Wellbutrin, an antidepressant medication, is used to treat major depression and seasonal affective disorder. There is one brand of the drug, Zyban, which is used to help people stop smoking by reducing withdrawal effects and cravings.
Wellbutrin Side Effects
The side effects associated with the use of Wellbutrin are:
Lack of sexual interest
Skin rash and/or mild itching
Appetite changes: weight loss or weight gain
If you experience the following more serious side effects, call your family doctor or seek medical assistance right away:
Rapid heart rate
Unusual thoughts or behavior
Severe skin reaction – swelling of throat or tongue, burning in eyes, fever, sore throat, and skin pain, followed by a purple or red skin rash that spreads and causes blisters in the face and upper body and peeling.
Wellbutrin and Pain
Studies have found that Wellbutrin is effective in treating neuropathic pain, pain caused by disease or damage affecting the somatosensory system. Neuropathic pain is found is multiple sclerosis, some strokes, cancers (when there is compression on peripheral nerves by a tumor), as a side effect from chemotherapy and/or radiation, and spinal cord injury. Wellbutrin and other SSRIs used to treat neuropathic pain inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine.
Wellbutrin and Pregnancy
If you took Wellbutrin while pregnant and your child has a birth defect, the medication may be to blame. Below is a list of potential birth defects that may be linked to the use of Wellbutrin while pregnant.
Congenital heart lesions and abnormalities
Septal defects such as cleft lip and/or cleft palate
Several studies have found that infants exposed to SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy had a 60% greater chance of developing birth defects.
If you are taking Wellbutrin and are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk to your family doctor to discuss other options to keep you and your baby healthy.