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Is it safe to take Ativan during pregnancy?

Managing anxiety during pregnancy may be difficult, resulting in a threat to infants and mother’s health. Ativan contains lorazepam, an active agent that belongs to the benzodiazepines (helps in releasing tranquilizing effect) class of drug.

It is scheduled under Category D by the US FDA. The classification is based on its sedative properties that should not be recommended for a prolonged duration. However, it has considerably lesser potential for addiction and dependency as compared with other drugs. 

Also, Ativan is one of the standards and most prescribed drugs for treating anxiety and muscle spasms in the US.

In pregnancy and lactation, most physicians do not prescribe Ativan due to its high hypnotic agent that may cause a defect in the child’s development and mother’s health. In a few rare cases, where other alternative medications are not showing an outcome, a gynecologist may prescribe the lowest dose to a woman and keep a close eye on her health.

This leaflet speaks about the utilization of Ativan while breastfeeding and pregnancy. This information should not replace your healthcare service provider’s prescription and piece of advice.

Is it safe to take Ativan during pregnancy?

Measuring the risks and benefits of using lorazepam will help you to identify whether Ativan is safe during pregnancy or not. Many researchers have highlighted the possible threat that may negatively affect babies’ and mothers’ health. To weigh the potential advantage and disadvantages, you should collaborate with your spouse and your physician. Taking a collective decision will help you arrive at a wiser and healthier decision for you and you’re newborn.

As per the American Family Physician estimation, most pregnant women suffer from depression, panic disorder, and social anxiety during the first trimester. Also, anxiety may occur for the first time, or the existing stress may trigger more anxious feelings. Stress should not be ignored, as it might increase the other phycological disorders. 

Generic complications of taking lorazepam include congenital disabilities, improper development of the child’s brain, premature delivery, miscarriage, and withdrawal symptoms on a child. Looking for an alternative to Ativan, which has lesser addictive potent with higher benefits, is the safest way to assure a healthy trimester.

Should you stop taking Ativan when you find out you're pregnant?

The decision regarding discontinuing the ongoing medication should be taken with your physician. The sudden stoppage may lead to unwanted health effects. It is advisable to discuss with your doctor before altering the dose proportion and duration. Not all women may have a similar impact on health; some individuals have withdrawal signs when they stop taking medicine. Physicians may often guide you to gradually taper the dose, reduce it day by day, and eventually stop consuming it. Meanwhile, to suppress the side effects, they might give you additional health supplements or therapy to stay calm and relaxed.

How much is Ativan safe to take during pregnancy?

A mother’s anxiety may lead to an impact on her trimester, baby’s congenital disability, low weight, and other complications, making it vital to analyze the safest proportion to take during pregnancy. Although, Ativan is not recommended for lactating and pregnant women. They are usually prescribed folic acid, vitamins, and other allopathic medications to overcome anxiety. 

However, if results are in favor of anxiety, then in such emergency cases, your doctor may give you a lower dose of 0.5mg that may have lesser reach to the womb, and the half-life is also less than 6 hours. Your physician will never give at the time of the first trimester, as it may cause delay or damage in the fetus development stage.

Is Ativan safe to take while breastfeeding?

If a mother does not use Ativan so often while breastfeeding her child, she might have lesser exposure to risks. But it is certainly possible for the molecular composition effect to detect in the newborn through breast milk. 

The presence of lorazepam also depends upon the dosage; therefore, you should be on a lower dose to control a level in milk. Clinical research was carried out by giving lorazepam to sixty-four pregnant women. The results have shown no severe effects on the babies. 

Your doctor will monitor your baby’s health, but you should also keep a check on his sleeping hours, energy, and suckling intensity. These are some of the signs indicating whether your baby is receiving too much of the lorazepam level in the milk. 

The moment you suspect the symptoms, seek professional help; contact your doctor and give him the detail about your breastfeeding journey and your observations on the baby’s change in behavior.

What other anti-depressants are safe to use when pregnant or breastfeeding?

A woman who is suffering from anxiety and is restricted to use Ativan can go for an alternative that may cure her anxiety without harmful effects on the baby’s health. 

While selecting your alternative therapy, look for the drug class with greater efficiency and safety profile.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are another class of anti-depressants known to heal depression and anxiousness without much risk to health. Although it is a comparatively healthier option, you should monitor yourself and update your doctor through the three trimesters.

Recreational and clinical therapy are other safer alternatives that many healthcare service providers suggest, cognitive behavioral therapy being one amongst them. 

Natural therapy such as yoga, aromatherapy, meditation, massage, and exercise are authentic therapies with zero scope of risks and side effects. In fact, it will nurture the child’s development and make it easier during labor pain.

Some of the effective anxiety alternatives include:

  • Replacing the negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Focusing on productive actions and healthy living using Cognitive therapy.
  • Improving on learning the new methods of relaxing and calming. Do what makes you happy!
  • Taking counseling sessions to lower down your stress.
  • Having a nutritional meal to prevent health deficiency.

Look for emotional and financial support that is rendered by registered psychological services.

Conclusion

Maternal anxiety is a common issue that is found in many pregnant women. But the point of concern is, not every woman speaks about their stress upfront. They do not disclose their problem to their spouses, family, friends, or doctors. Which ideally should not be the case; it is essential to report to your gynecologist to receive professional care and treatment.

Any women who are currently on anti-anxiety pills such as Ativan are at risk of mistreating and abuse. You may not identify, but subconsciously your body and mind will create dependency and addiction for that tablet which is not healthy for your baby’s health.

It would be best if you discuss with your family and your doctor before stopping the medication. Your goal should be to think for the betterment of your newborn. Those who are planning to conceive should also consult the doctor in advance so that plan for alternative treatment can be implemented.

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