Jill 2009-06-07 03:05:12
I used to suffer from really frightening panic attacks. I never got any help
for them. I’d say I had several per year and I would really freak out. The
worst is the feeling that I can’t breathe, the rapid heartbeat, and the
claustrophobic feeling. It wasn’t until I got treatment for stress and
generalized anxiety disorder that I realized I was having actual panic
attacks and began understanding them. I was put on Paxil and 1mg Klonopin
twice a day. Months went by and I was feeling so much better and I noticed I
did not have one single panic attack!
I have been married for a year and am now pregnant. I stopped all my meds to
be safe as soon as I found out 3 weeks ago (I am just over 6 weeks along).
My doctors told me at the time to let them know how I was, that if I needed
to I can go back to the Paxil, but klonopin during pregnancy is a no-no. I
told them I think I’m ok.
Well, I have had 2 full-blown panic attacks this week. I am miserable…last
night was the worst…I started the familiar dread and my skin was crawling
and although I tried to breathe slowly and think of something to keeo my
mind off of it, for about 20 minutes I was trembling, sweating, with rapid
pulse and feeling like the walls were closing in. I couldn’t get my husband
awake because I almost in shock or something- I couldn’t get any words out
except a real faint “oh jesus….help….help….”
Some have told me they were allowed by their doctors to use Klonopin very
occasionally during pregnancy….none of my doctors thinks it’s ok but they
also tell me I should try not to take ANY medication..pretty much Tylenol is
all they condone.
I am just trying to find out if anyone has used Klonopin while pregnant..I
don’t WANT to take it but I can’t bear these panic attacks….I am going to
talk to my doctors again. I already have Klonopin with refills, but I refuse
to take it unless I can be assured taking it once or twice won’t hurt…..I
am wondering if it is ok to take just one to abort a panic attack? PAs don’t
last that long but with me, when I get one, I will be edg y and prone to
them for the next day…..if it’s during the night I can’t sleep anymore
My first priority is the health of my baby but it can’t be good to go
through the stress of a panic attack…mine are physically very bad.
1- Has nayone used or heard of Klonopin not being so bad to use during
pregnancy if used SPARINGLY…..by sparingly, I mean ONLY as needed with a
protracted panic attack, as a last resort. As in, at the end of pregnancy,
only about 10 Klonopin total were used throughout the entire pregnancy in
2. Is there anything that is safer to take that I can use to prevent or
abort panic attacks while pregnant? What about Buspar? Should I just go back
on Paxil and not risk the Klonopin? When I first started Paxil I was taking
the CR 37.5 mg daily, and 1mg of Klonopin twice a day. Later I foudn myself
not feeling like I needed Klonopin and when I got pregnant I was only using
it rarely, to help get through intenselt stressful days at work etc. I
didn’t even have to wean off of it, since I used it so rarely.
Is Klonopin harmful to a fetus? Just during the 1st trimester? I have
researched it but can’t some up with anything concrete, just precautions
that say it’s safer not to take a risk.
I hope I can find some way to stop the panic attacks without taking risky
medication…I am going to bring this up with my doctors on Monday….
William.a.mill 2009-06-07 03:05:32
If your doctors tell you you shouldnt use klnopin during pregnancy,
would it be ok if people in this news group said they did it?
Wonder wench 2009-06-07 03:05:45
I’m curious if this could be hormone induced. A friend of mine had a severe
depression come over her during her 3rd pregnancy and she was wanting her
baby OUT OF HER… She got through it, it only lasted a short time.
I used to have upward of 20 panic attacks daily in my 30’s, was diagnosed in
my 40’s and have been on 2mg a.m. and p.m. since. I just turned 50. You
might ask your doctor what he/she suggests for panic disorder, or maybe find
a psychiatrist who might help you, understanding that you are pregnant with
this disorder and they could work with your doc. Are you going to an OB/GYN
or just a G.P. It could make a difference as well.
