This sheet is about exposure to chlordiazepoxide in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare provider.
What is chlordiazepoxide?
Chlordiazepoxide is a medication that has been used to treat anxiety and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (such as anxiety and agitation). MotherToBaby has a fact sheet on anxiety at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/anxiety-fact/.
Chlordiazepoxide is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. The brand name for chlordiazepoxide is Librium®.
Sometimes when people find out they are pregnant, they think about changing how they take their medication, or stopping their medication altogether. However, it is important to talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take this medication. Your healthcare providers can talk with you about the benefits of treating your condition and the risks of untreated illness during pregnancy.
I take chlordiazepoxide. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
It is not known if chlordiazepoxide can make it harder to get pregnant.
Does taking chlordiazepoxide increase the chance of miscarriage?
Miscarriage is common and can occur in any pregnancy for many different reasons. Studies have not been done to see if chlordiazepoxide increases the chance of miscarriage.
Does taking chlordiazepoxide increase the chance of birth defects?
Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. It is not known if chlordiazepoxide increases the chance for birth defects above the background risk. While there have been some reports of birth defects with first trimester use, no clear pattern of birth defects has been associated with this medication. Most reports did not find a higher chance for birth defects with first trimester use of chlordiazepoxide.
Does taking chlordiazepoxide in pregnancy increase the chance of other pregnancy-related problems?
Chlordiazepoxide has not been well studied for use during pregnancy. One study found a higher chance for low birth weight (weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces [2500 grams] at birth) when chlordiazepoxide was taken during pregnancy. It is not known if chlordiazepoxide can cause other pregnancy-related problems, such as preterm delivery (birth before week 37).
I need to take chlordiazepoxide throughout my entire pregnancy. Will it cause withdrawal symptoms in my baby after birth?
The use of chlordiazepoxide during pregnancy can cause temporary symptoms in newborns soon after birth. These symptoms are sometimes referred to as withdrawal and may include tremors, irritability, or other issues. Not all babies exposed to chlordiazepoxide will have symptoms. It is important that your healthcare providers know you are taking chlordiazepoxide so that if symptoms occur your baby can get the care that’s best for them.
Does taking chlordiazepoxide in pregnancy affect future behavior or learning for the child?
Studies have not been done to see if chlordiazepoxide can cause behavior or learning issues for the child.
Breastfeeding while taking chlordiazepoxide:
Chlordiazepoxide has not been studied for use while breastfeeding. Chlordiazepoxide stays in the body for a long time and may pass into breast milk. If you suspect the baby has any symptoms (poor feeding, poor weight gain, or sleepiness) contact the child’s healthcare provider. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all your breastfeeding questions.
If a male takes chlordiazepoxide, could it affect fertility (ability to get partner pregnant) or increase the chance of birth defects?
Studies have not been done to see if chlordiazepoxide could affect male fertility or increase the chance of birth defects above the background risk. In general, exposures that fathers or sperm donors have are unlikely to increase risks to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet Paternal Exposures at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/.
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OTIS/MotherToBaby encourages inclusive and person-centered language. While our name still contains a reference to mothers, we are updating our resources with more inclusive terms. Use of the term mother or maternal refers to a person who is pregnant. Use of the term father or paternal refers to a person who contributes sperm.