Can You Take Wellbutrin While Breastfeeding?

Women's bodies are capable of many incredible things. The ability to create enough food to sustain your new baby with your body is a feat of nature! But when your baby's food source is made up of all the things you put in your body, the desire to make sure your little one is getting only the best may make you wonder whether the things you're consuming are safe for your newborn — particularly in regard to medications.

The Infant Risk Center points out that when drugs are metabolized and enter the bloodstream, they inevitably find their way to the mammary capillaries by way of diffusion. For that reason, any medication a mother takes will be present in their milk supply. While the Mayo Clinic insists that most drugs only show up in breast milk in small amounts that will likely have no effect on the baby, there are some exceptions.

How Wellbutrin in breast milk affects infants

Bupropion — often sold under the brand name Wellbutrin — is a type of antidepressant commonly prescribed in the treatment of depression and seasonal affective disorder, and can also be used to help people quit smoking (per MedlinePlus).

A 2004 study published in Tobacco Control reported that breastfeeding women who were taking bupropion had only small amounts of the drug detected in their breast milk. Researchers determined that because nursing infants were exposed to only minute amounts of bupropion, it was unlikely that they would suffer any adverse reactions.

However, there have been multiple case reports in which bupropion was pinpointed as the cause of seizure in 6-month-old infants who were at least partially breastfed (per Bupropion). While the seizures are said to have ceased once the nursing mothers stopped taking the medication, it is recommended that the infants of nursing mothers who take Wellbutrin be monitored for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, jitteriness, or lethargy.