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Medications while pregnant..

Discussion in 'pregnancy & parenting' started by kissingwench, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. kissingwench

    kissingwench mystery white girl

    Does anyone here know anything specific about whether or not it's safe to use one of these drugs very sparingly while pregnant?-- either clonazepam (Klonopin) or something like Xanax- I forget it's generic name. Benzodiazepenes, basically.

    I have looked high and low on the Internet medical sites and in drug info and asked pharmacists and 2 of the OBs in my doctor's group. The problem is--panic attacks. I suffer from panic attacks that happen in the middle of the night, OR whenever I go to sleep/nap in the daytime. Basically, anytime I am trying to get to sleep or am asleep, I will jerk awake with a full blown panic attack already happening. It is awful and devastating. I had sleep studies done to see if the problem was sleep apnea and they tried me on different meds before pregnancy- after the sleep study they told me to just stay on Klonopin. When I take Klonopin daily at bedtime, I don't have any panic episodes at all. No night wakings, and my heart doesn't speed up. I weaned off before my first pregnancy and didn't have a problem with panic attacks until 8 months along. They were pretty severe and devastating but they never ok'd klonopin and I tried to suffer through it.

    I have a new doctor now and he told me not to take Klonopin daily and to use it as sparingly as possible but after the first trimester he said by all means, he doesn't want me to suffer with the increased heart rate and freaky feelings of a panic attack. He said klonopin etc is not desirable for no good reason but my need for treatment outweighs the risks and taking it sparingly should be reasonably ok. 2 pharmacists have told me not to use it, but then told me that the risk is mainly in the early weeks (I'm 13 now) and is mostly either cleft palate, or if taken daily in the end, the baby going through withdrawal after birth. My old doctor told me not to take it...and another doctor in the group I see now said sparingly only for a panic attack in progress should be ok. I am getting panic attacks about 2 nights a week. I get to where I don't even want to go to bed, I dread it happening so bad.

    It is obviously hormonal because it's always worse in pregnancy for me. I've been reading and the worst I see is risk of cleft palate in the first trimester, which is over for me...I don't know if it's trustworthy but I found a few things on the web from people who took Xanax or klonopin during their entire pregnancies and had healthy babies.

    I don't want to risk it, and I have tried everything they have suggested but I am a nervous wreck over these panic attacks- have you ever had one?? Mine are so bad they make an EKG test look abnormal. My heart races, I am claustrophobic, I feel like I am smothering and can't breathe and I feel like I am having a heart attack or going to die. WTH causes this??

    My doctor ok'd it for occasional use but I still worry so badly that if I take the klonopin, something bad will happen to the baby. My husband found me last night in a puddle on the floor, panicking and gasping for breath and in a cold sweat from having woken up in terror. THIS SUCKS. The doctor told me to try Benadryl but I can't take that, it makes my skin crawl....also, why does this happen whenever I try to sleep? The only other time I get panic attacks is when I feel confined or claustrophobic. But most of the time it happens during sleep and I wake up already in a sweat....my doctor said this sounds like night terrors but didn't tell me what causes it. Anti-depressants did not prevent the problem. I'm not depressed and suffer no other anxiety-- just panic attacks. I don't even remember having any bad dreams.

    Help.........I am almost 14 weeks pregnant now.
  2. calalove

    calalove battle-scarred

    they might help you, they aren't going to help your unborn child.

    when i take a 25mg. benadryl it makes me feel groovy. if i break a tablet in half i handle it better.
    (i have a high tolerance to street/prescription drugs and no tolerance for the otc.)
    give the benadryl a chance. it will be better for both of you.

    good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  3. kissingwench

    kissingwench mystery white girl

    I'm definitely agonizing over this and wish one of the doctors could give me some **facts**. sigh... I find things like this:

    I’ve heard that benzodiazepines can cause
    birth defects like cleft lip and palate. Is this
    true?
    Some early data in animals and humans
    suggested a slight increase in the risk for
    cleft lip and/or cleft palate if a
    benzodiazepine was taken during the critical
    time of 7 ½ to 14 weeks of the pregnancy.
    Since these early reports, there have been
    studies and reviews that have not supported
    an association between benzodiazepines and
    cleft lip or palate or birth defects in general.
    It is generally felt that exposure to a
    benzodiazepine does not significantly
    increase the risk for birth defects.

    from otispregnancy.org....

    Then some websites say klonopin is a category C, and some says it is a D...even pharmacists will give you 2 different answers, one told me C, another told me D. SHouldn't they know for sure, shouldn't they have the same info to look up? It's very frustrating. I want to cry.

    It's hard to cope with panic attacks, especially when it's JUST the "attack"- it's the physical symptoms. I don't otherwise have anxiety, or worry...what I can't take is my heart speeding up and feeling like I can't breathe. I will give Benadryl another try..the problem has been so bad in the past month that I am seriously starting to think I should not have any more pregnancies, which is devastating as I wanted one more, but I am starting to think pregnancy hormone makes my panic attacks worse. It's frustrating. Like I said the mostr awful thing about it? I don't *have* anxiety! I'm cool--until my heart starts racing. It would make more sense to me if I knew why this happens to me and it would make more sense if I am a worrisome person, or something else is going on, but I am fine until I have a panic attack out of nowhere. :sick:
  4. kissingwench

    kissingwench mystery white girl

    Oh, BTW, before this pregnancy, because I fainted during a panic attack and got a black eye, I went to my doctor to have my blood pressure and other things checked to make sure I was ok..I mentioned having panic attacks that jerk me awake from a sleep. I had already had a sleep study done...my doctor did an EKG right there in the office and it was abnormal, with my heart racing so he sent me for a whole battery of heart related tests- they did an echocardiogram and a treadmill test with me hooked up to an EKG during the test, and checked some other things. Took my medical history, etc. They said everything checks out with my heart, absolutely FINE. I am actually in really good shape, my blood pressure is always good and stable, my heart valves are ok, the rhythm is ok...???? They discussed anxiety and depression with me and determined that I don't suffer from either (I don't, I simply don't have the symptoms, they even spoke with my husband to see if he sees any of the signs..my regular doctor as well). But they did find a fast heart beat when I am exposed to certain triggers. When I get the fast heart beat my EKG goes abnormal. One way to make this happen is to put a mask over my face, such as an oxygen mask, then I start to panic- or they can make me feel confined by enclosing me in a smal tight space and it happens. I'm claustrophobic--but elevators don't bother me, it's just more extreme situations than that.

