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Pregnant taking Xanax for panic disorder. Extreme difficult to work. Will this affect the baby?

Hello, I recently found out that I am pregnant. Going by my last menstral cycle, that puts me around 6 weeks. I currently take .5 mg of Xanax for Panic Disorder . My doctor has been trying to take me off of this for the past couple of weeks, but I am having an extremely difficult time functioning normally. In addition, it is extremely difficult to work, which is where I get my health insurance. Does this small dosage really affect the baby or is it worse to be trying to deal with this amount of stress?
Asked On : Sat, 22 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  31
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Xanax (Alprazolam) belongs to a class of anti-anxiety / sedative medication called Benzodiazepines. Now, benzodiazepines have been found to adversely affect pregnancy in two ways:
1) When taken during the early stages, it increases the risk of teratogenicity (i.e. harm to the baby's development in the uterus)
2) When taken during the later stages, prior to delivery, the medication can be passed on to the baby and after birth, the baby can suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

So, I would advise you to pay heed to your doctor's advise and wean off the Xanax. There are psychological therapies and relaxation techniques which can help you handle your anxiety.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Sat, 22 Dec 2012
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