The fetal safety of benzodiazepines: an updated meta-analysis

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2011 Jan;33(1):46-48. doi: 10.1016/S1701-2163(16)34772-7.


Benzodiazepines are commonly used by women of reproductive age, and hence many pregnant women are exposed to them. An updated meta-analysis of their fetal safety synthesized nine studies with over one million pregnancies, yielding an odds ratio of 1.07 (95% CI 0.91 to 1.25). While benzodiazepines do not appear to increase teratogenic risk in general, case-controls suggest a twofold increased risk of oral cleft.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benzodiazepines / adverse effects*
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Cleft Lip / chemically induced
  • Cleft Palate / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / chemically induced*


  • Benzodiazepines