Neonatal apnea associated with maternal clonazepam therapy: a case report

Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Sep;66(3 Suppl):34S-35S.


A 2750-g female infant was born at 36 weeks' gestation to a 40-year-old woman treated with clonazepam throughout her pregnancy. The infant developed apnea, cyanosis, and hypotonia within a few hours of birth. The mother's serum clonazepam level at delivery was 32 ng/mL; the cord blood level was 19 ng/mL. The infant had no congenital malformations, evidence of infection, or seizures. Clinical episodes ceased by ten days of age. The woman elected to breastfeed; breast milk clonazepam levels were between 11 and 13 ng/mL. She was discharged with a cardiorespiratory monitor. The authors suggest that infants of mothers receiving this agent during pregnancy or while nursing have serum levels measured. Additionally, these infants should be monitored for central nervous system depression or apnea.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apnea / chemically induced*
  • Benzodiazepinones / adverse effects*
  • Clonazepam / adverse effects*
  • Clonazepam / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Pregnancy


  • Benzodiazepinones
  • Clonazepam