Taking Diastat During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Is it Safe to Take Diastat While Pregnant?

Diastat, the brand name for diazepam, is a prescription rectal gel benzodiazepine anticonvulsant applied to treat epilepsy. It’s indicated for patients already taking antiepileptic medications to control increased seizure activity. Although it’s unknown exactly how Diastat controls epileptic seizures, it’s believed to enhance the action of the patient’s GABA neurotransmitters in the brain, allowing the medication to control seizure activity through the central nervous system.

As with most medications, Diastat carries a risk of side effects for the patient. These may include sleepiness, shakiness, unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control and coordination.

Less common side effects have included:

  1. Amnesia
  2. Convulsions
  3. Disrupted sensory perception
  4. Epileptic attacks
  5. Headache
  6. Slurred speech
  7. Speech disorder
  8. Tremor
  9. Vertigo

Talk to your doctor right away if you experience any side effects when administering Diastat while pregnant.

No clinical studies have been performed on pregnant women to determine the risk Diastat may pose to an unborn child, but data has been collected on the subject. The data suggests physical effects on your baby are possible from applying Diastat while pregnant.

Data is limited due to the inability to conduct a formal study on pregnant women, but it’s inadvisable to take Diastat while pregnant. Treatment with Diastat should only be recommended if the potential benefits outweigh potential risks to mother and fetus. The mother should always be informed of the potential risks.

If you suffer from epilepsy and increased seizure activity, work closely with your doctor to manage your symptoms. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, it is important to speak with your doctor about Diastat and pregnancy.

Taking Diastat During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Although no official studies have been completed on pregnant humans, studies in mice and hamsters have shown the babies of mothers administering Diastat during pregnancy can be born with abnormalities. Most notable abnormalities included a cleft palate and the baby’s brain developing outside its skull (exencephaly). In the first trimester, data shows an increased risk of congenital abnormalities when Diastat was administered to pregnant women. As mentioned above, if the benefits of taking Diastat for the mother outweighs the potential risks to the baby, doctors will prescribe it.

If applying Diastat rectally while pregnant, some of the challenges to your baby may include:

  1. Muscle tone weakness
  2. Respiratory and feeding difficulties
  3. Hypothermia

The FDA has listed Diastat as a schedule II drug under the Controlled Substance Act. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for physical or psychological reliance and misuse. If you have chronically taken Diastat while pregnant, there is a chance your baby will become physically dependent and experience neonatal withdrawal syndrome after birth.

If you or a loved one is struggling with Diastat or another substance, or have questions about taking Diastat while pregnant, don’t delay. Go online to www.TheRecoveryVillage.com or call 24/7 to our toll-free hotline at 855-548-9825 to learn more about the road to recovery. We can help answer your questions and help you overcome your addiction today.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.