Bupropion Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Bupropion is also known as: Aplenzin, Budeprion, Budeprion SR, Budeprion XL, Buproban, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban

Bupropion Pregnancy Warnings

The manufacturer recommends that bupropion should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. Smoking cessation without the use of medications is advisable during pregnancy. AU TGA pregnancy category: B2 US FDA pregnancy category: C

High dose animal studies have failed to reveal evidence of specific teratogenic effects. Low dose animal studies in rabbits have reported a slightly increased incidence of fetal malformations and skeletal variations. Epidemiological studies of pregnant women exposed to bupropion in the first trimester show no increased risk of congenital malformations overall. Data from the international bupropion pregnancy register (675 trimester exposures) and a retrospective cohort study using the United Healthcare database (1,213 first trimester exposures) and a case-control study from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (6,853 infants with cardiovascular malformations and 5,763 with non-cardiovascular malformations) did not show an increased risk for malformations overall after bupropion exposure during the first trimester. A retrospective database of infants (n=7005) whose mothers were exposed to bupropion in the first trimester and outside of the first trimester also failed to reveal an increased risk for congenital malformation, especially cardiovascular malformation. Study findings on the risk for left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and ventricular septal defect after first trimester exposure to bupropion are inconclusive. AU TGA pregnancy category C: Drugs which, owing to their pharmacological effects, have caused or may be suspected of causing, harmful effects on the human fetus or neonate without causing malformations. These effects may be reversible. Accompanying texts should be consulted for further details. US FDA pregnancy category C: Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Bupropion Breastfeeding Warnings

There is limited information that maternal bupropion at oral doses up to 300 mg daily produces low levels in breastmilk. It is not generally expected to cause adverse effects in breastfed infants; however, there are case reports of possible seizure in partially breastfed 6-month-olds. Alternate drugs that may be considered in place of bupropion include nortriptyline, paroxetine, and sertraline. One case report has suggested that bupropion accumulates in human breast milk in concentrations much greater than in maternal plasma. At least two metabolites of bupropion are also detectable in human milk. However, in the plasma of one nursing infant whose mother took bupropion, neither bupropion nor its metabolites could be detected. Data from a lactation study in 10 women showed breastmilk levels of 45.2 mcg/L for bupropion, and 104.6 mcg/mL, 72.1 mcg/mL, and 459 mcg/mL for it metabolites hydroxybupropion, erythrohydroxybupropion, and threohydroxybupropion, respectively. The authors of this study estimated that an exclusively breastfed infant would receive an average of 0.2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose of bupropion and an average of 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage of bupropion plus metabolites.

Use with caution; a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the benefit of breast-feeding to the infant and the importance of the drug to the mother. Another drug may be preferred, particularly when breastfeeding a newborn or preterm infant. Excreted into human milk: Yes

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