Wellbutrin Class Action Lawsuit Certification Denied

A federal judge has refused to grant certification for a Wellbutrin class action lawsuit filed on behalf of consumers who were allegedly forced to pay higher prices for the antidepressant due to GlaxoSmithKline’s attempts to keep a generic form of the medication off the market. 

The class action lawsuit over Wellbutrin was brought by the Health & Welfare Plan for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 441 in Mobile, Alabama, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs sought class action status on behalf of all individual consumers and more than 20,000 third-parties, such as health care plans and insurers.

The lawsuit claimed that Glaxo was attempting to delay the release of generic Wellbutrin versions through frivolous patent lawsuits against generic drug makers. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel declined to give the lawsuit class action status, saying that it would be impossible for plaintiffs to prove that the class members were financially injured by Glaxo’s actions.

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Stengel determined that it would be impossible to determine which customers would have exhibited brand loyalty to GlaxoSmithKline, meaning that they would continue to buy brand-name Wellbutrin even after generic versions were released. Without being able to determine who would buy generic versions and who would not, the plaintiffs do not have a class action case, he ruled.

Wellbutrin (bupropion HCI), which is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, was first approved by FDA as an antidepressant in December 1985. The drug was pulled a year later due to the high number of seizures associated with Wellbutrin side effects, but it was reintroduced in 1989 after federal reviewers determined that the seizures were dose specific and lowered the daily dosage of the drug.

Wellbutrin has come under closer scrutiny recently after a study published in May in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology suggested that there may be an increased risk of heart birth defects from Wellbutrin when the medication is taken during pregnancy.

Researchers found that mothers who were given Wellbutrin in their first trimester had double the chance of giving birth to a child with a congenital heart problem than mothers who did not take the drug. However, they were not able to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the drug and the birth defects.

14 Comments

  • SheliaOctober 21, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    I have experienced 2 separate Grand Mal Seizures Recurring headache and severe stuttering

  • ToiJune 22, 2019 at 3:18 am

    I began having absence seizures, tinnitus and insomnia after taking Wellbutrin. I'm on THREE meds for seizures at this time.

  • MickeyJune 9, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    On May 15, after being on Wellbutrin for several months, my daughter suffered a seizure while at work. When she fell, her head and shoulder struck a low-standing sink in her classroom. She underwent surgery for the head trauma and was in ICU for five days. Since being released from hospital two weeks ago, a followup appointment with an orthopedist revealed a broken bone in her left shoulder that w[Show More]On May 15, after being on Wellbutrin for several months, my daughter suffered a seizure while at work. When she fell, her head and shoulder struck a low-standing sink in her classroom. She underwent surgery for the head trauma and was in ICU for five days. Since being released from hospital two weeks ago, a followup appointment with an orthopedist revealed a broken bone in her left shoulder that was not diagnosed during her initial hospitalization. She is now scheduled for surgery to repair the fracture, which had already started healing in a way that would have limited her use of the limb for rest of her life. After this tragedy in our lives, and reading of so much suffering caused by this drug, I will do all I can to alert others to the potential dangers of Wellbutrin. This drug should be removed from the market.

  • KarenJanuary 16, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I have been on wellbutrin for years I have been I school bus driver for 17 years Jan 6 2017 I had a seizure which caused me to wreck my brand new bus thank God nobody was hurt but I lost my license for 6 months and have no way to live or pay my Bill's I am not eligible for anything they need to pay

  • SusannaAugust 7, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I had two seizures back in 2005. I hospitalized the second seizure I had. The neurology doctor told me to discontinue them. He said that was what caused my seizures.

  • Luis.March 20, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I have a wellbutrin pill that has printed wellbutrin xl 150 in black letters and other pill with violet letters printed w l x 150 is there a difference? both manufacturers are valeant.

  • seanJuly 24, 2012 at 3:36 am

    I had my first seizure four years ago that dislocated my shoulder for the first time, since then i had dislocated my shoulder 28 times and have done 2 surgeries. I didnt realize it was from wellbutrin untill now after having another seizure and doing some reseach.....This time I lost my drivers liscence and possibly my job, I missed three days of work due to injuries from the seizure and my boss i[Show More]I had my first seizure four years ago that dislocated my shoulder for the first time, since then i had dislocated my shoulder 28 times and have done 2 surgeries. I didnt realize it was from wellbutrin untill now after having another seizure and doing some reseach.....This time I lost my drivers liscence and possibly my job, I missed three days of work due to injuries from the seizure and my boss is pretty upset!

