take Bupropion in pregnancy. The defects were specifically known as left outflow tract defects (4).
[ Read: Postpartum Depression ]
Should You Stop Taking Bupropion While You Are Pregnant?
If you are pregnant and are suffering from depression, leaving it untreated can pose the risk of miscarriage as well as a preterm birth. Also, the baby may experience birth complications and also have a low birth weight. If you choose to leave your depression as it is while you are pregnant, it can, later on, take the form of postpartum depression, which is a serious medical condition.
Your doctor will be your best guide to tell you whether you should leave your depression as it is, or if it is alright to take Wellbutrin in pregnancy to treat depression.
Moms, if you or anyone you know used Bupropion during pregnancy, do share more about it here and help someone who wants to know more about it.
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