Insomnia

Is it Safe to take Sleeping Pills during Pregnancy ?


The everyday symptoms in pregnant women can be very annoying. Even those with the most normal condition also can look into the cabinet for medicines. Besides morning sickness, constipation, headaches or backaches, sleeplessness is also another annoying condition in expecting moms.

Most of the people prefer taking the various over-the-counter medicines to solve their discomfort. But this should not be the case when you are pregnant. Once you discover you are pregnant, you must consult your physician before taking any medicine. You must check with your doctor if the medicines you are taking are safe for you or not.

Even natural and herbal supplements must not be taken during pregnancy without proper medical consultation. Just because these are extracted from natural ingredients, does not make them safe for your baby. Do not use these just over motivation, only after a proper medical advise, dare to go for it. After all, its about your baby.

When you have a newborn near you, you have to most careful about yourself and the baby. And if you are a nursing mother, then the level of care even increases. You need to have a backup caretaker (dad or grandparents) if you are going to have a sleeping pill on an occasional basis. Once you are ingesting the pill, you cannot breastfeed your baby until morning. There are chances the drug can get into your milk. So consult your physician to check the safety of your pill if you are breastfeeding your new born.

Class of Sleeping Pills

Over The Counter Sleeping Pills

Most of the over-the-counter sleeping pills contain antihistamines. These antihistamines induce drowsiness. These are most effective when taken occasionally. Such medicines are available without any prescription. Doxylamine and Diphenhydramine are the two most common examples.

Nonbenzodiazepine Hypnotic Medications

For short-term use, these nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic medications are prescribed. Their occasional use is designed to get metabolized quickly and effectively reduce side effects. These include – Zaleplon, Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien) and Eszopiclone.

Benzodiazepine Hypnotic Medications

Benzodiazepine-based sleeping pills are older form of medications to promote sleep. These include Estazolam, Triazolam and Temazepam.

Sedative Antidepressants

Smaller doses of sedative antidepressants are often prescribed to treat insomnia clinically. When the insomnia or sleeplessness is caused because of depression, these medicines can result in the complete cure. These include – Amitriptyline, Trazodone and Nortriptyline.

How safe are sleeping pills ?

Some of the risks and side-effects of sleeping pills are included below –

Sl. No. Class of Sleeping Pills Side-effects Recommendations Risk for
1. Over The Counter Sleeping Pills Dizziness, dry mouth, prolonged drowsiness Not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding Patients with a glaucoma, enlarged prostrate, heart complications, asthma or bronchitis and peptic ulcers.
2. Nonbenzodiazepine Hypnotic Medications Dizziness, Dry mouth, prolonged drowsiness, diarrhea, allergic reactions, headaches, rash, vomiting and nausea, facial swelling, reduced sexual activeness, frequent chest pains, abdominal pain, lightheadedness and some sleep behaviors like (sleep walking, sleep driving and sleep eating). Not recommended for pregnant women. Patients with depression, drug abuse (alcohol abuse), liver or kidney disease, metabolic complications, respiratory conditions.
3. Benzodiazepine Hypnotic Medications Dizziness, prolonged drowsiness, headache, lightheadedness, nausea, low blood pressure, euphoria, allergic reactions, blurred vision, episodes of amnesia, facial swelling, fatigue, liver failure, sleep behaviours and problems with coordination. Not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding Elderly people, patient with drug abuse, depression or respiratory problems.
4. Sedative Antidepressants Dizziness, Prolonged Drowsiness, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, sweating, headache, weight fluctuations, constipation, blurred vision, heart complications or seizures. Not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding Patient with hyperthyroidism, heart problems, bipolar disorder, high blood pressure, seizures, glaucoma, liver disease and schizophrenia.

Alternatives to Sleeping Pills

So if you are pregnant, it is advised to take care of your lifestyle factor and personal issues to deal with your sleeping problems. Worries and stress are in no way good for your baby. It is your duty to keep yourself happy and in return you will be blessed with a healthy and happy child. Have a nice diet and a proper sleeping schedule. Try some relaxing techniques instead of depending on any sleeping pills.

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