  • TracySeptember 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    I started taking wellbutrin in 2006 and within the 1st week had a grandmaul seizure. That first seizure dislocated my shoulder and it happened so many times during my seizures I have had 3 surgeries on my shoulders. I had never had any kind of seizure in my life and we are sure it was the wellbutrin. I was 24 when it happened. I am now 30 and on disbility with a 7 year old son. I blame wellbutrin[Show More]I started taking wellbutrin in 2006 and within the 1st week had a grandmaul seizure. That first seizure dislocated my shoulder and it happened so many times during my seizures I have had 3 surgeries on my shoulders. I had never had any kind of seizure in my life and we are sure it was the wellbutrin. I was 24 when it happened. I am now 30 and on disbility with a 7 year old son. I blame wellbutrin to starting my downward spiral of medical problems. This product needs taken off the market. If anyone knows a way to sue or at least make this more known to the public that this is a very likely and devastating side affect!

  • GradyAugust 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Has anyone noticed if they are having vision problems in association with seizures while taking Wellbutrin?

  • MariJune 21, 2011 at 2:00 am

    My psychiatrist put me on wellbutrin when I was six years old. My mother mashed up my pills in my food. When I ate the food, I would have seizure-like spasms. Ever since then, I've had seizures that are only getting worse as I age. My mother was concerned, but the psychiatrist only told her that they were "muscle spasms" and not to worry about it. Now that I'm married, my husband had woken me up m[Show More]My psychiatrist put me on wellbutrin when I was six years old. My mother mashed up my pills in my food. When I ate the food, I would have seizure-like spasms. Ever since then, I've had seizures that are only getting worse as I age. My mother was concerned, but the psychiatrist only told her that they were "muscle spasms" and not to worry about it. Now that I'm married, my husband had woken me up multiple times in the middle of the night, claiming that I've had large seizures. I am 23 and cannot afford hospital expenses and time off work to look into this and I don't know what to do at this point. Any similar stories?

  • AnthonyApril 23, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I started taking Wellbutrin in early 2005. I was 36 years old. In January 2006, I started having grand mal seizures. In November 2008, I had a temporal lobectomy (brain surgery) and half of my hippocampus removed to stop the seizures. I believe that Wellbutrin caused this seizure disorder. I now suffer from short term memory loss and cognitive problems. I blame Wellbutrin as there was no other exp[Show More]I started taking Wellbutrin in early 2005. I was 36 years old. In January 2006, I started having grand mal seizures. In November 2008, I had a temporal lobectomy (brain surgery) and half of my hippocampus removed to stop the seizures. I believe that Wellbutrin caused this seizure disorder. I now suffer from short term memory loss and cognitive problems. I blame Wellbutrin as there was no other explanations for the seizure disorder found.

  • donnaFebruary 11, 2011 at 5:48 am

    i was 40 yrs. old and a seizure for the very first time .i was taking wellbutrin. when i had the seizure the doctor found a anerysm on my brain. i ask him if that was what made me have the seizure, and he said no it was a blessing that i had a seizure witch sounds crazy. i had surgery for the anerysm. he said i needed to find out what caused the seizures. later i heard on tv. about wellburin caus[Show More]i was 40 yrs. old and a seizure for the very first time .i was taking wellbutrin. when i had the seizure the doctor found a anerysm on my brain. i ask him if that was what made me have the seizure, and he said no it was a blessing that i had a seizure witch sounds crazy. i had surgery for the anerysm. he said i needed to find out what caused the seizures. later i heard on tv. about wellburin cause seizures. i had 2 more seizures 1 yr. later. i went to a neurologist he put me on lamical for it. later i needed to be on something for depression he ask me what i had tryed before and i said wellburin he said i could not take becase it cause seizures. i think the wellburin could cause me to have seziures all along. what dose anybody else think.

  • Helen HJanuary 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Wellbutrin killed my moother with seizures.

  • JaniceDecember 13, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I have been taking Bupropion XL and have been noticing that the pill casing is not dissolving. I have now had one of the casings end up lodging in my throat and Eustachian tube. I have had to go to the doctor to have it removed. This made me wonder how many of those casings could be lodging in my intestines and colon collecting bacteria. I have noticed that I have been having irregular output[Show More]I have been taking Bupropion XL and have been noticing that the pill casing is not dissolving. I have now had one of the casings end up lodging in my throat and Eustachian tube. I have had to go to the doctor to have it removed. This made me wonder how many of those casings could be lodging in my intestines and colon collecting bacteria. I have noticed that I have been having irregular output since taking this medication. Has anyone else noticed this?

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