Pregnant women on Klonopin
Klonopin belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. The generic name of Klonopin is clonazepam. It affects the unbalanced chemicals in the brain which cause anxiety. Klonopin is used to treat panic disorder and certain seizure disorders. There are also other medical uses of Klonopin. If seizure occurs during pregnancy, it can harm the mother and the baby as well.
Therefore, for treating seizures Klonopin may be prescribed for pregnant women. However, clonazepam can cause harm to an unborn baby. It can cause breathing problems in the new born baby. Breast feeding also may be risky as clonazepam passes into the breast milk too.
It is therefore a strong medical opinion that Klonopin should not be taken during pregnancy or while nursing baby, without concurrence from the doctor. Women who are already on Klonopin should inform their doctors if they become pregnant, or if they plan to become pregnant. Doctors then may decide on the suitable dosage of this drug that can be administered in the pregnant women, or they may switch over to another medication for treating the illness of these pregnant women, simultaneously bearing in mind the health of the unborn baby.
Another important point is that pregnant women who are taking Klonopin should not stop it abruptly. If they are treated with Klonopin for seizures, they should not discontinue this drug without their doctors’ advice. During pregnancy, seizure control is of utmost importance and the benefits derived by preventing seizures may outweigh the risks caused by Klonopin.
You should start medication with Klonopin only after informing your doctor and getting his/her clearance, if you have liver or kidney disease, glaucoma, breathing problems, history of depression, addiction to drugs, suicidal thoughts or habit of drinking. Pregnant mothers should not take alcohol especially when they are on Klonopin. It is very dangerous for them and their unborn babies. Klonopin may be habit-forming and hence it should be taken only as prescribed.
Klonopin is an FDA pregnancy category D medicine. It is not advisable for pregnant women to take this medicine. However, if you become pregnant while on Klonopin for treatment of your seizure, do not withdraw this medicine without informing your doctor. Besides Klonopin causing withdrawal side effects, the seizure in the pregnant women will also go out of control. Therefore, withdrawal of this drug during pregnancy is not recommended.
If withdrawal of this medicine becomes utterly necessary, you should take advice from your doctor and then stop it as directed by your doctor. Sudden withdrawal of this medicine during pregnancy can cause serious effects. It is believed that the withdrawal effects can affect the unborn baby too. Klonopin is not recommended for nursing mothers too, because, it may pass into breast milk and can harm the baby taking that milk.
Missing the dose of Klonopin during pregnancy also should be avoided. If you have missed a dose of Klonopin, you can take it as soon as you remember. If the time for your next dose is proximate, then skip the missed dose, but continue the medication as per prescribed schedule timings. You should not take double dose to compensate for the missed one.
If you have taken overdose, seek immediate medical attention. Extreme drowsiness, confusion, fainting and muscle weakness can be caused by overdose of Klonopin. Klonopin can cause a number of common side effects including hallucinations, unusual behavior, agitation, shallow breathing, suicidal thoughts, fast heartbeats, painful urination, and new or worsening seizures. The less common side effects that Klonopin can cause include dizziness, drowsiness, memory loss, slurred speech, nausea, headache, and weight changes.
In conclusion, pregnant women should be very cautious if they need to take Klonopin for treating their disorders. If they become pregnant while they are on Klonopin, they should bring it to the attention of their healthcare providers immediately.