Depression Home > Forfivo XL and Pregnancy

When the active ingredient in Forfivo XL was given to pregnant rabbits, it appeared to increase the risk for fetal malformations and other problems. As a result, Forfivo XL is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine and might not be safe to take during pregnancy. However, there may be times where treating depression in a pregnant woman outweighs the possible risks to the unborn child.

Can Pregnant Women Take Forfivo XL?

Forfivo™ XL (bupropion XL) is a prescription antidepressant medication. Although some animal studies show that Forfivo XL might increase the risk for birth defects, preliminary survey-type data suggests that these risks might not apply to humans.
 

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

Forfivo XL is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug. 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 have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but have caused fetal harm in animal studies. In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
 
In animal studies, giving bupropion (the active ingredient of Forfivo XL) to pregnant rabbits appeared to slightly increase the risk for fetal malformations and lower fetal weights. In humans, preliminary studies suggest that bupropion may not cause any problems during pregnancy. One small, survey-type study suggested that bupropion might increase the risk for miscarriages, but this increased risk was not seen when women taking the drug for depression only, instead of for smoking cessation, were included in the analysis.
 
It is important to note that depression in the mother may also not be healthy for a baby. Therefore, Forfivo XL may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn child.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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