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What Anxiety Medication Is Safe While Pregnant

Is Ativan Safe During Pregnancy

Anxiety Meds and Pregancy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration places Ativan in Category D, which means that the drug has the potential to cause birth defects and health problems in developing babies, but that the drug might be required for some women with serious medical problems. Women with severe anxiety that cannot be treated with other medications, for example, might be encouraged to keep taking Ativan during pregnancy, under the close supervision of a doctor.

Treating anxiety during pregnancy can be challenging, especially if the mother has been using psychiatric drugs that could threaten her health or the health of her baby. Ativan, or lorazepam, belongs to a class of tranquilizing medications called benzodiazepines, which are among the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs in the US. Ativan is classified Category D drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which means that although research shows that the medication poses risks to developing infants, it may still be advisable to prescribe the drug to pregnant patients in certain cases.

Ativan is a central nervous system depressant that is prescribed to treat several serious conditions of the brain and nerves, including anxiety, insomnia, seizure disorders, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Anxiety Relief Without Side Effects

What can relieve anxiety without any side effects?

If you are suffering from mild anxiety turning your mind towards books, relaxing, and meditation might offer you relief. But there are cases when you will need to look at oral medication and supplements.

In such events, it is necessary that you choose a medication that doesnt expose you and your baby to the risks associated with prescription drugs.

In fact, medical practitioners do prescribe these supplements to their patients given the benefits and the absence of risk.

Synergistically optimized formula prepared from natural herbs has become one of the most popular ways to deal with anxiety during pregnancy.

These supplements primarily include herbs such as ashwagandha which has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years.

Other herbs used in these include Chamomile and St. Johns Wort. These are different from the traditional herbal medicines you have heard of which dont really optimize the level of neurotransmitters the real reason behind your anxiety.

The active ingredients in these supplements are naturally derived and delivered to your body. The amino acids present in these supplements improve the stress response system within your body offering immediate results.

To conclude you can try these anxiety relief supplements during pregnancy without increasing risks for your baby.

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Can I Get Off Of My Anxiety Meds While Pregnant

Dr. Sophie Grigoriadis, a psychiatrist and head of the Womens Mood and Anxiety Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, expressed her concern for pregnant women and psychiatric disorders, stating that it is important to outweigh the risk and benefits.

“The idea is to try to do whats best for the mother and her family,” she said in her report to Global News. “If a woman is severely , we have to think how shell progress through her pregnancy and postpartum without treatment.

It is also recommended that women who are not yet pregnant but plan to be in the future, may begin to taper off their medication, however, this solution may not be the best for women with a family history of severe anxiety or depression.

If it’s in your best interest to continue to stay on anxiety medication, know that too, is a healthy choice.

Read Also: Can Anxiety Cause Memory Problems

Antidepressants During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

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“I developed severe postnatal depression and OCD just three days after the birth of my daughter. I was non-functioning, I couldn’t even leave the house and was suicidal… really helped, and gave me the crutch I needed to function again. I really feel like it saved my life.”

How Anxiety Medication Works

What medications are safe to take during pregnancy?

Its important to recognize there are a variety of different types of anxiety medications available, all with slight differences in how they work and their side effects.

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to people with anxiety to improve mood and stress levels, which work by balancing the brains chemicals. Benzodiazepines, which take effect quicker than antidepressants, target a neurotransmitter to help slow down the brain, thereby calming the person.

Unlike antidepressants and benzodiazepines, beta-blockers work to treat physiological concerns rather than psychological ones. They block chemical signals released by the brain when anxious, which can cause physical symptoms like a quick heart rate and increased blood pressure.

Finally, buspirone is another common medication specifically used to treat chronic anxiety, which does so by improving serotonin levels in the brain.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Anxiety Pill

What Causes Anxiety During Pregnancy

Worries during pregnancy are universal. Hormonal changes of pregnancy, prior heartbreaking miscarriages, and sleep difficulties may all contribute to anxiety for mothers-to-be. You may worry about how a baby will affect your relationships with friends or family members, the health of your future child, the delivery experience, or the financial burden of an additional family member. All of these worries are completely normal. For humans, a certain amount of anxiety is protective how else could we motivate ourselves to complete our work or run away from a bear?

