When a woman becomes pregnant, many things can affect the fetus growing in her womb. This is true for foods and beverages and even substances such as over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications and illegal drugs. Because the fetus is so sensitive during its development, it is recommended that women abstain from using drugs during their pregnancy. However, this is not always the rule. Some women suffering from certain conditions may need to remain on prescription medications during their pregnancy because the medications help them function in their daily lives.
Valium is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures and other conditions. It is classified as a benzodiazepine.
If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant and wonder if you can take valium while pregnant, schedule a meeting with your doctor to discuss this topic. Generally, valium is not recommended for use during pregnancy because it proposes health risks to the fetus. However, your doctor may determine using valium during pregnancy will provide benefits which outweigh the risks of the medication.
If you are currently a valium patient and no longer want to use the medication, do not adjust your treatment schedule without instruction from your doctor. In most cases, doctors will taper off a valium patient’s dose to minimize the risk of valium withdrawal. Symptoms associated with valium withdrawal can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, cramps, tremors, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, confusion, seizures, mood swings, depression, panic attacks, rebound anxiety and drug cravings. Tapering off valium is very important for pregnant women specifically, as these withdrawal symptoms can negatively affect a pregnant woman’s health and therefore the fetus’ as well.
Currently, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) classifies valium under the pregnancy risk category D. This category indicates there is evidence which indicates there are fetal health risks associated with valium use during pregnancy.
Research has shown an increased risk for congenital malformations, neonatal flaccidity, respiratory and feeding difficulties, and hypothermia in babies born to mothers who used benzodiazepines during the later staged of their pregnancy. Some babies may also experience benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms if their mothers regularly used valium during pregnancy. These withdrawal symptoms can include tremors, excessive crying, sleeping problems, high-pitched crying, tight muscle tone, hyperactive reflexes, seizures, yawning, stuffy nose, sneezing, poor feeding, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, sweating and fever.
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