This sheet talks 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®. MotherToBaby has a general fact sheet on benzodiazepines at: https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/benzodiazepines-pregnancy/pdf/.

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.

Should I stop taking estazolam once I find out that I am pregnant?

Talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to 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 of having a baby with a birth defect?

In every pregnancy, a woman starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect. This is called her background risk. Studies have not been done to see if estazolam could increase the chance for birth defects.

Could estazolam cause other pregnancy complications?

Yes. If a woman 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.

Will taking estazolam during pregnancy affect my baby’s behavior or cause learning problems?

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 my baby if I take 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 provider 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 man takes estazolam, could it affect his fertility (ability to get partner pregnant) or increase the chance of birth defects?

Estazolam has not been studied for use in men who are trying to get a partner pregnant. In general, exposures that fathers have are unlikely to increase risks to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet Paternal Exposures and Pregnancy at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/pdf/.

August 2019

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