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Benzodiazepine Use Linked to Risk for Ectopic Pregnancy

Excess of 80 ectopic pregnancies per 10,000 pregnancies found in women with benzodiazepine prescription

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Women with benzodiazepine prescriptions before pregnancy may have increased risk for ectopic pregnancy, according to a study published online June 2 in Human Reproduction.

Elizabeth Wall-Wieler, Ph.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues examined the risk for ectopic pregnancy among women who fill benzodiazepine prescriptions before conception using data from U.S. commercial insurance claims for 1,691,366 pregnancies.

The researchers found that 1.06 percent of the pregnancies filled at least two benzodiazepine prescriptions totaling at least a 10-day supply in the 90 days prior to conception. There was an excess of 80 ectopic pregnancies per 10,000 pregnancies observed among women with a benzodiazepine prescription; the inverse probability of treatment (IPT)-weighted risk for ectopic pregnancies was 1.47 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.32 to 1.63) times greater in relation to those without benzodiazepine prescriptions before conception. Among women with anxiety disorder diagnoses and women with an insomnia diagnosis, the IPT-weighted relative risks for ectopic pregnancy in association with benzodiazepine use were 1.34 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.18 to 1.53) and 1.28 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.68), respectively.

“This study shows that women who use benzodiazepines when they become pregnant are at higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy,” Wall-Wieler said in a statement. “When identifying treatment options, women and their care providers should understand the benefits and risks associated with treatment options, and more options should be available that have been demonstrated to be safe to use before and during pregnancy.”

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