Pre-Pregnancy With Ritalin...or Wellbutrin

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Wellbutrin XL/bupropion questions - if anyone has experience with it:

  • Have you taken Wellbutrin XL for narcolepsy (or for other things, while being off of other N meds)?
  • Have you found any safe N medications (or non-rx alternatives) during pre-pregnancy?
  • Is there any actual, unbiased research about the effects of these stimulants during pregnancy that someone can link to?  
    With meds, it's easy to say "don't risk it!" until you consider that a pregnant woman's stress levels, cardiovascular health/exercise, emotional issues/anxiety, and nutrition all have significant impact on a baby's development, too. I don't want to take a risky medication, but I know all of these things will suffer dramatically if I'm left untreated for 9 months.

Background: My husband and I are now trying to conceive. I'm 28 yoa, I have relatively mild narcolepsy, no cataplexy (only episodes >5 years ago, pre-diagnosis).  Pre-treatment, I typically had 5-10 minutes after the sleepiness hit before I actually passed out - so I feel safe driving during the day without meds as long as I know safe places to pull over & nap along the way.  I work night shift in an emergency dispatch center.  I spoke with our ADA coordinator but was told my situation would not apply, since I would not be able to continue performing the "essential functions" of the job (emergency dispatch/calltaking and shift work) regardless of any accommodations.  He was helpful in suggesting alternatives unique to my employer, which I'm now exploring.


My regular doctor and my obgyn told me I shouldn't take my prescription (Ritalin LA + regular methylphenidate) once there is any chance that I'm pregnant.  While explaining that it will have nowhere near the effect of Ritalin and it's not actually prescribed for narcolepsy, she suggested I go on Wellbutrin (and phase out the Ritalin) since it's relatively safe during pregnancy and can help with wakefulness. (I also probably have ADD, and am seeing a counselor for anxiety the choice makes sense.)  I'm taking 10mg Ritalin LA per workday in the meantime to "scrape by" until a more permanent solution is found - or until a pregnancy test turns up positive, in which case I'll have to go off the meds and use sick leave if I haven't changed job descriptions.


[[Edit: Because I am too wordy.]]

Edited by miren

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