Vanessa 2009-06-07 03:06:13
I think Jill is asking what experiences women have had rather than just rely
on what her doctor said. Sometimes doctors can be too cautious about the
effects a med will have on the baby and forget what effects no meds can have
on the health and wellbeing of the mother. My psychiatrist told me it would
be better to stay on klonopin 2mg per day for my first 2 pregnancies. During
my 3rd pregnancy I was no longer seeing the psychiatrist and went along to
my gp who advised me of the dangers of Klonopin. I stopped taking it and
several weeks later I miscarried. Went back on Klonopin and a year later
fell pregnant again – this time stayed on the med with a healthy 3 year old
now. The only probs experienced when the each baby was born was that they
had the shakes a little as they were withdrawing from the med.
Vanessa 2009-06-07 03:06:23
sometimes a little information can be a dangerous thing. Back in 1991when I
was first pregnant I didn’t even question whether I should stop taking
Klonopin whilst pregnant. My pdoc said he had had several patients stay on
without a prob. He also mentioned that many epileptics take it during
The med does go through to the fetus in small doses. When my son was born he
was perfectly healthy – but did have a little of the shakes for a day or so
as he was not getting the klonopin in his system. He just turned 12
yesterday and is perfectly healthy. I have since had 3 more children. During
all pregnancies I stayed on Klonopin 2mg per day. In 1999 I was a few weeks
pregnant and my local gp scared me by telling me all dangers of klonopin to
the fetus. I stopped taking it immediately and I suffered terribly for quite
a few weeks with severe panic and anxiety attacks. Sadly I miscarried.
That’s my story and I understand how confusing it must be for you. When I
was ignorant of the dangers I was much calmer. I know you are worried about
your baby but you also need to take care of *you*.
The doctors need to be cautious and advise you of the risks and dangers.
Like you I did research it but you just can’t ever be sure. Do what makes
you feel safe and physically fit. Perhaps paxil could be enough for you to
get through the bad PA’s – just my advice try not to stop any med cold
turkey – wean on or off slowly when pregnant.
good luck and wish you all the best
Stacy 2009-06-16 08:54:12
|| I used to suffer from really frightening panic attacks. I never got
|| any help for them. I’d say I had several per year and I would really
|| freak out. The worst is the feeling that I can’t breathe, the rapid
|| heartbeat, and the claustrophobic feeling. It wasn’t until I got
|| treatment for stress and generalized anxiety disorder that I
|| realized I was having actual panic attacks and began understanding
|| them. I was put on Paxil and 1mg Klonopin twice a day. Months went
|| by and I was feeling so much better and I noticed I did not have one
|| single panic attack!
|| I have been married for a year and am now pregnant. I stopped all my
|| meds to be safe as soon as I found out 3 weeks ago (I am just over 6
|| weeks along). My doctors told me at the time to let them know how I
|| was, that if I needed to I can go back to the Paxil, but klonopin
|| during pregnancy is a no-no. I told them I think I’m ok.
|| Well, I have had 2 full-blown panic attacks this week. I am
|| miserable…last night was the worst…I started the familiar dread
|| and my skin was crawling and although I tried to breathe slowly and
|| think of something to keeo my mind off of it, for about 20 minutes I
|| was trembling, sweating, with rapid pulse and feeling like the walls
|| were closing in. I couldn’t get my husband awake because I almost in
|| shock or something- I couldn’t get any words out except a real faint
|| “oh jesus….help….help….”
|| Some have told me they were allowed by their doctors to use
|| Klonopin very occasionally during pregnancy….none of my doctors
|| thinks it’s ok but they also tell me I should try not to take ANY
|| medication..pretty much Tylenol is all they condone.
|| I am just trying to find out if anyone has used Klonopin while
|| pregnant..I don’t WANT to take it but I can’t bear these panic
|| attacks….I am going to talk to my doctors again. I already have
|| Klonopin with refills, but I refuse to take it unless I can be
|| assured taking it once or twice won’t hurt…..I am wondering if it
|| is ok to take just one to abort a panic attack? PAs don’t last that
|| long but with me, when I get one, I will be edg y and prone to them
|| for the next day…..if it’s during the night I can’t sleep anymore
|| that night…..
