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Wellbutrin XL clarification help

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  • Wellbutrin XL clarification help

    I'm trying to find out if taking Wellbutrin XL 150 mg daily is low risk for me and my exclusively breastfed 11 week old daughter. Apologies upfront for long post (tried calling hot line several times, cant get through.)

    I've read up on some of the answers about Wellbutrin XL available on these forums. I understand the amount that's passed into the milk is minimal and medication peaks in my milk around 5 hours, but I still don't understand how much of a risk the possible infant side effects are.

    I'm concerned about the reported one off seizures, sleep disturbances, and possible weight gain in infants. My daughter is already 97%ile for wt. Can you elaborate about the weight gain as possible symptom? As far as seizures and sleep disturbances (too much or too little), when did these symptoms start to be noticed after mothers started the medication?

    I have always had moderate depression and been off Wellbutrin for the past 3 years for having 2 babies. I have done very well and only recently felt like it would be nice to get back on my medication, so my OBGYN wrote me an Rx for 1/2 what I used to take. I can 100% get by without it, and safely breast feeding my daughter for the 1st year is my top priority. I just want to understand if I can take this medication safely or not in a "if this was your daughter, what would you do" sense.

    Thank you!

  • #2

    Wellbutrin is rated an L3-limited data-probably compatible. The amount that transfers into breast milk is very low only 0.11-1.99% of your dose. It is rated a 3 because there have been 2 possible seizures reported, one they could not rule out a febrile seizure because the infant had a respiratory tract infection, but the second one does look like it was associated with the medication. This mother was taking Lexapro and added Wellbutrin and about a week later the infant started having episodes. Many mothers breastfeed without complications, but there is still a slight risk. Your dose is relatively small as many mothers take 150mg twice a day. We think it is ok to continue nursing as long as your infant is not symptomatic. Monitor for sedation or irritability, seizures, poor feedings and poor weight gain.

    Sandra Lovato R.N.
    InfantRisk Center


    • #3
      Thank you for the information. I thought there was a risk for excessive weight gain in the infant. Is there any information on that?


      • #4

        I just check my data base and I meant "poor" weight gain from reduced milk production in some moms.


        • #5
          got it! thank you for clarifying


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