2nd Trimester

Klonopin while pregnant?

I suffer from severe agorophobia, panic attacks, and anxiety disorder. My doctor doesn't want me taking Klonopin anymore so I weaned myself down to a lower dose, just once a week. I don't feel like I can do anymore than that--the anxiety is so severe! However, two other doctors have told me that Klonopin during pregnancy is perfectly safe. Now that I'm down to a low dose just 1x a week, I feel better about it . . . though my doctor doesn't prefer it. Has anyone else taken klonopin while pregnant? My first doctor let me take it the entire pregnancy with my daughter, and she obviously was fine. She said she'd rather me take the medication than pose danger to my baby from all the panic attacks.
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Re: Klonopin while pregnant?

  • I hate seeing people ask questions like this on the bump because I just know the harpies are going to come out and screech at you.  Get a psych that is experienced with obstetrics. Klonopin in low doses is fine during pregnancy. Constant anxiety and stress is not.
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  • image allieono:
    I hate seeing people ask questions like this on the bump because I just know the harpies are going to come out and screech at you.  Get a psych that is experienced with obstetrics. Klonopin in low doses is fine during pregnancy. Constant anxiety and stress is not.

    Not trying to be a harpy, but the OP should be educated on the risks if she wants to continue to take KP. 

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  • Thank you. I knew I probably shouldn't have posted on here. :)
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  • you should really speak to your Dr.

    My dr was like HELL NO but everyone has their opinions and needs. 

    Don't get too freaked out - there are safe(r) anxiety management meds out there.  

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  • How long does Klonopin stay in your system?  Is a low dose once a week really helping you throughout the week or is it a psychological thing (no pun indended).  Not judging, just curious.
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  • I don't know much about klonopin during pregnancy but there are many medications that are safe to take.  Talk to a psychatrist about it- they can tell you what's best.

    I hope your feeling better soon!!

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  • image Fluff28:
    How long does Klonopin stay in your system?  Is a low dose once a week really helping you throughout the week or is it a psychological thing (no pun indended).  Not judging, just curious.

    it works for about 12 hours. It's not like an antidepressant. You can take it as needed and it will work (as opposed to an SSRI). But some people do take scheduled doses.  

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  • My sister took this for a long time and had a very hard time quitting it. She wasn't and doesn't have any babies, so her situation is different. Klonopin are pretty addictive- just sayin'. She had a super hard time stopping them. She also had a Dr. who kept prescribing them to her, even though she clearly had a problem. (she was taking upwards of 7-8 pills a day). My family didn't know for a while how bad her addiction was.

     That said, listen to what your Dr.'s are telling you to do and don't ask people on TB about it, cause honestly, we aren't Dr.'s and we don't know what's best for your medical situation.

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  • image dixneuf:

    you should really speak to your Dr.

    My dr was like HELL NO but everyone has their opinions and needs. 

    Don't get too freaked out - there are safe(r) anxiety management meds out there.  

    This.  Talk to your psychiatrist about safer alternatives. None of us (that I know of) have MD's.  Good luck to you!

    PS - I was on an anti-anxiety med (and I think it was Klonopin) that I took on an as needed basis, but my psychiatrist took me off of it even while TTC due to the risks. But, again, go talk to an MD. I am not an MD.

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  • I used to take Klonopin, not for severe, but for moderate anxiety. 

    I went to a lower dose just before getting pregnant and stopped right when i found out. It isn't perfectly safe.  

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  • image Fluff28:
    How long does Klonopin stay in your system?  Is a low dose once a week really helping you throughout the week or is it a psychological thing (no pun indended).  Not judging, just curious.

    I have to agree with this. The duration of Klonopin only lasts at most 12 hours. Only taking it once a week is not doing much for you-except for that one day you take it.
    I was on Klonopin and my OB's said absolutely not take (prior to getting pregnant). There are a lot of other options out there for your panic attacks/anxiety. Zoloft is doing wonders for me-and it's only a C (versus Klonopin which is a Class D). And my OB and MFM have both approved the zoloft during pregnancy. Hope that helps!

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  • image allieono:
    I hate seeing people ask questions like this on the bump because I just know the harpies are going to come out and screech at you.  Get a psych that is experienced with obstetrics. Klonopin in low doses is fine during pregnancy. Constant anxiety and stress is not. 

