False-positive urine immunoassay screening tests for amphetamines have been reported in patients taking bupropion. This is due to lack of specificity of some screening tests. False-positive test results may result even following discontinuation of bupropion therapy. Confirmatory tests, such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, will distinguish bupropion from amphetamines.
Pregnancy Exposure Registry
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants at 1-844-405-6185 or visiting online at https://womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-research programs/pregnancyregistry/antidepressants/.
Data from epidemiological studies of pregnant women exposed to bupropion in the first trimester have not identified an increased risk of congenital malformations overall (see Data). There are risks to the mother associated with untreated depression (see Clinical Considerations). When bupropion was administered to pregnant rats during organogenesis, there was no evidence of fetal malformations at doses up to approximately 10 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 450 mg/day. When given to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis, non-dose-related increases in incidence of fetal malformations and skeletal variations were observed at doses approximately equal to the MRHD and greater. Decreased fetal weights were seen at doses twice the MRHD and greater (see Animal Data).
The estimated background risk for major birth defects and miscarriage are unknown for the indicated population. All pregnancies have a background rate of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Disease-associated maternal and/or embryo/fetal risk
A prospective, longitudinal study followed 201 pregnant women with a history of major depressive disorder who were euthymic and taking antidepressants during pregnancy at the beginning of pregnancy. The women who discontinued antidepressants during pregnancy were more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than women who continued antidepressants. Consider the risks to the mother of untreated depression and potential effects on the fetus when discontinuing or changing treatment with antidepressant medications during pregnancy and postpartum.
Data from the international bupropion Pregnancy Registry (675 first trimester exposures) and a retrospective cohort study using the United Healthcare database (1,213 first trimester exposures) did not show an increased risk for malformations overall. The Registry was not designed or powered to evaluate specific defects but suggested a possible increase in cardiac malformations.
No increased risk for cardiovascular malformations overall has been observed after bupropion exposure during the first trimester. The prospectively observed rate of cardiovascular malformations in pregnancies with exposure to bupropion in the first trimester from the international Pregnancy Registry was 1.3% (9 cardiovascular malformations/675 first-trimester maternal bupropion exposures), which is similar to the background rate of cardiovascular malformations (approximately 1%). Data from the United Healthcare database, which has a limited number of exposed cases with cardiovascular malformations, and a case-controlled study (6,853 infants with cardiovascular malformations and 5,753 with non- cardiovascular malformations) from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) did not show an increased risk for cardiovascular malformations overall after bupropion exposure during the first trimester.
Study findings on bupropion exposure during the first trimester and risk left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (LVOTO) are inconsistent and do not allow conclusions regarding possible association. The United Healthcare database lacked sufficient power to evaluate this association; the NBDPS found increased risk for LVOTO (n=10; adjusted odds ratio (OR)=2.6; 95% CI 1.2, 5.7), and the Slone Epidemiology case control study did not find increased risk for LVOTO.
Study findings on bupropion exposure during the first trimester and risk for ventricular septal defect (VSD) are inconsistent and do not allow conclusions regarding a possible association. The Slone Epidemiology Study found an increased risk for VSD following first trimester maternal bupropion exposure (n=17; adjusted OR=2.5; 95% CI: 1.3, 5.0) but did not find an increased risk for any other cardiovascular malformations studied (including LVOTO as above). The NBDPS and United Healthcare database study did not find an association between first trimester maternal bupropion exposure and VSD.
For the findings of LVOTO and VSD, the studies were limited by the small number of exposed cases, inconsistent findings among studies, and the potential for chance findings from multiple comparisons in case control studies.
In studies conducted in pregnant rats and rabbits, bupropion was administered orally during the period of organogenesis at doses of up to 450 and 150 mg/kg/day, respectively (approximately 10 and 6 times the MRHD, respectively, on a mg/m 2 basis). There was no evidence of fetal malformations in rats. When given to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis, non-dose-related increases in incidence of fetal malformations and skeletal variations were observed at the lowest dose tested (25 mg/kg/day, approximately equal to the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis) and greater. Decreased fetal weights were observed at doses of 50 mg/kg/day (approximately 2 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis) and greater. No maternal toxicity was evident at doses of 50 mg/kg/day or less.
In a pre- and postnatal development study, bupropion administered orally to pregnant rats at doses of up to 150 mg/kg/day (approximately 3 times the MRHD on a mg/m 2 basis) from embryonic implantation through lactation had no effect on pup growth or development.
Data from published literature report the presence of bupropion and its metabolites in human milk (see Data). There are no data on the effects of bupropion or its metabolites on milk production. Limited data from postmarketing reports have not identified a clear association of adverse reactions in the breastfed infant. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) or from the underlying maternal condition.
In a lactation study of ten women, levels of orally dosed bupropion and its active metabolites were measured in expressed milk. The average daily infant exposure (assuming 150 mL/kg daily consumption) to bupropion and its active metabolites was 2% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose. Postmarketing reports have described seizures in breastfed infants. The relationship of bupropion exposure and these seizures is unclear.
Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established. When considering the use of bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets (XL) in a child or adolescent, balance the potential risks with the clinical need [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Of the approximately 6,000 patients who participated in clinical trials with bupropion hydrochloride sustained-release tablets (depression and smoking cessation studies), 275 were ≥65 years old and 47 were ≥75 years old. In addition, several hundred patients ≥65 years of age participated in clinical trials using the immediate-release formulation of bupropion hydrochloride (depression studies). No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Bupropion is extensively metabolized in the liver to active metabolites, which are further metabolized and excreted by the kidneys. The risk of adverse reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, it may be necessary to consider this factor in dose selection; it may be useful to monitor renal function [see Dosage and Administration (2.7), Use in Specific Populations (8.6), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
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