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Anxiety and Pregnancy

Alright...I am 18 weeks pregnant today! Yay!... Unfortunately I suffer from extreme anxiety. I have always been an anxious being..but back about 7 months ago, I started experiencing the symptoms. My teeth chatter..my tongue twitches...floaters in my eyes...throat feels like its closing up ect... Before I got pregnant I was on .5-1 mg of ativan 3 times a day as needed for anxiety. After I got pregnant my OBGYN here in North Dakota said absolutely no more. Well my regular family physician in Minnesota ---who I will be delivering with as I am moving back to my home area around Christmas---put me on Celexa and back on the Ativan as needed. The Celexa did not work out very well for me giving me thoughts Ive never had before..and was unsettling so I quit taking them, but currently do still take the ativan. He has me on .5 mg up to twice a day as needed. I understand that Ativan is a class d drug and is reported NOT safe pregnancy. But my doctor reassures me that if the  benefits to the mother outweigh the risk to the fetus, it's ok to take it. Unfortunately I've had panic attacks the past 2 weeks straight and have it to take it. Anyways, aside from all of that. Does anyone have any statistics of actual birth defects ativan can cause? I get that it's not safe. I understand that it CAN cause certain things to happen...but what is the real hard truth? I guess I'm kind of looking for someone with a similar story to mine for alittle reassurance. Until you live through these attacks...it's hard to understand..7 months ago, I would have never considered medicine..but  I cannot continue to keep having this stress on my body.

I appreciate your time . Can't wait to hear from you all!
3 Responses
1699033 tn?1514116733
Hi there....I too had OCD/anxiety problems during pregnancy.  Can I ask how far along in your pregnancy did you start the celexa and go back on the ativan?  
Avatar universal
I was about 11 weeks when I started on the lorazapam(ativan) and celexa. They were prescribed at the same time. . I only lasted on the celexa for about a week and a half. but continued on the ativan. Did you take anything while your were pregnant??
1699033 tn?1514116733
For my first pregnancy I made it to about 3.5 months before I started taking medication.  I took Klonopin as sparingly as I could and I took Prozac.  I don't remember taking the klonopin for very long and certainly not the entire rest of the pregnancy.  The prozac was a low dose....I want to say 10 or 20 mg but honestly it was so long ago I can't remember.  I tried very hard not to take the klonopin though.  

I then stayed on Prozac in between my children and the entire time I was pregnant with my second son.  I didn't breast feed either one of them because of the meds in my body.  My children are 18 and 16 and so back then there really wasn't a lot of research about these meds and pregnancy.  The idea during the first pregnancy was to make it to the 3 month mark because prior to that is when the baby is forming everything.  My OCD was so bad with the first pregnancy that I just went for it the second time around thinking that the benefits of meds did outweigh the harmful effects of OCD and anxiety.  I wasn't eating, sleeping, etc during the first 3 months of the first pregnancy and so that certainly wasn't going to help the baby.  

I think with anything, there is a risk but I'm not sure that it is that much higher than the regular population.  When you look at the literature, you see a study that says there is a risk for malformation but then you see another study that contradicts that one.  It is all very confusing.  

In my mind the anti-depressant may be better than the benzodiazepine but you need to discuss this with your doctor.  Maybe try a different one if celexa was not working for you.  

In the end I can tell you that my children are fine.  My first son was small...6 pounds 9 ounces but he did come 3 weeks early.  Other than that he was fine.  My second son was 8 pounds something and he came 2 weeks early.  He has ADHD but I don't think that is a side effect of the medication I took but rather my genetic makeup along with my husbands.  For both, no breastfeeding.  

I want to tell you so very badly not to worry about it.  I think your doctor is right and that sometimes the pros of the meds outweigh the cons of the anxiety.  At least in my case this was true.  But in the end, I think we do the best we can and we deal with whatever happens.  
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