Wellbutrin, or bupropion hydrochloride, is an antidepressant that was commonly prescribed to patients suffering from severe depression or those trying to quit smoking. Wellbutrin can be prescribed alone, or as an add-on treatment if other depression medication aren’t causing the desired results. Wellbutin is a pill taken orally, typically three times per day though your doctor may recommend fewer or more frequent doses depending on patient need. While antidepressants can play a crucial role in stopping suicidal thoughts and other serious conditions, many antidepressants also come with a long list of side effects. Recent studies have shown that Wellbutrin can cause a number of severe side effects. Most recently, Wellbutrin has been linked to birth defects. Even when used as prescribed, Wellbutrin can cause injury to a child if the medication is taken during pregnancy. Those affected by this drug may be entitled to compensation for the harmful effects it has caused. If you believe that your child developed a birth defect due to prenatal ingestion of Wellbutrin, contact one of our Boston area attorneys.
Wellbutrin is most commonly associated with congenital heart defects, meaning those mothers that ingested Wellbutrin during their pregnancy have a much higher risk of giving birth to a child with a heart defect. While many claim that the correlation between the drug and the defect is small, the concern seems to be growing as more and more studies are released. While all Wellbutrin has yet to be recalled by the FDA, a generic version of the drug was recalled in 2013 after the FDA neglected to test any of the drug, and ignored reports that the generic Wellbutrin was ineffective.
Congenital heart defects in newborns, including those caused by taking the drug Wellbutrin during pregnancy, are abnormalities in the structure of the heart. These defects can affect the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, or the arteries and veins surrounding the heart. Most often these defects occur when, in the early stages or pregnancy, the child’s heart does not develop properly. Some defects are simple and mild, and can require no treatment. For example, some small defects can heal themselves over time. Unfortunately, many defects are much more severe, creating a need for a number of complicated surgeries in order to repair the defect. These serious defects can become apparent very quickly after birth. Symptoms of a more severe heart defect in an infant include rapid breathing, pale blue or grey skin color, swelling of the legs or around the eyes, or shortness of breath. In less serious cases, the side effects may take longer to appear. These side effects include shortness of breath during physical activity, fluid buildup in the heart, and swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet. If at any point you believe that your child might be suffering from a heart defect, it is important to call your doctor immediately so that he or she can properly diagnose the condition and prevent future harm.
Our Massachusetts Wellbutrin attorneys understand that once diagnosed, heart defects can cause a number of serious complications. These complications include congestive heart failure, slower growth and development throughout childhood, pneumonia, abnormal heart rhythm, stroke, and even emotional issues. In many cases, these problems lead to a lifetime of necessary follow-up appointments. These complications can create not only a physical burden on the child, but a financial burden on the family of the effected child.
At Altman & Altman LLP, our attorneys understand that if your child is diagnosed with a serious heart defect, it can be a scary and incredibly stressful experience. Our attorneys have over 40 years of experience, and can help you decide if you have a case. If you took Wellbutrin during pregnancy, and your child developed a heart defect, contact one of our Boston area attorneys for a consultation. At Altman & Altman, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week - including nights and weekends. To schedule a Free Initial Consultation with one of our dedicated Greater Boston Medical Malpractice Attorneys, call us at 617.492.3000 or contact us online. All Consultations are completely confidential.