    They don't have any answers for me except to keep me on Klonopin when I am not pregnant and no answers during pregnancy. I also don't take klonopin more than once a day- the normal dose is to take it twice a day or every 8 hours to keep a steady blood level but if I just take it before bedtime, it stops all my panic attacks until the next dose.

    Go figure.....does anyone here get panic attacks and know what I am talking about?? I might make a post in the other section of the board- but then, when not pregnant, the problem is taken care of. **cries**
  5. babyblue

    babyblue America's Sweetheart

    I'm sorry to hear that you get panic attacks. I do too.. and while I was pregnant I didn't take any Xanax or anything to calm me down.
    It was hard but I didn't.
    If I were you, I wouldn't risk taking Xanax and/ or Klonopin because even tho it might help you, It may be very unsafe for your baby.
    Good Luck to you!
  6. Brokencherub

    Brokencherub Mrs Sexy Pants

    I am a student pharmacist this is a copy of the two patient information leaflets medicines.org.uk

    May Rivotril be used during pregnancy or while breast feeding?( clonazepam)
    Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant, or might become pregnant, unless advised by your doctor. Contact your doctor if you think you may be pregnant, or are intending to become pregnant. If advised to take this medicine during late pregnancy or during labour, your baby might have a low body temperature, floppiness, breathing and feeding difficulties, an irregular heart beat and may have developed physical dependence and suffer withdrawal symptoms.
    Clonazepam passes into breast milk therefore, if you are breast feeding, this medicine should be avoided. Your doctor will be able to discuss this with you. Mothers who are not breast feeding may use Rivotril.
    Pregnancy and lactation(XanaX)
    If the product is prescribed to a woman of childbearing potential, she should be warned to contact her physician regarding discontinuance of the product if she intends to become or suspects that she is pregnant. The data concerning teratogenicity and effects on postnatal development and behaviour following benzodiazepine treatment are inconsistent. There is evidence from some early studies with other members of the benzodiazepine class that in utero exposure may be associated with malformations. Later studies with the benzodiazepine class of drugs have provided no clear evidence of any type of defect.
    If, for compelling medical reasons, the product is administered during the late phase of pregnancy, or during labour, effects on the neonate, such as hypothermia, hypotonia and moderate respiratory depression, can be expected, due to the pharmacological action of the compound.
    Infants born to mothers who took benzodiazepines chronically during the latter stages of pregnancy may have developed physical dependence and may be at some risk of developing withdrawal symptoms in the postnatal period.
    Since benzodiazepines are found in the breast milk, benzodiazepines should not be given to breast feeding mothers
  7. greenglitter

    greenglitter now I know you better

    I decided to wean myself off of my xanax before I decided to try to get preg, it was kinda hard at first but after a month I knew I had it licked, besides I was growing to have a need for the shit, it seems addictive to me as in how it made me feel when I DIDNT take it, I would get the shakes so I joined a panic attack support group that doesn't allow drugs and worked on ways of calming myself down, breathing exercises, relaxation exercises etc, I didn't wanna take that shit forever, and I think it was making me an addict because I was going thru 150 pills every six months....sometimes I do miss it but I know I'm better off without it and since I want kids I don't want to get back on it, plus it was REALLY hard and scary giving it up
  8. kissingwench

    kissingwench mystery white girl

    I definitely am having a hard time, because I don't want to risk anything for the baby. The doctor did tell me it's ok to use it if I am only using it like once a month for a panic attack, but I am too scared to. What I decided to do is keep a picture of me with my daughter when she was a newborn, and if I start to feel my heart speeding up in panic, I am trying to concentrate on the picture and that day with her. It helps and thankfully I don't get panic attacks often, but in pregnancy I seem to get two or three a month. My heart just speeds up- for no reason. I have long since cut caffeine completely out of my diet and I try to limit sugar, I have done everything I know to see if I can fix this. Long ago before I was pregnant, I tried all kinds of herbs (like years ago- in my early 20s)- chamomile, valerian, ec, but nothing seems to work at all. My dad is claustrophobic and gets panic attacks, and I wonder if it's genetic? He is fine most of the time, and most commonly gets them when he has medical procedures such as CT scans, he hates to be slid into the tube. etc. With me I just don't know what it is, I don't feel anything to let me know a panic attack is coming on until it hits like a brick.
  9. babyblue

    babyblue America's Sweetheart

    Yeah, I'm not sure if it's genetic or not either.
    But, I too would be really scared and wouldn't take any aniexy/panic attack medicine. Even if the doctor said that it's okay once in a while.
    I still wouldn't risk it tho and think it's a great idea to keep a picture of your daughter when she was a newborn next to you at all times. Aaw...
    Take Care and hang in there!!
  10. calalove

    calalove battle-scarred

    you were pregnant before, am i reading that right?

    what did you do during that pregnancy?

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