Can Xanax be Taken During Pregnancy?

Xanax, one of the common names for the drug alprazolam is a benzodiazepine. Xanax is prescribed as a short term solution for anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and is FDA-approved.

Xanax has been proven to relieve the effects of anxiety, but if you are planning on becoming pregnant or are already expecting, the drug might cause some concern for you. No doubt you will be wondering if indeed it is safe to continue taking Xanax whilst you are pregnant. In this article you will find the answers to your questions as well as tips on anxiety management during pregnancy.

Is It Safe to Take Xanax During Pregnancy?

The short answer to this question is no; Xanax is a category D pregnancy drug and it can harm your gestation. The exact affects that taking Xanax may have on your pregnancy depends on when during pregnancy you took the drug. It is however always best to avoid the drug during all three trimesters, as it can cause serious problems.

First Trimester

Taking Xanax during months 1 to 3 of your pregnancy can raise the risk of birth defects, these including cleft lip and palate, and many more serious problems asides. Birth defects that are a result of taking Xanax during pregnancy will affect the way your baby functions, looks, and develops for the rest if his/her life.

Second and Third Trimesters

If you take Xanax during the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy it can result in withdrawal syndrome; this is due to the addiction or physical dependence your baby will have on Xanax when it is born. To date, there still exists, little research on such withdrawal, but common withdrawal problems include trouble eating, breathing, and dehydration; the effects can last for several days and these may be followed by other unknown longer-lasting effects.

Another problem that is associated with taking Xanax during pregnancy is floppy infant syndrome, this meaning that your baby will suffer from weak muscles. They may appear like a doll, having great difficult controlling their arms, legs, and head, the condition lasting for up to 3 weeks following the birth. Both floppy infant syndrome and withdrawal can cause a low Apgar score, the score being a way of measuring the physical condition of your infant. If your baby has a low score it could mean that they have problems with body temperature, heart rate, and breathing.

Addition and Withdrawal from Xanax

Xanax is federal government regulated and is a Schedule 4 controlled drug. Xanax is controlled as it is known to cause both physical and emotional dependence and addition, even when used exactly as prescribed by a medical professional. Common withdrawal symptoms of the drug include:

• Changes in Mood
• Muscle Cramping
• Insomnia and difficulty with sleeping
• Vomiting and nausea
• Seizures and tremors.

When you are withdrawing from Xanax, you can expect symptoms to last for several weeks or even for months; to prevent withdrawal symptoms during pregnancy, ask your doctor for advise on how long before you conceive you should withdraw from taking the medication; he will be able to provide you with a safe guide on how to stop taking Xanax.

Xanax Alternatives

If you are currently taking Xanax and want to try for a baby, talk to your doctor about other medications you can take during pregnancy for you anxiety that are safe. Your doctor may recommend that you switch to taking a different type of drug for your anxiety during pregnancy such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Lexapro or Prozac.

Your medical professional may also suggest that you attend cognitive behavioral therapy classes where you will talk to a therapist about your panic disorder or anxiety; CBT is known to relieve symptoms.

Anxiety during Pregnancy

It is important that you avoid taking Xanax when you are pregnant, but at the same time, you must still receive treatment for your panic disorder to anxiety. Giving birth and becoming a mum should be a joyful experience and one that shouldn’t be dampened by heightened levels of anxiety that come hand in hand with becoming a mom for the first time.

If you are suffering from anxiety during pregnancy, it can lead to complications such as the prevention of you receiving good prenatal care. If you suffer from anxiety you may eat poorly, drink or smoke during pregnancy, or frequently miss your medical checkups. All of these are dangerous during pregnancy and can cause issues such as low birth weight and premature birth.

When your anxiety is treated properly you can be assured a healthy pregnancy for both you and baby. When you stop taking Xanax, you may find other methods useful for control stress, including anxiety apps you can find on your Smartphone device.

Talk With your Medical Professional

If you are currently taking Xanax on prescription for seizure prevention, talk to your medical professional about how to cope with your condition whilst you are pregnant. No matter the reason for taking Xanax, it is harmful to your unborn baby. Your doctor can provide you with all the information you need about Xanax and how to manage your anxiety. Questions you may like to ask him/her include:

• What is the best way to safely stop taking Xanax?
• How long before conceiving do I need to stop taking Xanax?
• Can I resume taking Xanax when I am breastfeeding?
• Are there any exercises I can do or acupuncture that will help control and relieve my panic and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy?

Your doctor will discuss with you a safe treatment for your panic or anxiety condition, this allowing you to relax and look forward to pregnancy and to becoming a mom.

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