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Beta Blockers

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  • Beta Blockers

    I have a somewhat elevated heart rate due to another necessary medication I take (approved by perinatal specialist and OB). I am family planning now and wondering if I’ll be able to —or in fact should-continue taking a tiny dose beta blocker which stops this heart racing side effect. I only take a tiny dose of Propranalol— 5 mg or less. I know there are risks with beta blockers and any med but I’m also quite concerned that a racing heart won’t be good either. My doctor prescribed this in the past (not pregnant) not because it’s necessarily dangerous but it’s uncomfortable and not ideal. Im not sure if it would be “not dangerous” when pregnant as well, in which case I’d just stop the beta blocker. I plan to speak to my doctors when I can get an appointment of course but as a second opinion would love to hear if there’s standard advice or any thoughts about this trade off in terms of cost/benefit. Thank you!

  • #2
    I should clarify that I don’t take this daily but as needed


    • #3
      Hi BookDoctor,

      Although beta blockers are not our first choice in pregnant moms, they are sometimes used when necessary. You're correct--these decisions are a balance between what having the drug could do to the baby and what not having the drug will do to you (and baby). Mostly this decision would depend on the severity of your condition. With infrequent, low doses, it is likely that there will be no harm to the baby. However, we do know that there have been rare case reports of fetal abnormalities with beta blockers in pregnancy: pyloric stenosis, hip crepitus, tracheoesophageal fistulas, and heart defects.

      Kaytlin Krutsch, PharmD


      • #4

        Dr. Krutsch and I have looked carefully at this as we are somewhat hesitant to use beta blockers during pregnancy. This is a slight risk and some reports. But YOUR dose is so low that I don't see much of any risk at all. So I called a really excellent Professor of Obstetrics, and she said there would be no risk at this dose .

        So you are good to go at 5 mg or less per day. But I strongly suggest you talk with your OB before getting pregnant.

        Tom Hale Ph.D.