Pharmacology and toxicology
Zaleplon, Zolpidem, zopiclone, and eszopiclone are newer drugs with sedative-hypnotic properties, which have an agonistic effect on central benzodiazepine receptors. Chemically, they are not related to benzodiazepines. They usually have a short halflife. A prospective controlled study on 40 first-trimester zopiclone-exposed women found no increased rate of major malformations (Diav-Citrin 1999). There was a normal outcome among 18 Zolpidem-exposed pregnancies (e.g. Wilton 1998). Data for zaleplon and eszopiclone are insufficient to assess the safety in pregnancy.
Recommendation. These drugs should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Their inadvertent use is not grounds for termination of pregnancy. Detailed fetal ultrasonography may be considered after first-trimester exposure. The drugs of first choice for sleeping disorders are sedating antihistamines and benzodiazepines.
Was this article helpful?
With all the stresses and strains of modern living, panic attacks are become a common problem for many people. Panic attacks occur when the pressure we are living under starts to creep up and overwhelm us. Often it's a result of running on the treadmill of life and forgetting to watch the signs and symptoms of the effects of excessive stress on our bodies. Thankfully panic attacks are very treatable. Often it is just a matter of learning to recognize the symptoms and learn simple but effective techniques that help you release yourself from the crippling effects a panic attack can bring.