Zetran While Pregnant: What You Need to Know
Can You Take Zetran While Pregnant?
Zetran is a brand-name version of the generic drug diazepam. Zetran is an injectable version of diazepam, and it can be used to treat muscle spasms, anxiety and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Since it’s injectable, Zetran is used when fast relief is needed or when diazepam can’t be taken orally. Zetran can also be used as a short-term treatment for seizures that are part of the condition called status epilepticus. Zetran may be administered before a surgery or procedure to help someone relax and also to cause short-term memory loss of the procedure. Diazepam works by calming brain and neural activity, and it’s classified as a benzodiazepine. Zetran is only intended to be given intravenously by a medical professional. Someone who’s given Zetran should then be monitored for several hours. If Zetran is prescribed for home use, the person should follow their doctor’s instructions very carefully.
Benzodiazepines including Zetran have the potential for serious side effects. Zetran may be addictive, and patients may form a physical dependence to it as well. The risk of becoming addicted to Zetran is higher in people with a previous history of substance use disorder. Taking Zetran only for a short period of time and exactly as instructed can lower the risk of addiction. Physical dependence can occur with Zetran. If someone is dependent on Zetran and discontinues use suddenly, they may have withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be severe. Side effects of Zetran can include dizziness, drowsiness, unsteadiness and blurred vision.
Can you take Zetran while pregnant? In most cases, a doctor probably wouldn’t advise a pregnant woman take Zetran. Zetran and other benzodiazepines are category C pregnancy drugs, according to FDA guidelines. The following is a general overview of how the FDA classifies drugs for safety during pregnancy:
- Category A drugs haven’t shown any risks in animal or human studies and are considered among the safest drugs to use during pregnancy.
- Category B drugs haven’t shown risks in animal studies, but there might not be a lot of evidence with human studies.
- Category C drugs have shown the potential for adverse effects during pregnancy in animal studies, and there aren’t well-controlled human studies.
- Category D drugs have shown risks to the fetus if they’re used during pregnancy and should only be used if a doctor feels the benefits significantly outweigh the risks.
- Category X drugs shouldn’t be used during pregnancy.
There may be an increased risk of certain birth defects if a pregnant woman uses Zetran or other benzodiazepines. Most of the evidence isn’t entirely clear or is conflicting, but still, most doctors do hesitate to recommend pregnant women use benzodiazepines. The risk of a cleft lip and cleft palate may be higher with prenatal exposure to benzodiazepines like Zetran. Using Zetran during pregnancy may also increase the risk of cardiac malformities in the fetus. It’s not recommended that Zetran is used during breastfeeding either because it can pass to the baby through breastmilk.
While there are risks of taking Zetran during pregnancy, it’s important not to stop suddenly if you’ve been using it for a prolonged period. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be very serious and may need to be medically managed. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, confusion, cognitive problems and panic attacks. Also possible are hallucinations, psychosis, seizures and a potentially increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Complications related to the pregnancy can occur as well, including miscarriage. Rather than stopping Zetran cold turkey, a pregnant woman should speak with her healthcare provider about the best option. Sometimes the doctor may have her gradually lower her dose, or in other cases, a medical detox may be the safest option for the woman and the baby.
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As well as a possibly increased risk of birth defects, babies can be born addicted to Zetran. If a baby is exposed to Zetran or another benzodiazepine in the womb, they may be dependent on it. Following birth, when there is no longer exposure to that substance, the baby may have withdrawal symptoms known as NAS. NAS stands for neonatal abstinence syndrome. Signs and symptoms of NAS related to Zetran can include shaking, seizures and overactive reflexes as well as fussiness and excessive crying. A baby going through benzodiazepine withdrawal may have problems with eating or sleeping, may have breathing problems and may show signs of toxicity. The symptoms of Zetran withdrawal in an infant may have to be treated in the NICU.
If you are planning to become pregnant or you’re already pregnant, you should speak to your doctor about your use of Zetran. If Zetran is prescribed to you, your doctor will likely want to put you on a medication considered to be a lower risk during pregnancy. Another option might be non-medicinal options to treat the condition Zetran is used for, such as anxiety. Sometimes if a pregnant woman has to stay on Zetran for whatever reason, her doctor may have her lower the dose to the smallest effective option. If you recreationally use Zetran, you may benefit from a medical detox program and an addiction treatment program.
If you’re interested in learning more about Zetran addiction, dependence and treatment options, call The Recovery Village today. We’re happy to answer questions or have a casual conversation about what your options can be.