|| My first priority is the health of my baby but it can’t be good to go
|| through the stress of a panic attack…mine are physically very bad.
|| 1- Has nayone used or heard of Klonopin not being so bad to use
|| during pregnancy if used SPARINGLY…..by sparingly, I mean ONLY as
|| needed with a protracted panic attack, as a last resort. As in, at
|| the end of pregnancy, only about 10 Klonopin total were used
|| throughout the entire pregnancy in dire situations.
|| 2. Is there anything that is safer to take that I can use to prevent
|| or abort panic attacks while pregnant? What about Buspar? Should I
|| just go back on Paxil and not risk the Klonopin? When I first
|| started Paxil I was taking the CR 37.5 mg daily, and 1mg of Klonopin
|| twice a day. Later I foudn myself not feeling like I needed Klonopin
|| and when I got pregnant I was only using it rarely, to help get
|| through intenselt stressful days at work etc. I didn’t even have to
|| wean off of it, since I used it so rarely.
|| Is Klonopin harmful to a fetus? Just during the 1st trimester? I have
|| researched it but can’t some up with anything concrete, just
|| precautions that say it’s safer not to take a risk.
|| I hope I can find some way to stop the panic attacks without taking
|| risky medication…I am going to bring this up with my doctors on
|| Monday…. Jill
| Hey Jill,
| sometimes a little information can be a dangerous thing. Back in
| 1991when I was first pregnant I didn’t even question whether I should
| stop taking Klonopin whilst pregnant. My pdoc said he had had several
| patients stay on without a prob. He also mentioned that many
| epileptics take it during pregnancy.
| The med does go through to the fetus in small doses. When my son was
| born he was perfectly healthy – but did have a little of the shakes
| for a day or so as he was not getting the klonopin in his system. He
| just turned 12 yesterday and is perfectly healthy. I have since had 3
| more children. During all pregnancies I stayed on Klonopin 2mg per
| day. In 1999 I was a few weeks pregnant and my local gp scared me by
| telling me all dangers of klonopin to the fetus. I stopped taking it
| immediately and I suffered terribly for quite a few weeks with severe
| panic and anxiety attacks. Sadly I miscarried. That’s my story and I
| understand how confusing it must be for you. When I was ignorant of
| the dangers I was much calmer. I know you are worried about your baby
| but you also need to take care of *you*. The doctors need to be
| cautious and advise you of the risks and dangers. Like you I did
| research it but you just can’t ever be sure. Do what makes you feel
| safe and physically fit. Perhaps paxil could be enough for you to get
| through the bad PA’s – just my advice try not to stop any med cold
| turkey – wean on or off slowly when pregnant.
| good luck and wish you all the best
| Vanessa 🙂
My Dr took me off of Valium while I was pregnant with my youngest who is now
8. I used to b** klonopins off my sister in law the last couple of
trimesters of my pregnancy. I only did that a few times to get rid of a
severe attack… my baby was very healthy.. and still is 🙂
Jill 2009-06-26 03:25:26
No, of course not, but I would like to research it more. Panic attacks are
just so bad to suffer through……I have had one more panic attack and was
able to survive without taking Klonopin…I will not take it because my
doctors haven’t ok’d it, but I do plan to discuss it or other options with
them this coming appointment, I went a long time without a panic attack but
am now starting to have them.
I really do the best I can to control my breathing and try to get my mind
somewhere else when I am having one, sometimes it’s difficult when it gets
to the point where I feel like I can’t breathe and the walls are closing in
and my heart is racing. I haven’t taken anything for them yet, though, and
am probably going back on an SSRI.
