Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Looking for Information

Good afternoon Humble Readers...

Sooo it turns out that my blood pressure is still higher than it should be.  My systolic is ok-ish, but my diastolic is the frightening one.  He took my blood pressure 5 times (I have bruises on my arm now from the cuff), just to make sure that it wasn't white coat syndrome. 

Dr B prescribed 50mg of Trandate (also known as labetalol), three times a day.  I asked him specifically if it was ok for me to take being pregnant and he said yes.  Now that I'm home, and doing my usual online research, I have found out that it is a category C drug.  For those who don't know, this means that it's not been tested enough on pregnant humans to be certain of side effects, but in pregnant animal test subjects there has been documented side effects (slowed fetal heartrate, potential birth defects). 

I am going to be seeking Dr U's opinion for clarification, but I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who has been on this med during pregnancy. 

I'm cutting as much salt out of my diet as I can, and caffiene has already taken a hike (as soon as I got pregnant).  Any other suggestions of what I can do to lower my blood pressure?


  1. Grapefruit juice, I believe will help lower it. Sorry can't be much help! Hope you find a way to get it undercontrol!! xo

  2. I hope you get the info that you need! take care.

  3. I'm afraid I don't know much about it, but perhaps you could research other medications that might be safer and ask the doctor about those as an alternative?

    Take a look. It's from the Canadian help centre for all related to drugs in pg and breastfeeding.
    Not sure what else to recommend. Have heard of people being taken off work or put on bed rest...

  5. I was on hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure for 2 years. It is a class B medication, and I have been assured that it is safe for pregnancy. It's worth looking into. Best of luck to you!

  6. Hi! I've read for a long time but never commented. I guess that makes me a lurker:)

    I had issues w/ my bp when I was pregnant. I didn't end up taking meds, but moderate exercise (like just taking a short walk -- nothing too crazy!) and drinking lots of water helped for me. Check w/ your dr about the salt, too. My doc told me not to cut out too much salt, because sodium is actually necessary for your body normally and even more so during pregnancy.

  7. Ahh sweetie, what a pain to have your BP as an issue. I have no knowledge of Trandate but I understand that no drug is classed safe in pregnancy as there simply aren't enough drug trials conducted on pregnant women.

    I was told (by 5 different Drs) that the first 3 months were the most important to be drug free if possible and that after that the risk of side effects drastically reduces - I admit I was hospitalised with HG at the time and they wanted me to take something to stop the vomiting but my OB later said that it was about risk vs reward - the risk of me losing the baby if I wasn't medicated was much higher than the risk if I was.

    Speak to your Dr about your concerns but I'm betting you were probably perscribed the best option for you and bub.

  8. I have hypertension too and have recently swapped from my usual medication to a safe one (currently about to start another round of IVF) my OBGYN only uses labetalol or methyldopa (this is the one I now take).

    My GP advised me that both of these drugs have been safely used for years in pregnant women. I am a Registered Nurse and truly trust the judgment of both of these doctors.

    Good luck.

  9. I have hypertension too and have recently swapped from my usual medication to a safe one (currently about to start another round of IVF) my OBGYN only uses labetalol or methyldopa (this is the one I now take).

    My GP advised me that both of these drugs have been safely used for years in pregnant women. I am a Registered Nurse and truly trust the judgment of both of these doctors.

    Good luck.

  10. Hi Mrs. G, sorry you are having this complication. I'm not a health professional but have personal experience with pregnancy-induced hypertension in two pregnancies so thought I'd share.

    I'm actually currently on labetalol right now; I can tell you that the dose you are on is very very low; what one of my OBs called "a mist" and a prenatal specialist called a "homeopathic" dose. I'm currently taking 300 mg 2x/day.

    My impression is that labetalol is the "go-to" drug for hypertension in pregnancy. In my case my body responded to it very well and the medication + bedrest at home has kept me out of the hospital and NICU.

