Is Tranxene Safe to Take While Pregnant?
Clorazepate is the generic, active ingredient in the brand-name Tranxene. Tranxene is most often used to treat anxiety and seizures. It’s frequently used during alcohol withdrawal treatment as well. Tranxene acts quickly, and it can be used to treat different types of seizures. Tranxene is a benzodiazepine, and as a result, it affects the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Along with antianxiety and anticonvulsant properties, other Tranxene properties also include sedative, hypnotic and skeletal muscle relaxants. Tranxene has a depressant effect on the central nervous system and slows functions controlled by the CNS. Common side effects of Tranxene can include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision and dry mouth. Tranxene isn’t a drug that should be used while driving or operating machinery, especially before someone knows how it will affect them. The dizziness and extreme drowsiness caused by Tranxene can also put the patient at an increased risk of falls or accidents.
Tranxene isn’t typically a first-line seizure or anxiety treatment because it has a high potential for misuse and dependence. Tranxene can cause euphoria or pleasant feelings in some patients. This can lead to addiction. Doctors are advised not to prescribe Tranxene to anyone with a history of addiction or substance misuse. If someone has been using Tranxene for a prolonged period, they shouldn’t stop using it suddenly. It can cause withdrawal symptoms including hallucinations and possibly seizures.
Is Tranxene safe to take while pregnant? Tranxene and other benzodiazepines are not considered safe to take while pregnant. However, if you find out you’re pregnant and you’re already taking Tranxene, don’t stop taking it without first speaking to your healthcare provider. The risks of withdrawal from Tranxene can be very serious during pregnancy. It’s possible cold turkey withdrawal from Tranxene could increase the potential for complications like miscarriage. If a woman has been using Tranxene, her doctor may recommend she follow a gradual schedule of tapering down her dosage. Another option to detox safely while pregnant might be a medically-assisted detox program.
The FDA categorizes many drugs and substances based on the potential they will cause birth defects or be harmful when used during pregnancy. The categories begin with group A drugs. These are the drugs that are believed, based on presently available research, to be the safest during pregnancy. Category A drugs don’t have side effects associated with their use in animal studies or controlled human studies. A category B drug is also considered safe during pregnancy. Category B drugs may have shown no evidence of negative effects in animal studies, although controlled human evidence may be limited. Most drugs fall into category C. Category C drugs may have shown negative effects in animal studies, but there isn’t well-controlled human research. Category D drugs are considered to have risks if used during pregnancy. Category D drugs typically won’t be prescribed to a pregnant woman unless the benefits far outweigh the risks. Tranxene is a category D drug.
There is evidence the use of benzodiazepines like Tranxene can cause an increased risk of certain birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate. There is also some evidence linking the use of benzodiazepines to a higher incidence of low birth weight and preterm delivery. There are also indirect risks of using Tranxene while pregnant. For example, if a pregnant woman uses Tranxene, she may be at greater risk of falling or being in an accident because of side effects. That could harm the unborn baby or trigger a miscarriage.
Do you or someone you love have questions or concerns about a pregnancy and don’t know where to turn for help? Get support and answers at the American Pregnancy Association at 1-800-672-2296.
Another risk associated with the use of Tranxene during pregnancy is the possibility of the baby being born addicted to it. If Tranxene is used, especially during the third trimester, the baby may be born going through symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms can include reluctance to suck, impaired metabolic response and something called floppy baby syndrome or hypotonia. Hypotonia is a lack of muscle tone and muscle strength that often occurs when babies are exposed to certain substances in the womb. Cyanosis is possible as well, which is skin that is bluish or purple in tone. Symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal in newborns can last a few hours up to a few months. Treatment in the NICU is often required.
If you become pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant and take Tranxene, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider. You will need to stop using Tranxene safely to minimize side effects and complications. If you are pregnant, your doctor can likely recommend alternatives to taking Tranxene while pregnant. The alternatives will depend on whether Tranxene is being used to treat anxiety or seizures. If Tranxene is being used to treat seizures, something like an SSRI may be an alternative, for example. The risks of uncontrolled anxiety or seizures are also dangerous during pregnancy, so it’s important to have a conversation with your healthcare provider.
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