, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 257-263

Cord blood diazepam: Clinical effects in neonates of eclamptic mothers

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Diazepam used in the treatment of eclampsia crosses the placental barrier readily, and may cause various clinical effects in the neonates. Twenty-five (25) live born babies of eclamptic mothers receiving diazepam were studied and cord blood diazepam concentration was estimated. Effect of low dose of diazepam is minimal apart from lowering of rectal temperature and the effects lasted for a period of 12 hours. But high dose (>30mg) of diazepam and prolonged duration of diazepam therapy in mothers causes significant depression of the newborn and the effects lasted for a period of 36–48 hours. As the clinical condition of the newborn is not related to the diazepam concentration in cord blood, the cord blood estimation is not helpful in the assessment of clinical effects of the drug in newborn. The tissue storage of the drug in newborn appears to be responsible for the clinical effects.