Is Xanax Safe During Pregnancy

Xanax should not be mistaken for a barbiturate, opiate, or a narcotic, because it is classed as a benzodiazepine. Many psychiatrists rely on Xanax to treat patients that are suffering from anxiety and panic disorders. With so many restrictions being placed on dispensaries, when it comes to Xanax prescription, many primary care physicians refuse to prescribe it to their patients. Instead they will refer them to a professional psychiatrist.

Difference in Psychiatrist and Psychologist

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that undergoes additional psychiatric training, which certifies them to practice psychiatry. This professional must be certified by the American board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Whereas, a psychologist is not a medical doctor, but more like a psychotherapist. A psychiatrist can write prescriptions for Xanax, but most American states do not authorize psychologists to do write  prescriptions.

Louisiana is the only American state that has authorized psychologists to write prescriptions.

Is Xanax Safe During Pregnancy

Xanax is genuinely not safe for pregnant women, because it has been reported to cause birth defects. Babies will also face life threatening situations, when they are forced to withdraw from Xanax.

Xanax crosses the placenta to the fetus, which increases the risks of potential problems. There have been many scientific studies that have shown evidence of these risks. Medications are classified in categories based on how safe they are for pregnant women. While a drug that is listed in the Category B will be safer than those listed in Category D.

Xanax is found in the Category D list, which means that they very risky for all pregnant women. Many OB/GYNs will weigh the risks to the pregnant female and the possible risks for the fetus. Now this is not to say that these mothers should go “cold turkey”, and suddenly stop taking their medications, because this could be very risky.

Xanax and Breastfeeding

Xanax consumption during the 1st trimester of gestation will increase the risks of birth defects, while Xanax consumption during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters will increase the risks of newborn withdrawal.

Most OB/GYNs will determine that Xanax consumption is rarely necessary, so they will attempt to wean the mother off of it, by gradually decreasing the dosage over a period of time. If you are considering pregnancy, be sure to speak with your physician, beforehand.

Maternal levels of Xanax among women that were only taking a single dose of 0.5 mg daily. The mean peak of Xanax in breast milk was 3.7 mcg/L, which was obtained 1.2 hours (range 0.47-3.8 hours) after the dose. This study has determined that Xanax does pass through breast milk.

Symptoms of Xanax Withdrawal in Newborns

  • Inconsolable crying
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia or increased drowsiness

Some mothers that were taking a prescribed dose of Xanax, while breastfeeding reported drowsiness in their newborn, which did not require follow up medical treatment.

Safe Medications During Pregnancy

If you are currently pregnant, you should definitely take the time to do your homework, before you take any type of prescription or nonprescription medication. The Federal Drug Administration has composed a categorical list of classifications for all drugs.

  • Category A – Show no potential harm (physicians will prescribe these drugs during pregnancy)
  • Category B – Some studies shown harm in animals, but none in humans. While other studies showed no harm in either animal or human. Some studies were not completed on humans (physicians often prescribe these drugs during pregnancy)
  • Category C – Animal studies showed harm, while no human studies were completed (these drugs are avoided during pregnancy)
  • Category D – Some risks were shown in human studies
  • Category X – Strong evidence have shown that these drugs are not safe for pregnant women and may not be safe for animals (should be avoided during pregnancy under all circumstances)

What Medications are Safe During Pregnancy

While Category A drugs appear to be safe for pregnant females, you should not take it upon yourself to self-medicate with these medications. Always seek the advice of your OB/GYN, before you take any prescription of over the counter drug, just to be on the safe side.