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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Xanax in pregnancy

Dear Dr. Amy,

Early this year I got pregnant but had an early miscarriage at week 5 (chemical pregnancy is what I was advised at the ER). I am still confused and sad by it because I blame myself for what happened.

I am 34 years old and have 1 child age 15 y/o. I also have Panic/Anxiety condition since I was 14 and have been treated with Xanax for many many years and when I got pregnant early this year, the doctor started to taper me off very quickly, I was at 1mg TID and he took me to 1 mg a day total in a matter of 1 week. By week two I thought this was the end of the world, my anxiety was so bad I could not begin to describe it.

Today, November 7, 2005 was my due date, and I can't stop wondering and asking "why?" My boyfriend is 38 and has never had a child and always wanted one badly. He does not want to see me go through what I did early this year and is thinking that a vasectomy would be best.

Is there something I can do to help my situation and try again to get pregnant? What could happen to me or the baby if I were on my medication throughout a pregnancy?

Thank you so much in advance,
Sad!

Dear Sad,

There is no reason to believe that Xanax caused your miscarriage. Miscarriages are extremely common. Almost 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the chance of miscarriage rises over the age of 35. Therefore, it is more likely that you had a regular miscarriage due to typical causes (one time, non-repeating genetic problems).

Xanax is not considered safe in pregnancy. There are other types of anti-anxiety medications that work differently than Xanax and can pose lower risks. You need to talk to a mental health professional about whether another anti-anxiety medication might be right for you and may be more appropriate for a woman who wants to get pregnant.

Sincerely,
Amy

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