Wellbutrin while nursing toddler? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-02-2011, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter will be 2 in June, and is nursing on a pretty sporadic basis. Some days, she goes without nursing at all (sometimes several days in a row!) And some days, she nurses once or twice. I've been on Zoloft for a few months and having some unpleasant side effects that my doctor says may be helped by switching to Wellbutrin. My (awesome!!!) doctor admits she doesn't know much about breastfeeding and SSRI's, and was going to talk to the midwife that works with her, but I wanted to ask on here as well. Does anyone know if Wellbutrin is okay for an occasionally nursing toddler? I've read it may lower milk supply, which I am okay with at this point. Mainly just want to know if it is safe for her?


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Old 03-04-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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When medications give a warning not to take while breastfeeding, they are referring to breastfeeding babies.  I don't think any studies have been done at all on maternal medications and breastfeeding toddlers.  It is really an unknown.

 

Wellbutrin has been contraindicated for the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and for breastfeeding due to an association with neurological problems during this period.  But there is a big difference between a newborn who nurses for their sole source of nutrition, and a growing 2 year old who is getting most of their nutrients from other sources. Your dd is not only older and her brain is more developed, she will be getting a lesser amount in your breastmilk than a newborn because she is nursing less and because her body is proportionately larger. This doesn't automatically mean it is "safe", it's just another factor to consider rather than assuming a blanket rule that all breastfeeding is equal.  

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Old 03-04-2011, 10:12 PM
 
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I looked it up on LactMed since I don't have a copy of Hale's in bed with me. orngtongue.gif There is mention of mother nursing older children on it. http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/f?./temp/~zF1qsf:1 


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Old 03-11-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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Wow, no one told me (nor did I read during any of my research) that Wellbutrin is contraindicated during the third trimester!

 

I guess I am the "bad" mommy. I am currently nursing an 8 mo, and have been taking Wellbutrin at about 1/2 my normal dose since about the second trimester (I stopped at first, but after several weeks I was very depressed). After the birth, I upped my dosage back to my normal 300mg.

 

I've wondered if taking the Wellbutrin has made my son sleep less, but am too chicken to try and go without it again... I'm already feeling pretty down.

 

As far as lowering milk supply, I've not noticed that... in fact I often still have an oversupply.

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Old 03-11-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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It's been 8 years since I was first concerned with anti-depressant use during pregnancy.  I took Zoloft during pregnancy and breastfeeding because at the time it was one of the few anti-depressants approved for this.  I prefer buproprion (Wellbutrin) and I take it now, but I specifically remember being told by a psychiatrist that I couldn't take it during the third trimester of pregnancy or breastfeeding.  That is why I was on Zoloft in the first place.  Since, I've heard reports of Zoloft causing jitteriness, fussiness, and feeding problems when taken in late pregnancy and breastfeeding.  These are similar symptoms attributed to all anti-depressants, not just Zoloft or Wellbutrin.  My son had all of these symptoms, but I can't guarantee it is because of anti-depressants.  He might have been like that anyway.

 

Now I can't find any current research supporting these claims.  It is possible that Wellbutrin was such a new drug at the time that it's side effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding had not been studied and were unknown.  This can be a reason doctors avoid it, then when new research arises it is realized to be as safe as older medications in its class.

 

This article here refers to studies on pregnancy that show no greater physical abnormalities with buproprion than the general population.  It does state that there is a higher miscarriage rate, but that seems common to all anti-depressants.

http://www.womensmentalhealth.org/posts/use-of-wellbutrin-bupropion-during-pregnancy/ 

However, major malformations are rarely a concern with any anti-depressant.  Generally, people are more concerned with mild neurological issues such as increased fussiness and sleep disturbances in the baby.

 

Here is a report on the effects on breastfed infants up to 14 months old:

http://www.drugs.com/breastfeeding/bupropion.html 

 

The Mayo Clinic summarizes risks for various anti-depressants during pregnancy, and lists buproprion as risk free.  This is the first I've seen this. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antidepressants/DN00007 

 

This article from 2005 lists pregnancy as a precaution/contraindication for buproprion.  Towards the bottom claims it is not approved for pediatric use, and contraindicates breastfeeding because of possible seizures in the child.  This is in contrast to what the Mayo Clinic states.  The Mayo Clinic may be basing their info on newer research, but since theirs a fact sheet for the general public, they don't site their references.

http://rx-s.net/weblog/more/bupropion_contraindications_precautions/ 

 

Here is an article discussing effects of anti-depressants on babies.  However, it also points out that untreated depression carries certain risks in itself:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1479505/ 

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Old 06-18-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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I'm bumping this thread to tack on my own question.  I took Wellbutrin while nursing a toddler (actually from about age 16 months to 5 years.)  She's a bright, energetic, healthy 6.5 year old now.  I recently had my third child, who is now 4 months old.  I discontinued Wellbutrin just over a year ago when my husband and I decided to try to conceive.  I didn't take any medication throughout my pregnancy and haven't taken anything since her birth.  She's EBF and now I'm considering going back on medication to treat depression.  I've read that Zoloft is the drug of choice for breastfeeding mothers, but I'm nervous about taking it because I haven't taken it before and some of the side effects sound unpleasant, plus I don't know if it will work well for me.  Do you think it is a better choice for me to go on Wellbutrin, which I know works for me and has minimal side effects (but there is less research about breastfeeding it seems) or try out a new medication that is supposed to be fairly safe during breastfeeding but has unknown effectiveness and side effects for me?

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Old 06-19-2011, 07:37 PM
 
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Here's some great info on antidepressants and breastfeeding. There's also a bit about pregnancy in there too.

 

http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/antidepressants-hale10-02.html

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Old 06-19-2011, 09:41 PM
 
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I don't think it's chicken at all!  And, only you know your body, but I do think that taking medication and dealing with the side effects can be a better decision than suffering through depression.  Depression is serious.  Don't beat yourself up!  If little one is okay, than that's that.  hug2.gif mama!

 

And OP, good luck in your decision.  I hope you've gained more comfort in your decision after reading this material!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacridote View Post

Wow, no one told me (nor did I read during any of my research) that Wellbutrin is contraindicated during the third trimester!

 

I guess I am the "bad" mommy. I am currently nursing an 8 mo, and have been taking Wellbutrin at about 1/2 my normal dose since about the second trimester (I stopped at first, but after several weeks I was very depressed). After the birth, I upped my dosage back to my normal 300mg.

 

I've wondered if taking the Wellbutrin has made my son sleep less, but am too chicken to try and go without it again... I'm already feeling pretty down.

 

As far as lowering milk supply, I've not noticed that... in fact I often still have an oversupply.



 


 

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Old 10-10-2011, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just an update...I have been taking Wellbutrin since soon after I posted this. My daughter weaned completely (on her own) only a month or two after I began taking it, but I never noticed any negative side effects at all.


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Old 01-31-2012, 11:13 AM
 
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I am taking 450 mg of Wellbutrin XL. I have noticed a lack of attachment and more aggression, and sleeplessness in my 2 1/2 y.o. Anyone else?

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Old 02-01-2012, 04:07 AM
 
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If you check Dr. Hale's forum there is a lot of great info on meds while breastfeeding.
http://neonatal.ttuhsc.edu/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi?pg=topics&access=guest
This page has several wellbutrin questions.
http://neonatal.ttuhsc.edu/discus/messages/43/43.html?1293652033

Also, your pediatrician should have a copy of Medications and Mother's milk. When I started a med., I called them and they looked it up in his book and found that it was considered safe because not much medication got into the milk.

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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