    I 100% agree with all of this. OP, I have taken ativan & xanax (.25mg at a time for each, once or twice I've taken .5mg of ativan, but always super low doses that were very effective for me) while pregnant, even in the first trimester. My OB was a bit hesitant, but she & my psychiatrist chatted about it and both agreed that it was way better for me to take small doses as needed (I also suffer from major panic attacks) than to go cold turkey. My baby is doing perfectly fine, and I am as well (thanks to the occasional use of my meds when I need them). Do not listen to others who try to tell you that there are "omg so many risks, u'll kill ur baby!!!11" because honestly, a lot of that is misinformed crap. I'm going to link you to two sites that were helpful for me.They basically say there is no definitive link between the use of benzos (klonopin, ativan, etc.) during pregnancy and any problems. 

    http://www.fetal-exposure.org/resources/index.php/1999/06/01/update-benzodiazepines-in-pregnancy/

    http://www.otispregnancy.org/files/benzodiazepines.pdf

    Oh, and the only thing my husband could really find is that there was a potential link between the use of benzos and PREVENTING miscarriage. I found that pretty funny.

     I also take Zoloft (150mg 1x a day). I found that this did not do much for me when I was in the throes of worrying in the first trimester.

    TLDR; Don't worry, you'll be fine (better if you take them!) & baby will too!!!! You can always message me if you want to talk or know anything else. I've done extensive research and my therapist/psychiatrist/OBGYN have given me TONS of information.

    Final thoughts: No one can understand how terrible it is to suffer from anxiety disorder unless they do. So others, please leave the OP alone. I promise you that she is going through a lot of anxiety about having to take these meds, as I went through the same thing. I cried, fretted, and even had panic attacks ABOUT taking my meds to stop panic attacks. It is a terrible place to be, but if you NEED the meds, then you NEED them. End of story. 

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  • image mabenner1:

    image allieono:
    I hate seeing people ask questions like this on the bump because I just know the harpies are going to come out and screech at you.  Get a psych that is experienced with obstetrics. Klonopin in low doses is fine during pregnancy. Constant anxiety and stress is not.

    Not trying to be a harpy, but the OP should be educated on the risks if she wants to continue to take KP. 

     And you should be educated as well. Safefetus is VERY over-dramatic and not backed by statistics or research (there are no links to any studies or any sort of fact sheets, unlike the sites I linked for the OP). There are many better sites out there for finding ACTUAL information/statistics/facts about medications. Just saying.

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  • IAM3BsIAM3Bs
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    Klonopin is a class D medication (proven risk) and has been shown to cause cleft palettes and limb defects in animal studies if taken while pregnant.

    I would try to find another alternative if possible.

    I have had a prescription for it myself since my brother passed in 2008- and I started suffering from random panic/anxiety attacks. Thankfully they've slowed significantly over the years, but still, there have been a a couple of times during pregnancy when I felt one start, and all I could do was go lay down until it was gone.  For me, it's not worth the risk.

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  • image theolsons:
    image mabenner1:

    image allieono:
    I hate seeing people ask questions like this on the bump because I just know the harpies are going to come out and screech at you.  Get a psych that is experienced with obstetrics. Klonopin in low doses is fine during pregnancy. Constant anxiety and stress is not.

    Not trying to be a harpy, but the OP should be educated on the risks if she wants to continue to take KP. 

     And you should be educated as well. Safefetus is VERY over-dramatic and not backed by statistics or research (there are no links to any studies or any sort of fact sheets, unlike the sites I linked for the OP). There are many better sites out there for finding ACTUAL information/statistics/facts about medications. Just saying.

    Here's some pretty heavy research about all psychotropics: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=12490

    In it, they state that benzo use before delivery can cause floppy baby syndrome, based on "good and consistent scientific evidence."  Benzos can be dangerous for anyone, including and especially pregnant women. That's why their use is often monitored closely (I used to take Ativan and Valium regularly, and have used Klonopin as well).

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  • My opinion is that if you can just go lay down to get through a panic attack, you probably don't need the medication.

    Also, the studies that show the cleft palette correlation are for HIGH doses of Klonopin.  Nobody here is talking about high doses.

    People who judge women for taking their psych meds while pregnant OBVIOUSLY do not understand psychiatric problems.  

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  • Here's some pretty heavy research about all psychotropics: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=12490

    In it, they state that benzo use before delivery can cause floppy baby syndrome, based on "good and consistent scientific evidence."  Benzos can be dangerous for anyone, including and especially pregnant women. That's why their use is often monitored closely (I used to take Ativan and Valium regularly, and have used Klonopin as well).

