Propranolol During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

4 min read

Written by Ambili Kartha

Ambili Kartha

Ambili Kartha is engaged in content creation and editing for more than 6 years and has the additional experience of being the mother of two children. She is part of content team.

Propranolol During Pregnancy_ Is It Safe_

Many doctors prescribe propranolol, a beta-blocker drug to women during their pregnancy phase. This is because it is a safe and proven drug to treat cardiac issues such as hypertension, stress, anxiety levels, and irregular heart rate in women during pregnancy period. Heart-related issues such as high blood pressure can pose quite a risk for the mother and the baby. Beta-blockers such as propranolol during pregnancy can be a life-saver and keep the mom and the little one safe through the pregnancy period/

However, it is not safe to consume propranolol or any other beta-blocker drug without the consent of your doctor during pregnancy. This is because some medications can have unwanted effects on the pregnancy and the growing fetus as well. Even drugs such as Propranolol must be consumed within limits under the doctor’s supervision to prevent harm to the unborn child or the mother.

In This Article

What is Propranolol?

Propranolol is a beta-blocker drug that doctors recommend to pregnant women with heart-related issues. This medication helps treat erratic heart rate or high blood pressure. In addition, the medication also helps with other issues such as anxiety, stress, and migraines.

Propranolol is not just available only in tablet form, but you can consume them in any form of your choices such as syrup, tablets, or even capsules.

Is It Safe To Take Propranolol While Pregnant?

Is It Safe To Take Propranolol While Pregnant_

Propranolol is a “Pregnancy Category C” according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Research studies show mixed results for the safety of the mother and fetus during pregnancy. But at times, the need for this medication may supersede the side effects to save the life of the mother.

There are situations such as cardiac arrest or extreme hypertension during the pregnancy period where using the drug becomes extremely important. The doctor will weigh the pros and cons and take a call regarding the usage of the medication and the safe dosage.

What Are The Side Effects Of Propranolol During Pregnancy?

The Side Effects Of Propranolol During Pregnancy

No medications are devoid of side effects. Let us take a quick look at the side effects of taking propranolol during pregnancy.

  1. Consumption of propranolol might cause side effects such as blurry vision, loss of vision, sudden drop in blood pressure, slow heart rate, etc.
  2. If you consume propranolol during pregnancy, there are chances that you might experience feelings of extreme tiredness, lack of energy, weakness, fatigue, etc.
  3. Other effects include a shift or a change in your sleeping patterns which might prove to be unhealthy for pregnant women. Sleep is the utmost necessity during pregnancy and pregnant women just cannot give up on it.
  4. Propranolol may also cause shivering and sweating in pregnant women, and this might go worse if not treated timely.

Always talk to your doctor about the possible side effects you can expect and warning signals you should look out for when taking propranolol during pregnancy. In case of extreme uneasiness don’t hesitate to rush to your doctor.

Can Propranolol Cause Miscarriage?

Can Propranolol Cause Miscarriage_

Propranolol does not pose any kind of risk such as preterm deliveries or miscarriages. It is a safe class of beta-blocker drugs that can help reduce hypertension and other heart-related issues. However, it is important to remember that you must stick to the dosage prescribed by the doctor.

Any issues that may happen to the fetus can be more due to the health condition that the mother is experiencing as opposed to propranolol usage.

How Much Propranolol Is Safe To Take During Pregnancy?

The US FDA already justified the recommended amount of dosage of propranolol during pregnancy. However, it may change as per the person’s medical history and immunity level. Your doctor will consider several factors such as your age, medical history, and your health issues before recommending your dosage.

  • The ideal dosage for a condition like hypertension is 40 mg, twice a day. This dosage is safe and doesn’t cause any major side effects during pregnancy.
  • For conditions such as Angina Pectoris, 80 mg- 320 mg dosage can be given. However, studies have proved that a dosage of more than 160 mg might prove to be dangerous. So, you should consult your doctor on an immediate basis.
  • For conditions such as Atrial Fibrillation, the dosage of 1 mg-30 mg is sufficient.

1. What Does Propranolol Do To A Fetus?

Propranolol does not harm your baby in any manner. In fact, it keeps the fetus safe by protecting the mother’s health. But it might affect your baby’s growth in later pregnancy. It is a wise idea to discuss all your doubts and questions before starting to consume this medication, especially what to do when you miss a dose or take a double dose by mistake.

2. Can Propranolol Be Taken Occasionally?

It is not safe to consume propranolol occasionally as the withdrawal of the medication must be around 10-14 days and must be gradual. If you do consume propranolol occasionally, you will start witnessing unpleasant side effects such as vomiting, sweating, shivering, fast heartbeat, shaking, heart attack, and even death in some cases. Hence, keep your medication on a regular level or do not consume it at all.

3. What to Do If  Have Already Consumed Propranolol During My Pregnancy?

Talk to your doctor if you are taking propranolol and are pregnant. They will analyse your situation and decide whether you can continue or must stop taking it. Also, they will give you the right schedule to taper the drug.

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Ambili Kartha,B. Sc Zoology (St Xavier’s college for women)

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