This sheet is about exposure to estazolam in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare provider.
What is estazolam?
Estazolam is a medication that has been used to treat insomnia (having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep). Estazolam is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. A brand name for estazolam is Prosom®.
I take estazolam. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
Studies have not looked at whether using estazolam could make it harder to get pregnant.
I just found out I’m pregnant. Should I stop taking estazolam?
Talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take this medication. If you take this medication regularly and then suddenly stop taking it, you could have withdrawal symptoms. We don’t know what effects withdrawal might have on a pregnancy. Your healthcare providers can help with slowly stopping this medication if you plan to stop using estazolam during a pregnancy.
Does taking estazolam increase the chance for miscarriage?
Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. Studies have not been done to see if estazolam could increase the chance for a miscarriage.
Does taking estazolam increase the chance for birth defects?
Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. Studies have not been done to see if estazolam could increase the chance for birth defects.
Could estazolam cause other pregnancy complications?
If a person who is pregnant is taking a benzodiazepine near the time of delivery, then a newborn might have withdrawal symptoms, which are treatable. If estazolam is used at the end of pregnancy, the baby can be monitored for “floppy infant syndrome” (poor muscle tone) and difficulty feeding. Not every baby exposed to estazolam will have withdrawal symptoms.
Does taking estazolam in pregnancy cause long-term problems in behavior or learning for the child?
Studies have not been done to see if estazolam use in pregnancy could increase the chance for behavior changes or learning difficulties.
Can I breastfeed while taking estazolam?
Estazolam has not been well studied for use while breastfeeding. Since estazolam stays in your body for a long time, talk with your healthcare providers to see if another, better studied medication would work for you while you are breastfeeding. Talk with your healthcare providers about all your breastfeeding questions.
If a male takes estazolam, could it affect fertility (ability to get partner pregnant) or increase the chance of birth defects?
Estazolam has not been studied for use in people who are trying to get a partner pregnant. 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.