Wellbutrin, an antidepressant medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, is also known by its generic name Bupropion. This popular medication has been prescribed to thousands of patients since its introduction in 1985, and is currently the fourth-rated antidepressant medication in the country. In recent years, however, Wellbutrin has been linked with several serious drug side effects, particularly birth defects resulting from Wellbutrin taken during pregnancy.
Wellbutrin May Cause Birth Defects
The birth defects caused by Wellbutrin can include cranial birth defects, abdominal birth defects, cleft lip, and cleft palate. Wellbutrin has also been linked to a number of heart birth defects, such as atrial septal defects (ASD) and ventricular septal defects (VSD). According to one study, the use of antidepressants in the first two trimesters of pregnancy doubles the baby’s risk of being born with a heart defect. Congenital heart defects can require surgery, along with life-long medical care.
Among the most serious birth effects associated with Wellbutrin is persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns, or PPHN. This is a life-threatening heart and lung condition in which the baby’s circulatory system continues to bypass the lungs following birth, resulting in oxygen deprivation and other breathing problems. In 2006, the FDA issued a safety alert regarding the increased risk of PPHN when antidepressants such as Wellbutrin are taken during pregnancy.
The exact risk of Wellbutrin-related birth defects is currently undetermined, though they have undoubtedly affected thousands of babies whose mothers took antidepressants during their pregnancy. Studies have shown babies born to women who take Wellbutrin during pregnancy are two to six times more likely to develop certain birth defects.
Filing Wellbutrin Lawsuits
Unfortunately, many pregnant women have taken medications such as Wellbutrin and given birth to a child with birth defects. If you or your child have been negatively affected by taking Wellbutrin, you may be eligible for compensation from the drug manufacturer. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin the process. By filing a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, you can recoup financial damages such as current medical expenses and the cost of ongoing medical care.
While money cannot adequately compensate your family for the devastating emotional toll of the side effects caused by this medication, there are other reasons to file a lawsuit over this dangerous drug. Many families believe that the manufacturers of dangerous drugs such as Wellbutrin should be held responsible for the harm caused by their product. Filing a lawsuit can also serve to warn others of the dangerous side effects that have been linked to this medication.
Contact our Wellbutrin Side Effects Lawyers
If your child has suffered from Wellbutrin birth defects, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. A lawyer can help you determine whether filing a lawsuit is in your family’s best interests and explain the process of filing a legal claim against the drug manufacturer or distributor. Your attorney will also help you determine the total extent of damages, which can include costs for current and future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other forms of damages that many people don’t realize may be included in their claim for compensation.
When you file a lawsuit against a drug company, be prepared for the company to be represented by a team of legal experts. You can level the playing field by having an attorney on your side to protect your interests and fight for fair compensation. Your attorney will explain the legal process during every step of the way and ensure that you don’t make legal missteps that can prolong your case or reduce your compensation. With the help of a qualified lawyer, victims of Wellbutrin side effects can protect their rights, pursuing the compensation they deserve.