Odile Sheehy et al have found that incidence of exposure to any benzodiazepines or specific benzodiazepine agents during early pregnancy could lead to an increased risk of spontaneous abortion (SA). The researchers conducted a nested case-control study based on data collected from a population-based Quebec pregnancy cohort involving 442,066 pregnancies of women aged 15 – 45 years, between January 1, 1998, to December 31, 2015. The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepines were lorazepam and clonazepam (44.8% and 23.4%, respectively). The findings showed that short-acting benzodiazepines conferred a greater risk (81%) compared to long-acting agents (73%). Incident use of any benzodiazepine was associated with an 85% risk for spontaneous abortion. Researchers found that 1.4% of cases of SA took place in women who had been exposed to benzodiazepines in early pregnancy, compared to approximately 0.6% among the matched control persons. Researchers advice health care clinicians to carefully evaluate the risk-benefit ratio of benzodiazepine use for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders or insomnia during early pregnancy.
Source: JAMA Psychiatry May 15, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0963 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2733517