Taking Prosom During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
Is Prosom Safe to Take While Pregnant?
Prosom is a brand-name medication, and the generic, active ingredient it contains is estazolam. Estazolam has sedative, anticonvulsant, hypnotic and muscle relaxant properties. Prosom is frequently prescribed as a short-term treatment for insomnia. Prosom may be helpful to reduce the number of awakenings a person experiences in the night, and it can increase the time spent asleep. In some cases, Prosom may be used before an operation. Estazolam is a benzodiazepine. The primary concern associated with the use of benzodiazepines is their potential for dependence and addiction. Prosom and similar drugs are supposed to only be used in the short-term to reduce this risk. Prosom dependence means a person will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it suddenly, after a period of prolonged use. In addition to an increased potential for addiction and dependence associated with ongoing use of Prosom, it also starts to lose effectiveness as a sleep aid. As well as the potential for misuse, Prosom has other adverse side effects associated with its use. Side effects can include a hangover feeling the next day after using it. This hangover can cause physical and mental impairment. Also possible are dizziness and problems with coordination. Overall, Prosom shouldn’t be used for more than seven to ten days to treat insomnia.
So, is Prosom safe to take while pregnant? In short, no. Prosom is not a medication that should be used during pregnancy. Prosom is a category X drug according to the FDA. The FDA differentiates medicines based on their believed safety or level of risk during pregnancy. Category A drugs are among the safest to use during pregnancy, based on animal and human research currently available. Category B drugs are likely safe, although there may be limited research to definitively show this. Most drugs are category C. This means they may have shown some risks to the fetus in animal studies and possibly in human studies or there may be no human-related studies available. Category D drugs may still be sometimes used if their benefits outweigh their risks. Then, there are category X drugs like Prosom. A category X drug is one that has been shown to have a link to fetal abnormalities associated with its use. Category X drugs shouldn’t be used in women who are currently pregnant or who could become pregnant. The risks are believed to outweigh any possible benefits of using a category X drug like Prosom.
Insomnia is a frequent side effect occurring during pregnancy. In the first and even second trimester, insomnia often occurs because of changes in hormones. It can also occur because of anxiety. During the third trimester, insomnia is most often related to the growing abdomen and associated discomfort. A pregnant woman might wonder if she can take an insomnia medicine. This is a conversation to be had with a healthcare professional, but it’s highly unlikely Prosom would be one a doctor would recommend or prescribe. Using any benzodiazepines, particularly during the first trimester, raises the risk of potential birth defects. Some studies show links between benzodiazepines and the development of cleft lips or cleft palates. Symptoms of toxicity have shown up in newborns exposed to benzodiazepines in the womb as well. Benzodiazepine toxicity in a newborn could include sedation, floppiness and respiratory problems.
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Another issue related to Prosom use during pregnancy is the potential for the baby to be born dependent on it. Just as someone taking Prosom can form a dependence, so can a baby that has been exposed to it in the womb. When a baby is born with a benzodiazepine dependence, they will go through withdrawal after delivery. Symptoms of neonatal benzodiazepine withdrawal can include sleeping and eating disruption, irritability, excessive crying, and in some cases, tremors or seizures. When a baby is born dependent on benzodiazepines, typically NICU specialized care is required until the symptoms start to dissipate.
If a woman is already using Prosom and she becomes pregnant, she should contact her healthcare provider right away. First, the woman will need to discontinue her use of Prosom safely. Stopping a benzodiazepine cold turkey can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause pregnancy complications and can increase the risk for placental abruption or a miscarriage. A doctor will either advise a woman to follow a schedule of gradually tapering down her use of Prosom or a medically-assisted detox program. Then, if insomnia or anxiety treatment is required, a woman’s healthcare provider will typically suggest something considered safer than Prosom. If a woman recreationally misuses Prosom, she should also speak with her healthcare provider openly and honestly about this. She may benefit from addiction treatment during pregnancy. No matter the specifics of the situation, a pregnant woman should go to her healthcare provider first and foremost. Many doctors recommend if a woman is on a drug like Prosom that she take birth control or have a plan before trying to become pregnant.
If you’d like to learn more about benzodiazepine addiction treatment, or addiction treatment and recovery during pregnancy, contact The Recovery Village.
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.