Is it safe to take Onfi while pregnant?
Onfi is a prescription medication used to control seizures. This medication is classified as a benzodiazepine. If you are considering becoming pregnant or are pregnant and have questions about how safe Onfi is to use while pregnant, schedule a meeting with your doctor to discuss this topic. Generally, women should only use Onfi while pregnant if the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks. Your doctor will be able to determine whether using Onfi during your pregnancy is right for you.
An example of when women should use Onfi during pregnancy is if they suffer from seizures regularly without medication. Seizures can have very debilitating effects on the mother, and therefore can negatively impact the developing fetus. Instead of exposing the mother and fetus to the negative effects of seizures, pregnant women should use Onfi to reduce seizures as much as possible. However, this is just an anecdotal example. Using any medication, including Onfi, during pregnancy should always be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
If you are currently using Onfi and become pregnant, let your doctor know right away. Usually, using Onfi during pregnancy is not medical grounds to terminate the pregnancy. In addition, you should schedule a meeting with your doctor to discuss whether you want to stay on Onfi during pregnancy. Do not adjust your Onfi treatment schedule or abruptly stop your treatment, as this will put you at greater risk for Onfi withdrawal symptoms. Onfi withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and negatively affect yours and the fetus’ health. These withdrawal symptoms may include a headache, tremor, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, drug withdrawal syndrome, palpitations, and diarrhea. To avoid withdrawal symptoms as much as possible, talk to your doctor about tapering off Onfi if you no longer want to use Onfi during your pregnancy. This will give your body ample time to adjust to less and less of the medication.
When a woman becomes pregnant, everything she comes into contact with can affect the fetus developing in her womb. This is why it is important for women to monitor everything they put into their bodies and avoid using drugs as much as possible during their pregnancy. This includes avoiding substances like over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, and illegal substances. However, some women may be approved by their doctors to use certain medications during pregnancy if they need them to function normally in their daily lives.
Currently, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Onfi under the pregnancy risk category C. This category indicates the medication cannot be deemed completely safe for use because there is a lack of research on the effects of Onfi on the fetus. Because not enough research is available on using Onfi during pregnancy, you should only use Onfi while pregnant when absolutely necessary.
Some animal studies have shown some adverse effects of Onfi on a fetus. These effects include developmental, long-term effects on neurobehavioral and immunological function. However, these findings cannot be confirmed with human studies because a lack of available research.
Although there is a lack of human research on Onfi’s safety for use during pregnancy, some studies have shown negative effects on the fetus when mothers use benzodiazepines during pregnancy. Using benzodiazepines during pregnancy may put your baby at increased risk of birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. In addition, some newborns who were exposed to benzodiazepines in the womb may exhibit signs of toxicity after they are born. These signs may include sedation, decreased muscle tone, and breathing problems. Notify your baby’s doctor right away if these become noticeable.
You should also have a discussion with your doctor about whether you should use Onfi or other medications while breastfeeding. Some doctors may recommend new mothers stop breastfeeding if the medications can pass into breast milk.
The best way to prepare for whether you want to use medications while pregnant is to come up with a conception plan and share this with your provider. Depending on what medications you are prescribed, you may need to stop taking certain drugs weeks before you try to conceive. Let your doctor know if you are interested in becoming pregnant in the future and they will help you decide on which medications should be stopped or continued.
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