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Zolpidem during pregnancy

(3 Posts)
UpsyDaisyDo Fri 03-Dec-10 20:01:04

I've just found out this week that I'm expecting again. I've been taking zolpidem long term - can't remember exactly how long but its at least 2 years. I'm also prescribed clonazapam and quetiepine (v low dose) which also help with my sleep. Bottom line is I can't get to sleep without taking something. I can't get an appointment with my doc until next weekend and just wondered if anyone knew or had experience of these drugs early on or indeed any time during pregnancy.

The last two nights I've just taken half a zolpidem (5mg) and 50mg of quetiepine and not had the best nights sleep at all and I now feel dreadful.

I've tried everything else in the past - relaxation, herbal teas etc and nothing works - I think my body relys on the meds to get to sleep but obviously my baby is my main priority now.

HELP please xxx

MrsMogwai Fri 03-Dec-10 23:31:05

First of all, congratulations!!

I looked in the BNF (British National Formulary - bible when prescribing in the UK) and Zolpidem is okay for now, but you may need to change to something else or gradually cut down later in pregnancy as "risk of neonatal withdrawal symptoms; high doses during late pregnancy or labour may cause neonatal hypothermia, hypotonia, and respiratory depression". So, safe for now!

Looks like any risk with Clonazepam is also in the later stages of pregnancy. The BNF says: "There is a risk of neonatal withdrawal symptoms when benzodiazepines are used during pregnancy. Avoid regular use and use only if there is a clear indication such as seizure control. High doses administered during late pregnancy or labour may cause neonatal hypothermia, hypotonia, and respiratory depression". Don't go cold turkey if you stop Clonazepam. You can get withdrawl symptoms if you don't do it slow and easy.

Quetiapine can be used in pregnancy where "potntial benefit outweights risk" - doesn't say what the risks might be. There are other meds that you could easily switch to though if your doctor advises you.

Promethazine (found in Night Nurse and some over the counter sleep aids) is used in the US for morning sickness so is pretty safe in pregnancy. It's often used instead of Clonazepam etc for anxiety and can help with sleep. Might be worth asking if you can be slowly changed onto that.

You may get referred to perinatal services as you're on these meds and they should be able to give you better advice on what you can and can't take in pregnancy and make a plan with you.

If you're still worried, you could talk to your local pharmacist in the meantime.

Good luck and take care of yourself!!

UpsyDaisyDo Sat 04-Dec-10 10:54:07

Thanks MrsMogwai. That's so helpful. I had another dreadful night last night and feel awful today - have hideous headache propably due as you said to just stopping the clonazapam. Good to know about the night nurse med too. Thanks xxxx

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