Jill 2009-06-26 03:25:32
That’s exactly right, I’m just checking to see if anyone else stopped
Klonopin, or used it during pregnancy. I am listening to my doctors but it
seems to me they are more worried about liability, which is
understandable….I want to err on the safe side, but my doctors are simply
telling me “Klonopin is a no-no”, “No Klonopin whatsoever” etc without
telling me why etc. or offering alternatives. I do know one person who did
use it daily during pregnancy and everything was fine. My doctors tell me
don’t even touch it..I am just trying to see what kind of experiences have
been had with it. I stopped it cold turkey as soon as I found out I was
pregnant and experienced no withdrawal symptoms or problems until I had the
2 panic attacks and I notice I am suffering from anxiety. I think it is
hormonal. I can deal with the mental fear of a panic attack, and I recognize
that the racing heart makes me feel faint but won’t hurt me, but the one
thing I have not been able to handle of panic attack is the intense feeling
like I can’t breathe, like I am choking. This causes me unbearable stress
and can’t be good for me.
I plan to research so I can ask better questions of my doctors and work with
them to find something that will help me that they feel okay about, that
won’t hurt my baby…
Jill 2009-06-26 03:25:35
My anxiety is so great, that’s what I worry about…I am afraid the stress
of the panic attacks, and the physiological symptoms (bp changes, racing
pulse, inability to breathe etc) might hurt the baby.
My doctors have not even shared with me the effects Klonopin may have. I did
some reading and all I came up with was the baby having withdrawal symptoms
from the meds (which is not good, but is not the same thing as birth defects
for example), and the “increased incidence” of cleft palate in babies born
to mothers taking Klonopin-type drugs/benzos.
I wish my doctors would help me sort through it. They told me why they
didn’t want me to use aspirin or ibuprofen/Aleve (bleeding) which is
understandable to me. I refuse to touch them.
Jill 2009-06-26 03:25:44
I guess that’s all I really want my doctors to acknowledge- “We don’t
recommend using Klonopin regularly but Klonopin is not a drug like Accutane,
where if you use it during pregnancy even once the baby will suffer birth
defects. We recommmend that you try not to use it at all, but if you have a
bad panic attack, it shouldn’t do harm for you to take one. It’s better not
to use drugs that aren’t known to be safe, but people do use drugs that are
not on our “safe” list during pregnancy, and while we can’t guarantee it,
most of the time everything is okay.”
(My doctor’s safe list only contains a few things, Zantac, Tylenol, Sudafed
no more than 3 times a day, etc)…there are very few drugs that have been
tested on pregnant women. So I am not looking for my doctors to *not* tell
me their educated opinion, but it is bull for them to tell me that none of
their patients take anything except what’s on the list…Paxil wasn’t on the
list but they told me it would be fine.
I am really trying not to take anything especially during my first
trimester. I was worried also because I get migraines and have depended on
Imitrex and similar drugs- I was afraid of getting a bad migraine and only
having Tylenol, which is worthless for my headaches. Luckily, I haven’t had
any migraines…but it’s the same principle…if I WAS having my migraines,
the doctors would need to work with me more to understand why I souldn’t use
Imitrex and help me find a safe alternative. They can’t just tell me “Don’t
take that”, and ignore the problem.
I think the doctors are pretty good and if I push should open up more with
me or at least look into it for me. Maybe they can recommend an alternative
that they feel better about allowing me to take. Maybe the Paxil will help
and I won’t even need to worry about it anymore.
Vanessa 2009-06-26 03:26:24
Good luck Jill,
sounds like you are looking for the right balance – nothing is completely
safe – wishing you better days with the anxiety and stress. Just another
thought that my gyn told me, was that a fetus can be quite tough, it is us
who are more affected by the stress. Pamper yourself as much as you can and
Figaro 2009-06-26 03:26:58
Just thought I’d quote from an article in this month’s Scientific American,
an issue dedicated to “The Brain”:
“Experience, beginning remarkably early in life, also influences how one
responds to stressful environments. The amount of stress a female rat is
exposed to during pregnancy influences the amount of glucocorticoids that
cross the placenta and reach the fetus; that exposure can then alter the
structure and function of that fetus’s hippocampus in adulthood. Separate
a newborn rat from its mother for a sustained period and it will have increased
levels of CRH as an adult. Setmour Levine, one of the giants of psychobiology,
illustrates this point with a quotation from william Faulkner: “The past
is not dead. It’s not even the past.””