Antidepressants And Pregnancy: Tips From An Expert

Most pregnant women want to do everything right for their baby, including eating right, exercising regularly and getting good prenatal care. But if youre one of the many women who have a mood disorder, you might also be trying to manage your psychiatric symptoms as you prepare to welcome your new baby.

Its common for doctors to tell women with mood disorders to stop taking drugs like antidepressants during pregnancy, leaving many moms-to-be conflicted about giving up the medications that help keep them healthy.

Lauren Osborne, M.D., assistant director of the Johns Hopkins Womens Mood Disorders Center, talks about why stopping your medication may not be the right approach. She explains how women can and should balance their mental health needs with a healthy pregnancy.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Anxiety Stomach Aches

What Is Prenatal Anxiety

Topic: What is prenatal anxiety?

Pregnancy brings many changes, and in some cases, anxiety may occur or worsen. Complications during a persons pregnancy can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. However, there is a range of treatments that may help.

Unmanaged ongoing anxiety during pregnancy, also called prenatal anxiety, can affect the parent and baby. However, the right treatment can help manage anxiety in pregnancy.

Many people worry that anxiety may harm their baby. However, the tools, resources, and support that a person needs to manage symptoms are widely available, and there are several options to suit an individuals needs.

This article looks at anxiety medications that are safe for pregnant individuals. It also discusses other ways to manage symptoms, such as therapy and natural remedies.

Which anxiety medications are safe?

If a doctor recommends medication for prenatal anxiety, there are several options they may prescribe. While all medications have risks, doctors will aim to prescribe the safest medications at the lowest effective dose.

There are medications that doctors use to treat anxiety that they also recommend for treating depression. Antidepressants that healthcare professionals may prescribe during pregnancy include:

Topic Discussed: What is prenatal anxiety?

The Right Medication At The Right Dose

Anxiety, Medication & Pregnancy | Medical Minute Monday Ep 5

Kimmel suspects that some women may not respond well to antidepressants, because they are not taking enough or not taking the right one. Due to changes in blood volume and metabolism during pregnancy, women already taking antidepressants may have to take a higher dose to maintain the same effect.

While she generally does not recommend benzodiazepines for pregnant women, she warns that abruptly halting them is not advised.

And she stresses that some medications come with more risks than others.

For instance, one recent study found that while paroxetine and fluoxetine were strongly linked to birth defects, including cardiac defects, sertraline was not.

If you do need medication, our objective is to use the right medication and the lowest effective dose to get you well, she says.

Her advice to those mulling this tough question: Talk to your doctor about it and keep talking with your doctor about it. Different decisions can be made at different times to be sure you are doing all you can for your mental health.

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Anxiety Medications During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is supposed to be a beautiful time – a time of considerable joy as you await bringing a new life into the world. It’s depicted as a stress free time of anticipation, but the reality of pregnancy is that it can be filled with stress, and the hormonal changes alone can alter your body’s chemistry and create a considerable amount of anxiety.

Unfortunately, most anxiety medications cannot or should not be taken during pregnancy. Only a few are approved for use while pregnant, and even then it’s best to try to find solutions that are not drug related.

What Are The Effects Of Untreated Anxiety On The Baby

The impact that anxiety can have on a mother, as well as her baby, is significant. During pregnancy, the mothers internal environment plays a big part in the development of her baby. When a pregnant mother is experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety regularly, there is an increase in cortisol production. Studies have shown that untreated anxiety can have implications resulting in preterm births as well as increased activation of fight or flight responses in babies.7,8

In the postpartum period, anxiety can arise in the weeks following birth, or anytime thereafter. A common time for elevated risk is approximately three months after birth. Emotional and physical attachment between a mom and her baby is something to pay attention to. Oftentimes, a babys response to their own anxiety or feelings of threat is regulated by their caregiver. If the caregiver is not able to regulate their own anxiety and stress, they may have difficulties addressing the babys emotional needs.