    I checked out that site, and I had already known that just before delivery it can cause this side-effect. It's still unlikely, though. Here's what I found on a similar site:

    Data regarding the use of benzodiazepines (such as Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan) during pregnancy is somewhat controversial. Early reports suggested that there may be an increased risk of cleft lip and palate associated with first trimester exposure to these medications, estimating the risk to be about 0.7%; however, more recent studies have suggested that the risk may be even lower. Since this risk is restricted to the first trimester, benzodiazepines may be used without risk of teratogenesis during the second and third trimesters. Symptoms of toxicity have been reported in newborns, and these include sedation, decreased muscle tone (floppiness), and breathing problems. In general, these symptoms appear infrequently but probably occur more commonly in women taking higher dosages of medication. There are also some reports of benzodiazepine withdrawal occurring in newborns exposed to benzodiazepines in utero, including irritability, sleep disruption, and, less commonly, seizure.

    How anxiety in the mother may affect the pregnancy has been a topic of recent research, and several studies indicate that women who experience clinically significant anxiety symptoms during pregnancy are more likely to have preterm labor and low birthweight infants, as well as other complications, including pre-eclampsia. Thus it is crucial that women with anxiety disorders be monitored carefully during pregnancy, such that appropriate treatment may be administered should anxiety symptoms emerge during pregnancy.

    Ruta M. Nonacs, MD PhD 

    From here: http://www.womensmentalhealth.org/posts/how-to-treat-anxiety-symptoms-during-regnancy/

    The important things to note are that all of these issues are very infrequent (and the cleft palate thing is ".07% increase in risk, but likely LOWER than that". Any of this could happen during pregnancy without taking any meds. Just a good thing to remember. It is always important to weigh the risks vs. benefits (of course), but if the OP is having serious panic attacks and cannot control them any other way, it is way better to take a low dose of a benzo than to just suffer constantly.  

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  • I'm TTC #2 and am having a hard time with this.  I ended up on Zoloft, Trazadone, and Klonopin when DD #1 was about 7 weeks old, due to postpartum anxiety.  I decided to stop them all (even the Zoloft, which I didn't "have" to, but which leads to a slightly higher risk of miscarriage) before TTC, so I was very gradually weaned off.  But even once I was weaned off, I would still *occasionally* take Klonopin or Trazadone to help me sleep (my anxiety is very sleep-centric-- since DD's newborn days, a lot of it centers around whether I will be able to sleep, which is obviously self-defeating).

     Well, due to some work stress, I got in the habit of taking .125 of Klonopin (TINY dose-- it's not even a pill, it's a wafer you put under your tongue-- my psychiatrist equated this to half a drink), along with Benadryl at bedtime.  She indicated it was OK to do this while TTC, pre-conception.  Of course, now I'm trying to stop doing even that, because I just O'ed, and I'm having an awful time of it.  The first night I tried not taking any, I didn't sleep all night, and then last night, after tossing and turning for a couple of hours, I ended up taking 1mg (still a relatively small dose, but it's significant).

    Grr.  I am regretting coming off the Zoloft.  A slightly increased chance of miscarriage would be better than not functioning to the point we might have to stop TTC.

     Anyway, this is my way of saying that I feel your pain and don't know the right answer.  But I will say that my psychiatrist said that it would be ok to take Klonopin after the first trimester, when the risk for those particular birth defects had passed.  I imagine you would have to taper off toward the end of pregnancy, so that the baby doesn't go through withdrawal when she's born (my psychiatrist told me that's the case with Zoloft, even though it is otherwise generally considered OK for pregnancy). 

     

  • Thank you at theolsens for that information.  I am Currently on 4mg per day of klonopin for serious panic attacks i developed postpartum  with my first child.  I believe to be pregnant again but am so concerned about the amount i take im trying to cut down to 2 mgs a day but everyone on here seems to be on .25 or some extremely small dose.  Any one on a High dose like me that is pregnant? Also anyone have a child in which they took this medications throughout the pregnancy and there fine?????
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  • my sister took xanax. once she got in her 3rd trimester the doctor told her it was ok as needed. but then she had to go to a high risk and they told her they told her that the baby could go into a coma inside and they wouldn't know. hes a healthy 9 mo old now but thats still scary.
  • Katsunny, I'd love to know how you're doing! I'm on .5 mg clonazepam, taken it every other day and im seven weeks along. Seeing my psychiatrist today.
  • KariB509KariB509
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    edited October 2013
    I use safefetus.com a lot and it says that it's a category D, which means that it's a proven risk.  Not to scare you but it's been shown to cause cleft palate, open eyelids, limb defects, neonatal withdraw, and other problems.  Here's the link:  http://safefetus.com/search.php/index/details/DrugId/392/TradeName/Klonopin/TradeId/3212 

    Have you talked to your OB or a psychologist/psychiatric about other options?  I take Prozac, which is a category C.  GL.

    Edit: added link
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