Author: Robert Sapolsky in “Taming Stress”, Sci American 9/2003
So it would seem that we need to know more about balancing the long-term
impact of stress on a pregnant woman vs. the stress-reducing drug impact
on the fetus.
Vanessa 2009-06-26 03:27:04
thanks for sharing this – very interesting indeed. How have you been, I
noticed you haven’t been posting much lately. Hope you are ok.
Meryl 2009-06-26 03:27:10
On 26 Sep 2003 23:48:29 -0700, “figaro”
Makes sense. It goes even further than risks associated with
medication for stress.
I recall that I had debilitating hayfever when pregnant with my 1st
child. I was very worried about antihistamines but my gynie convinced
me that he had never known of the preferred medication having an
adverse effect on the foetus. That son is now a strapping 23 year old.
With one of my other children I recall I had a cough. My gynie heard
me cough during a consultation and was horrified. He put me on
antibiotics straight away.
I think sometimes pregnant women feel a lot of pressure to stay away
from medication when the actual outcome may be a healthier mother and
Figaro 2009-06-26 03:27:21
Been OK, except for RL problems, a gunked-up newssever, a yard trashed by
a hurricane, and nerves and muscles wound tighter than bed springs due to
weaning onto Effexor.
OTOH, I’m still alive and my cat still likes me.
Thanks for asking. Glad you’re feeling better.
Meryl 2009-06-26 03:27:24
On 27 Sep 2003 01:35:14 -0700, “figaro”
I can identify with IT probs and weather probs, however Effexor works
fine for me. I had a few days of weaning on probs, many years ago. How
long have you bean taking Effexor? Do you have a benzo to help
counteract side effects?
Figaro 2009-06-26 03:27:27
Only been on Effexor for about 2.5 weeks, Meryl. First AD I’ve ever tried,
so I started at 37.5 the first week, then went to 75mg. No adverse effects
except for this extraordinary tension which started on the second day and
stayed constant until the day I was to go up to 107.5. Then it became intermittent
and I stayed at 75 for a few extra days just for the relief. Back to the
increase routine tomorrow. Valium usage was up to 40-45mg a day for the
two bad weeks. We’ll see whether the constant tension returns after this
little break. Minimal positive effect so far, but I think my pdoc wants
me at 150mg for a while, and suspects I may need to go to 225. I like my
doc a lot, but we have an open difference of opinion about whether I have
significant co-morbid depression or whether it’s predominantly anxiety-driven.
But we’ll see what Effexor does; it seemed the best choice of ADs available
Vanessa 2009-06-26 03:27:33
Thanks Fig – good for you to see the positives after what you have been
Jill 2009-06-26 03:27:59
Forgot to mention, the doctor that switched me from Effexor to Paxil CR, who
knows his stuff and was the one to help me with no only anxiety but panic
and migraines (inadvertently,,,,,he never actually tried to help me with
migraine, just the anxiety!)….he commented to me that if I reprted a lot
of anxiety , Effexor was a not-so-good choice of an antidepressant for that;
he says Effexor is great for depression and can help when many other drugs
have not, but it can ramp up anxiety…it may be too stimulating for someone
who is overstimulated already. He didn’t pass judgement on the doctor who
gave me Effexor, he just scratched his head and quizzicially said “I’d like
to know where they were going with this?”
