Benzodiazapines Barely Affect Newborns, The Most Effective Way to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder

Benzodiazapines Barely Affect Newborns

What to do if you take anti-anxiety medicine and want to get pregnant? For pregnant women, using benzodiazepines might be OK. Also, a meta-analysis (which is a study of studies) compared behavioral therapy alone to pairing it with anti-abuse drugs to find the most effective way to treat substance and alcohol use disorders. 

Benzodiazepines Shown to be Safe for Pregnant Mothers

Fifteen percent of pregnant women suffer from anxiety disorders, and 10 to 26% are prescribed benzodiazepines. So, a new study in JAMA examined at how these drugs affect newborns. 

The study looked at 679 mothers who were taking benzodiazepines while bearing a child and self-reporting on their intake. Overall, exposing a child in utero to benzodiazepines is associated with a lower birth weight by 79 grams (about the weight of one small apple) and early birth by an average of 2.1 days. The study essentially deemed the effect of benzodiazepines on newborns “not necessarily clinically significant.”

This study only looked at children immediately after birth and only for physical deformities. It did not attempt to measure any long-term or psychological effects. Before taking any anti-anxiety medication, you should consult your doctor. Still, this is good news for women who need assistance during a trying time. 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Plus Pharmacotherapy Best for Alcohol Use Disorder

A meta-analysis by JAMA looked at treatment approaches to dealing with individuals with substance use disorders. The analysis concluded that cognitive behavior therapy — a common singular practice used to treat substance use disorder — was more effective when combined with pharmacotherapy (or anti-addiction drugs).

The meta-analysis examined 30 unique randomized clinical trials that focused on CBT used in tandem with some sort of anti-abuse drug in substance and alcohol use disorders. CBT by itself was no better than any other specific therapy, and the study found that its benefits were only notable when combined with pharmacotherapy and compared to “usual care.”


Andrew Gutman

Andrew Gutman

Andrew Gutman is the Managing Editor of MedShadow and a former Senior Associate Editor for Muscle & Fitness. He writes about exercise and nutrition for Business Insider, Insider Health, Gear Patrol, and Men's Health.


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One thought on “Benzodiazapines Barely Affect Newborns, The Most Effective Way to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder

  1. I was prescribed benzos when I was dealing with anxiety. I am now going through horrifying withdrawl symstoms. I was told that even using them on a short term basis does not exclude the painful withdrawl symtoms. Some people take up to 3 years to illimnate the garbage from their systems. There has been suicides attributed to their use. Please do not take the benzos if you wish to stay relatively sane.

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