    In my first pregnancy, my daughter was delivered at 37 weeks because of their worries about pre-eclampsia - my BP was spiking every couple days to as high as 170/117. As far as I can tell, she has suffered no ill effects from all of that, that I know of. She's healthy and developing normally. In my current pregnancy I have a "deadline" of 38 weeks (next week!) for the same reasons - maximize the time the baby has to grow and develop without unnecessarily prolonging the risk to my health presented by PIH (note that I didn't have hypertension at all prior to my first pregnancy, or in the interim between the two).

    Some other non-pharmaceutical things I've heard that help include nettle tea, cucumbers, and celery. Lots of fluids, for sure. I've cut back a little bit on sodium but I'd been trying to do that anyway prior to developing PIH.

    Good luck - and I think it's so worth it to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Hope you can keep it well under control.

    Oh - Murgdan at Conceive This! was also dealing with hypertension during her pregnancy, but in her case it was chronic hypertension pre-existing the pregnancy (as opposed to pregnancy-induced like mine) so her archives might have some info - and she's a nurse, too.

    Take care - blessings on you and your little Halfling!

  11. I was put on 100 mgs of labetelol twice a day at 17 weeks in my pregnancy. It was enough to keep my blood pressue in check throughout my pregnancy. It did go up a bit at the end, but not to dangerous levels.

    My daughter is healthy, happy and thriving. She just turned 6 months old. I am thankful that I was able to take something for my blood pressure because had it not been treated, I don't know that I could have gotten to term.

    There is a diet called the DASH diet that can help control blood pressure through diet. It really does work, it is about eating healthy, natural foods with lots of fruits and vegetables. It isn't about weight loss, so it is perfectly safe to follow in pregnancy.

    I wish you luck and don't worry too much about the meds. The baby is better off if your blood pressure is controlled.

  12. I know a lot of people have chimed in already - but although I'm not an OB I'm an anesthetist and we often use labetolol on our high risk pregnant patients. Hope this helps!

  13. Catching up...

    --AWESOME that you rented a doppler. Sounds like it has provided much peace of mind! (Bless your heart with the scary dreams you've had! Yikes!)

    --Congrats on the new car.

    --I see from your sidebar that baby is now the size of a mango. WOW. Amazing how the time is passing. SO happy for you and your Beloved that your pregnancy continues to go well.

    --Sorry I don't have any advice on high blood pressure during pregnancy. Hope you're able to get this settled soon. HUGS!

  14. Hi- here via LFCA; sorry to hear about the blood pressure!

    1) Make sure grapefruit juice doesn't interfere with anything else you're taking; it has a lot of interactions

    2) Because of how the IRB system works in the US it is now practically impossible to get a Category B classification and I believe nothing has been put into Category A in about 30 years. A lot of C drugs are safe in pregnancy, and most of the ones commonly given (including the BP med you're on) have a lot of studies in pregnant women, but to be Cat B they have to be double-blind studies, not "following" studies of people who are already taking it. However, any drug with proven harm in animals (usually, BTW, at around 10x the max human dose!!) will *never* be approved for a double-blind. Therefore hundreds of safe-for-pregnancy drugs remain in Category C. Sudafed, for example, and Z*loft are both Category C, but are widely considered safe in pregnancy (at moderate doses).

    3) Are you familiar with PubMed? There are hundreds of studies of labetalol on there. It's one of the most common BP drugs given in pregnancy.

    4) I looked it up for a friend a couple months ago and the ONLY non-interventional thing that is effective at preventing/reducing pre-eclampsia is actually bedrest. (Not necessarily complete bedrest, but intensive couch-laying.)

    5) If you're into scientific literature, see also DART

  15. Mrs. Gamgee- I'm glad you found the information helpful! The FDA's categories are one of my pet peeves- because some Cat. C drugs truly are harmful, but a lot aren't, so it just freaks people out for no good reason. I hope your doctor has some helpful things to say as well, and that the drugs help the blood pressure!

  16. Here from LFCA. I am on Labatelol currently and am taking 200 mg twice a day. It has kept my blood pressure down my entire pregnancy. (I am currently 38 weeks). Baby is completely healthy from NST/BPP I have had every week for the past two months. I have no doubt that she will be born healthy and the medicine kept me off bedrest.


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