Jill 2009-06-26 03:28:02
This question wasn’t directed at me but I wanted to jump in, because this
was how I got started on Klonopin. A year ago, a full year before my current
pregnancy (which is my first BTW), I was having migraines that we thought
were stress-induced, I was working in a terrible environment making good
money, it was a semi-comfortable desk job but the stress and pressure was
pretty bad over petty issues. I loved the work, hated some managers, and was
having migraines. Inderal didn’t work for me but I noticed the weird effect
that hey, I still have migraines but my heart doesn’t race anymore, like
when I give an oral presentation and it used to beat soooo fast I’d tremble.
The doctors thought that I must suffer from pretty marked anxiety, so to see
if they could help they suggested 30 days of Klonopin to provide relief now,
and starting effexor to be taken longterm. At 75mg Effexor I felt no
different and still had migraines. The Klonpin helped immensely…they upped
Effexor to 150mg and took away the Klonopin- it was terrible, more
headaches. I saw a psychiatrist, who said he thought I was stoned on the
Effexor, that people commonly can’t take that top dose. After speaking with
me, he thought I defintely had anxiety including social anxiety and wanted
me to switch to Paxil CR (I was sooooo tired on the Effexor/Klonopin…when
I ran out of one month’s worth of Klonpin 1mg, twice a day, the prescribing
doctor refused to give me any more even if it helped my migraines because,
she sniffed, it’s a controlled substance and I just wanted the euphoric
feeling. (What euphoric feeling??????)
So the psych prescribed me Paxil CR 37.5, and 1mg Klonopin for twice a day.
THAT was a great combination and my migraines were cut way down, so was my
anxiety. I was still taking it- had been on that regimine for about 6 months
before I became pregnant. Stopped both cold turkey without any bad sickness,
although paxil can make you feel crummy when you stop it cold turkey. I was
lucky- I had stopped paxil once before, tried to wean off, and it was
Still, I didn’t know I was pregnant, but I knew I was trying so I stopped
the Klonopin first. I don’t think I was exposed to it much in the month
before I tested positive for pregnancy. Then when the test was positive I
stopped the Paxil. The whole time of being on it, 5-6 months was great-
lessened anxiety and depression, less headaches, NO panic attacks!
That brings me to where I am now, on nothing and struglling. Thankfully no
migraines since pregnancy!
I was on a tangent but was just going to comment that I think if I had
stayed on Lexapro at 75mg, it would have been a great thing to take along
with the Klonopin, it just did not do anything for my migraines which for
some reason Paxil did. ?? Go figure. Klonopin alone with no antidpressant
was the best for my hedaches but because it is not a typical headache
preventive, some doctors don’t buy that. The same doctors thought Paxil was
not an ideal choice for headache prevention either but it works best for me.
Meryl 2009-06-26 03:28:14
On 27 Sep 2003 02:15:02 -0700, “figaro”
When I first started Effexor XR back in 1998, I recall breakthrough
anxiety and insomnia lasting for few days. I increased my Xanax to
counteract these side effects.
I remained at 75 mg for 2 years. It seemed the best dose for me then.
Back to the
I am now at 300 mg. It was increased from 225 recently. I do have
co-morbid depression and Effexor works for me. My main concerm with
the recent increase was that I am getting close to the upper limit.
Given that I spent a couple of years at 75 mg, one at 150 and less
than one at 225, I worry it may p*** out on me.Then again I hope that
when my current RL stressors resolve, my symptoms may be alleviated.
PD remains my primary diagnosis. I continue taking Xanax for it.
Meryl 2009-06-26 03:28:20
Your post is a great example of the fact that medication can work so
differently for all of us. YMMV.
I started on Valium and Inderal and could cope. After I was referred
to a psychiatrist, he switched me from Valium to Xanax. I found the
Xanax so much better for my anxiety symptoms. I was coughing and
discovered that Inderal is contraindicated for asthmatics. My pdoc
took me off Inderal and I hardly noticed any difference in anxiety
symptoms. However my coughing stopped.
Effexor was added years later when I was diagnosed with co morbid
depression. It works for me.
One thing about the migraines. I wonder if there is a hormonal link
for you. Two of my children had migraines at puberty. I am sure there
was a hormonal link for them. Neither get them now.