Labetalol During Pregnancy: Is It Safe for My Pregnancy?

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Also called as ‘beta-blocker’, labetalol is used for treating high blood pressure. Orally, this is used for long term hypertension management, whereas intravenously, in severe hypertension situations. Labetalol slows the heart rate and improves the blood flow which further decreases the blood pressure. Although it does not cure it but one has to remain careful about its side effects as well.

All You Need to Know about Taking Labetalol during Pregnancy

labetalol

Is labetalol safe for pregnant women?

When it comes to hypertension or high blood pressure during pregnancy, it is a serious concern for both, the mother and the baby. High blood pressure can damage the kidneys, brain, blood vessels and heart., if left untreated. When any of these organs get affected, it can further lead to heart failure, kidney failure, heart attack and loss of vision or stroke. Doctors usually recommend labetalol for women who suffer with high blood pressure during pregnancy.

For those who were given treatment for high blood pressure before pregnancy, they are advised to move on from their previous medicine and switch to labetalol. However, you must consult your doctor before taking the medicine as it is vital for you to follow all the precautions for the betterment of your baby and yourself. Thus, whether you want to start with the medicine or stop taking it, you should first consult your doctor.

Can taking labetalol during pregnancy cause miscarriage?

It is very rare that consumption of a particular drug leads to miscarriage. A lot of women worry about this but there are no evidences if labetalol has caused a miscarriage.

Is it safe for the baby?

Although there are no studies which show that consuming labetalol can cause the baby to be born with birth defects. At present, there is no link between the two. There have been only a few studies in order to identify if conditions like heart defects or hypospadias are linked to taking labetalol during pregnancy but then again, there are no results for the same.

Most of the internal organs of the baby develop within the first 3 months of pregnancy, it is during this time that the risk of birth defects are pretty high.

Can it cause stillbirth?

A stillborn child is a baby who is born without any signs of life after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Some of the reasons that can be held responsible for this are the genetic factors, mother’s health, age and lifestyle. There have been cases where women taking labetalol experienced stillbirth but at the same time, there are also women who had a safe delivery. It is basically the effect of high blood pressure that causes the risk of stillbirth rather than labetalol. Considering this, it is a little difficult to say whether labetalol can cause stillbirth.

Uses of labetalol during pregnancy:

Listed below are the uses of labetalol during pregnancy:

  • Used to control the high blood pressure for the mother’s and the abby’s health
  • As a first-line drug, labetalol supersedes all other drugs and is absolutely safe in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Acceptable oral antihypertensive agent
  • Causes smooth fall in blood pressure.

Side effects of taking labetalol during pregnancy:

Although labetalol is considered to be safe and is recommended to only a certain patients. But Some of the side effects that are pretty common are as listed below:

  • Regular dosage of the medicine can lead to an upset stomach.
  • Can lead to tingling scalp or skin
  • Regular consumption of the medicine can lead to fatigue
  • Dizziness and drowsiness, if consumed regularly
  • Sometimes results in stuffy nose
  • Can make you feel excessively tired, if consumed regularly.

No medical attention is required for some of the side effects of this medicine as they may disappear on their own and your healthcare provider may also give you useful guidance in order to reduce the side effects. In case, you feel that any side effect happens to be troublesome, it is important that you consult your doctor.

Precautions:

Make sure that you follow the precautions as given by your healthcare provider. Though, we have listed a few things that you must keep in mind:

  • Do not take the medicine if you suffer from a kidney or liver disease, diabetes or allergies.
  • Discontinue taking it if you are allergic to it.
  • Do not take the medicine if you have a second or third-degree heart block or very slow heartbeat.
  • It may lead to chest pain or heart attack if discontinued suddenly.
  • Do not stop taking it suddenly.

Conclusion:

Although labetalol is considered to be safe during pregnancy but one must exercise extra precautions when talking about its side effects. Make sure to consult your doctor in case you go through any of the side effects.

References:

  • http://medind.nic.in/iaa/t13/i3/iaat13i3p640.pdf
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK62654/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8227470
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26259808

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