RX and Pregnancy - What Medications are Safe?

Q: Is it safe for me to take Valium while I'm pregnant?

CATEGORY D: Can cause birth defects.

A: No. Valium, which acts as a central nervous system depressant and belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines (sedatives used to treat anxiety or panic disorder), isn't safe to take during pregnancy because its effects on the development of the fetus haven't been clearly defined. "This class of drugs cross the placenta, causing exposure to the fetus," says Millie A. Behera, M.D., an assistant adjunct professor in the department of ob-gyn at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. "Like other drugs, if it's absolutely crucial for you to remain on it, you'll want to speak with your doctor so you're aware of the risks involved with taking this medication. Ideally, you should review your medications and potential risks on the fetus before you conceive. This way, you and your doctor can develop a plan together to modify or wean off medications as needed."

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