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®.
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 your 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 estazolam. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
It is not known if estazolam can make it harder to get pregnant.
Does taking estazolam 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 estazolam increases the chance of miscarriage.
Does taking estazolam 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. Studies have not been done to see if estazolam increases the chance of birth defects.
Does taking estazolam in pregnancy increase the chance of other pregnancy-related problems?
Studies have not been done to see if estazolam increases the chance for pregnancy-related problems such as preterm delivery (birth before week 37) or low birth weight (weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces [2500 grams] at birth).
I need to take estazolam throughout my entire pregnancy. Will it cause withdrawal symptoms in my baby after birth?
The use of estazolam during pregnancy can cause temporary symptoms in newborns soon after birth. These symptoms are sometimes referred to as withdrawal. Symptoms may include low muscle tone, trouble feeding, being too sleepy, trouble breathing, irritability, restlessness, tremors, and excessive crying. Not all babies exposed to estazolam will have these symptoms. It is important that your healthcare providers know you are taking estazolam so that if symptoms occur your baby can get the care that’s best for them.
Does taking estazolam in pregnancy affect future behavior or learning for the child?
Studies have not been done to see if estazolam can cause behavior or learning issues for the child.
Breastfeeding while taking estazolam:
Estazolam has not been well studied for use while breastfeeding. The product label for estazolam recommends people who are breastfeeding not use this medication. But, the benefit of using estazolam may outweigh possible risks. Your healthcare providers can talk with you about using estazolam and what treatment is best for you. If you suspect the baby has any symptoms (being too sleepy, poor feeding, and/or poor weight gain), contact the child’s healthcare provider. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider 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?
Studies have not been done to see if estazolam 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.