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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is Xanax advisable while trying to conceive?

Answered by
Dr. Aarti Abraham


Practicing since :1998

Answered : 6010 Questions

Posted on Mon, 12 Sep 2016 in Pregnancy
Question: Hi,

I am a healthy, 29 year old female firstly. The "but" in previous statement being that I've always suffered with general and social anxiety since I can remember. It's very safe to say it is genetic. When I was 17, my anxiety significantly worsened and I saw a doctor who put me on an anti-depressant. I took it for months, and saw no changes. She referred me to a psychotherapist. I would see her weekly for about two years, as the "problem" was still there. Over the course of the approximate two or so years, she prescribed me what seemed to be every anti-depressant known to man with no positive results. I still experience severe anxiety and panic. I practiced cognitive behavior therapy and exercised regularly. Because there was no change, she suggested I go through an intensive outpaitent therapy program daily. I did this for 3 hours a day for about 4 months when I was 18. I sat in a room with drug addicts and people that had been molested as children, etcetera. This, I felt, was unnecessary however I participated because I wanted to live a healthy life and not feel nervous and panicked all of the time. Upon completion of the program, I went to my psychotherapist and she prescribed me something, at the time of course, I had never heard of - xanax. It was a miracle! My mind was suddenly at ease and I could focus on the important things in life and go to college and live like a normal person. I saw her several months after this, and upon telling her how helpful it was - she told me there was no need for me to attend therapy anymore and that i had somewhat severe general anxiety. Well, I have been on 2 mg of this per day for approximately 10 years now. A nurse cut me down to 1 mg per day about a year ago and my life was a hell for the 8 month or so span. My mind raced constantly, I was irritable and nervous and awful to my loved ones. I would shake and cry uncontrollably about weekly during a stressful situation. In fact, i cried for no apparent reason numerous times throughout the week. My husband didn't know what was wrong with me. I got to where I could barely make eye contact with anyone, including my close family (the social anxiety). I then was prescribed the very helpful 2 mg a day again. I feel great and like I have things under control! Bearing that history in mind, is it conceivable that I should think about having children while remaining on the 2mg a day of xanax? My husband is wonderful and we have a stable marriage and careers, and would love to have a child. However I can't bear the idea of hurting the child and I also can't bear the thought of going off this medication that is a miracle to me. Should I even consider the idea? I have read of numerous instances on the internet where an expecting mother was in the same boat, and remained on xanax and the baby turned out perfect. I have also read horror stories of doctor's taking the mom-to-be off xanax and her having severe seizures and stress and having to be put back on the xanax...leading again to a healthy baby.
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
As below

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for trusting us with your health concern.
First of all, thank you for a most thorough and insightful history.
I can sense the battle you had with anxiety and how much it matters to you now that you have finally dealt with it.
I am called in here to give you a scientific. thorough and precise.
The answer is -
Xanax is a pregnancy Category D drug.
There are known risks to the baby if you undertake a pregnancy while on it.
Please discuss with your doctor all possible therapeutic options if you plan a child.
But, to put things pretty simply - No doctor would recommend going ahead and having a baby while you are on Xanax.
All the best.
Please feel free to discuss further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad

The User accepted the expert's answer

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