Wellbutrin and Congenital Heart Defects

December 15, 2011

What is Wellbutrin?

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline meant to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other anxiety disorders. Wellbutrin does not fall into the class of drugs known as SSRIs which include Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, and Lexapro. It has a different chemical makeup. Wellbutrin shares many of the same side effects as the SSRIs as well as some side effects and complications that are unique to Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin is often prescribed to women who are experiencing pregnancy-related depression. Wellbutrin is currently a Pregnancy Category C drug, as specified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pregnancy Category C drugs have been proven to cause damage to the developing fetuses of animals in animal testing, but have not shown significant proof in human testing. This may be due to non-confirming results or simply due to a lack of human testing.

Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects are disorders that are present at the time of the infant’s birth. They occur during fetal development and sometimes can be a result of drugs or other factors during the pregnancy. Recent studies have shown a correlation between the use of antidepressants during pregnancy like Wellbutrin and congenital heart defects. Some studies say that the risk of developing congenital heart defects is as much as four times as likely if the mother is taking a drug like Wellbutrin during all or part of pregnancy.

Some of the congenital heart defects that have been linked to Wellbutrin may include:

Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS) – Aortic valve stenosis (AVS), also known simply as aortic stenosis occurs if the aortic valve in the heart becomes abnormally narrow.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) – Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a rare birth defect, present at birth (congenital). In patients suffering from hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), the left portion of their heart is seriously underdeveloped.

Coarctation of the Aorta (CoA) – Coarctation of the Aorta (CoA) is a congenital birth defect affecting the aorta. Infants suffering from coarctation of the aorta (CoA) must deal with a narrowing of the passage through the aorta, largest blood vessel from the heart.

Mitral Valve Stenosis (MVS) – Mitral valve stenosis (MVS) is a rare heart condition where the heart’s mitral valve is stenotic (narrowed).

Interrupted Aortic Arch (IAA) – Interrupted aortic arch (IAA) is a rare heart disorder that typically occurs along with ventricular septal defect (VSD), ductus arteriosus, or more rarely aortopulmonary window ortruncus arteriosus.

Wellbutrin Birth Defects Lawsuit: Speak to an Attorney

Many new parents ask themselves what was the cause of my child’s birth defects? Did it happen during pregnancy? The antidepressant Wellbutrin may be linked to causing the development of birth defects in unborn babies, infants, and children when their mothers took antidepressants while pregnant.

Our law firm is handling individual birth defect lawsuits against drug and pharmaceutical companies and currently accepting new Wellbutrin cases across the nation. If your child was born with a birth injury that you believe may have been caused by taking an antidepressant like Wellbutrin during pregnancy, then you should contact our law firm as soon as possible for a free confidential review of your potential birth defect lawsuit case. All cases are handled on a Contingency Fee Basis (no attorney’s fees or expenses charged unless we recover for you.

© Willis Law Firm for Drug Attorneys. Replication strictly prohibited without written consent.