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What Else Helps Anxiety During Pregnancy

  • Engage in regular physical activity. In general, it is safe to engage in physical activity during pregnancy. However, if you are at risk for preterm labor or have pregnancy complications, consult with your doctor first.
  • Ensure adequate sleep. Whether its a calming bedtime routine, pregnancy pillow, or a few nights in a bed away from your snoring partner, now is the time to learn what works for your sleep.
  • Practice mindfulness.Research shows that mindfulness may reduce worries about labor, and it may even prevent postpartum depression.
  • Journaling. Writing about your worries may help you brainstorm potential solutions, and it allows you to reflect on your concerns.
  • Schedule worry time. We often worry because we do not want to forget something. Setting aside 30 minutes toward the end of the day provides you with a time to worry productively, but it frees you from holding onto your worries the rest of the day .
  • Yoga, massage, meditation, and acupuncture. Finding relaxation techniques that work for you may take some experimentation but their benefits will continue even after the baby arrives.

Questions To Ask Your Health Team About Taking Anxiety Medication While Pregnant

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Its normal to feel nervous about taking medication while pregnant. Dont hesitate to ask your healthcare provider any questions you may have to help ease your concerns. Serious side effects are rare, but should not be ignored. If your health is at risk or you experience suicidal thoughts, call your doctor, 911, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 right away.

Questions to ask your care team about taking anxiety meds while pregnant include:

  • What are the risks and benefits of this medication?
  • What is the lowest effective dose?
  • What should I do if I experience side effects?
  • Can I continue this medication after giving birth?
  • Is this medication safe for breastfeeding?
  • What should I do if I experience postpartum anxiety?
  • What else can I do to help manage my prenatal anxiety?
  • Read Also: How To Treat Severe Anxiety And Panic Attacks

    Whats A Normal Amount Of Anxiety During Pregnancy

    Some amount of anxiety during pregnancy is considered normal.3 Many women experience some worry about pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. Normal pregnancy anxiety is mild and does not cause a woman too much distress. A pregnant woman with a normal level of anxiety can still function in her day-to-day life, manage her responsibilities, and find pleasure in things. It does not affect her appetite, sleep, or other areas of her life. When anxiety reaches the point of causing distress and interfering with life, then a woman may be dealing with an anxiety disorder.

    Alternatives To Anxiety Medications While Pregnant

    When someone is pregnant and has anxiety, the general medical advice is to try other options for treatment before taking medications. This is true even if an anxiety medicine is considered to be probably safe. Some alternatives to anxiety medications while pregnant can include cognitive behavioral therapy or another type of non-drug therapy. Some people may benefit from alternatives like yoga, meditation or massage. Another option would be herbal therapy, although herbs and supplements can be unsafe during pregnancy, so they should also only be taken under medical supervision. If a doctor does determine that the risks of a pregnant womans anxiety being untreated are greater than the risks of medication, they will then work to find the right option. Since some options are safer than others, doctors may, for example, recommend an SSRI over a benzodiazepine. If youre currently using anxiety medication and youre pregnant, you shouldnt suddenly stop using it without speaking to your physician first.

    If youre concerned about prescription drugs, or other substances you or a loved one may be taking, we encourage you to reach out to our team at The Recovery Village today.

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    Pregnancy & Medication Use: Why Its So Hard To Study

    Clinical trials are the standard way to test the safety and efficacy of , and theyre used for everything from new birth control methods to vaccines. Case in point: the COVID vaccines went through months of clinical trials before becoming available to the general population. In the scheme of things, this was a short trial periodmany drugs are in trials for years before hitting the market.

    But pregnant women are a particularly tricky population to study. Studying the effect of medications on a pregnancy has always been difficult because pregnant and lactating women are almost always excluded from medication trials due to ethical concerns, says Noelia Zork, M.D., assistant clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. There is more at stake when balancing potential risk to the mother and the fetus, and oftentimes its easier for researchers not to take that gamble.

    Unfortunately, that leaves women and their doctors to make the call on a case-by-case basis, with little to no data to help guide them. For most medications, we find out if they are safe or not after pregnant women have started to use them in regular life, Dr. Zork says. Studies are done retroactively, using pharmacy records or patient recollection to assess whether the medication was safe throughout pregnancy and delivery.

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