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Can I continue taking Vicodin and Xanax while pregnant?

I've been taking Vicodin for back pain and Xanax for anxiety for the last three years. Now that I'm pregnant, is it safe to continue?
Submitted by Team

Prescription narcotics like Vicodin and benzodiazepines like Xanax are not likely to cause birth defects, but doctors do try to avoid prescribing them during pregnancy unless it's absolutely necessary. That's because taking these medications for an extended period of time can cause you to build up a tolerance to them. As you require higher or more frequent doses to cope with your conditions, your baby can actually become addicted to them.

It's up to your doctor to decide whether these medications are safe for you. To minimize the effects on your baby, you should be on the lowest doses that your doctor deems appropriate. Your doctor may also advise that you slowly wean yourself from the meds as your due date approaches to make your baby's withdrawal easier. Keep in mind that these are very powerful drugs and you may need help in cutting back. When your baby's born, be sure that the pediatricians on call know that you've been taking prescription narcotics or benzodiazepines, so that they can better assess your baby's health.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I was taking Percoset for my back pain for 2+ years before I got pregnant. In my case, the doctors switched me to methadone because my body was physically addicted to opiates. If you have been taking any opiod for any extended period of time, you will experience withdrawals if you stop taking that medicine. Vicodin is one of those medications. Also, going into withdrawal while pregnant has been known to cause miscarriages, that's why I was not able to be weaned off or detoxed. Talk to your doc.
Submitted by eskimotoe1
Does taking anti depressants (Effexor and Wellbutrin) affect the baby?
Submitted by jenmyfriend312
I took xanax for years and when I found out I was pregnant I was worried about the baby. I was taking a high mg and at 5 weeks pregnant I stopped cold turkey. I read that it can cause cleft palate and havent taken any since. My normal anxiety turned into anxiety about the baby. I talk to my husband when I feel anxiety and he helps me through it. Knowing Im not taking anything that could harm my baby helps too.
Submitted by symphanyking