Taking Klonopin during pregnancy is not recommended because it can create risks for the unborn baby. Fortunately, several alternatives to Klonopin are available.

Klonopin is a prescription medication given to patients to treat panic disorders, anxiety and seizure disorders. It is classified as a benzodiazepine drug.

If you take Klonopin and are wondering if you can use Klonopin while you are pregnant, set up a meeting with your doctor to discuss your options. In general, using Klonopin while you are pregnant should be avoided. However, this may be difficult for some women who need the medication to function in their daily lives.

If you use Klonopin and become pregnant, do not adjust your treatment schedule before speaking with your doctor. Abruptly ending your Klonopin use will put you at greater risk for experiencing Klonopin withdrawal.

Common physical Klonopin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased body temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Coordination problems
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Increased pulse

People going through Klonopin withdrawal may also experience rebound effects like intense sleeplessness, anxiety, seizures and panic attacks.

These withdrawal symptoms can affect the health of a pregnant woman as well as their growing fetus. If you are pregnant and no longer wish to continue your Klonopin treatment, talk to your doctor about tapering off the medication. This strategy involves gradually lowering your Klonopin dosage over time, and it can help you avoid experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.

Effects of Klonopin on a Fetus

Klonopin use during pregnancy can lead the fetus to develop what is known as “floppy baby syndrome.” This is characterized by decreased muscle tone, poor circulation and breathing problems.

Some babies whose mothers used Klonopin during pregnancy also showed signs of withdrawal, including irritability, inability to sleep and seizures in rare cases. For these reasons, you should avoid using Klonopin while you are pregnant.

Most of the negative effects associated with Klonopin use during pregnancy stem from taking the medication at high doses during the first trimester of pregnancy. If you become pregnant after treating your anxiety with Klonopin, speak with your doctor about how you can stop your treatment and monitor your baby’s growth and development in the following trimesters.

What Are Some Alternatives for Treating Anxiety During Pregnancy?

Women who are using Klonopin and thinking about becoming pregnant should consider other prescription medications to use during pregnancy. Some alternative medications for anxiety treatment include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

You may also want to seek holistic approaches that can help ease your anxiety during pregnancy. These can include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Support groups
  • Exercise
  • Massage

If you or someone you love is struggling with Klonopin use and a co-occurring anxiety disorder, The Recovery Village can help. Contact us today to learn more about evidence-based treatment programs that can work well for your situation.

Jonathan Strum
Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
Conor Sheehy
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS, CACP
Dr. Sheehy completed his BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Idaho and went on to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Read more
Sources

Armstrong, Carrie. “ACOG Guidelines on Psychiatric Medication Use During Pregnancy and Lactation.” American Family Physician, September 2008. Accessed November 3, 2021.

Food and Drug Administration. “Klonopin Package Insert.” October 2013. Accessed November 3, 2021.

MotherToBaby. “Clonazepam.” July 1, 2020. Accessed November 3, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.