Are There Safe Sedatives During Pregnancy


Asked by Quiannca

Are There Safe Sedatives During Pregnancy



First and foremost, you shouldn't take any medication during pregnancy that is not prescribed or recommended by your OB/GYN. If you're considering taking an over-the-counter medication or a prescription that you have on hand at home, call your doctor's office first and ask if it's safe to take.

The FDA has established Pregnancy Categories for drugs and it's important to understand what those categories mean so you can identify the safety or risk of any medication. Here are the 5 Pregnancy Categories:

A -; These drugs are the safest. Well-designed studies in people show no risks to the fetus.

B -; Studies in animals show no risk to the fetus, and no well-designed studies in people have been done. -; OR -; Studies in animals show a risk to the fetus, but well-designed studies in people do not.

C -; No adequate studies in animals or people have been done. -; OR -; In animal studies, use of the drug resulted in harm to the fetus, but no information about how the drug affects the human fetus is available.

D -; Evidence shows a risk to the human fetus, but benefits of the drug may outweigh risks in certain situations. For example, the mother may have a life-threatening disorder or a serious disorder that cannot be treated with safer drugs.

X -; Risk to the fetus has been proven to outweigh any possible benefit.

There are no sedatives in Category A.

Benadryl, which is sedating for many people, is a Category B drug.

Most medications used to induce sleep, such as Ambien or Lunesta, are in Category C.

Anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax are Category D drugs.

If you want to know about any particular medication, you can look it up on There you will find the FDA Pregnancy Category given. Usually it's under a heading that says "Before taking..." or "What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking...?"

Answered by Karen Lee Richards