Depression Home > Wellbutrin XL and Pregnancy

In animal studies involving Wellbutrin XL and pregnancy, the antidepressant caused an increased risk of birth defects and lower fetal weights. As a result, the FDA has classified it as a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe to take during pregnancy. If you are taking Wellbutrin XL and pregnancy occurs, your healthcare provider will weigh the benefits and risks before making a recommendation.

Wellbutrin XL and Pregnancy: An Overview

Wellbutrin XL® (bupropion XL) is a pregnancy Category C medicine, which could potentially cause harm to your unborn child.

Wellbutrin XL and Pregnancy Category C

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 mother outweigh the risks to the unborn child.
In animal studies where bupropion (the active ingredient of Wellbutrin XL) was given to pregnant rabbits, there was an increased risk of birth defects and lower fetal weights. 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 also not be healthy for a baby. Therefore, Wellbutrin XL may be given to pregnant women if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits in treating depression outweigh the risks to the fetus.

Wellbutrin XL and Pregnancy: A Summary

If you are taking Wellbutrin XL and pregnancy occurs, or if you are thinking of becoming pregnant while taking the drug, let your healthcare provider know. He or she will consider the benefits and the risks of taking the drug during pregnancy before making a recommendation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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