Methyldopa and Pregnancy

Updated on August 31, 2012
C.A. asks from Dallas, GA
5 answers

Hi there momma's. I am a 36 year old and trying to conceive. I recently found out that my blood pressure was not where it needed to be. Therefore my regular doctor put me on Hydrochloriziade which is a water pill and for the most part my blood pressure has been much better. I went on Monday for my PAP as well as having my IUD removed because we want to try to get pregnant again. However, my OB/GYN said he did not want me to remain on the Hydrochlorizide while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
I was a smoker and recently quit so I'm wondering if I quit smoking and also try to lose some weight before getting pregnant if that would help my blood pressure. Plus at the time I went I was having ALOT of stress with my job which has now since leveled out for the most part. My regular doctor has now put me on Methyldopa which is supposedly safe to use during pregnancy but after I read the possible side effects-I'm not quite sure its such a grand idea. I know ALL medicines have their own side effects even Tylenol but I'm just concerned I guess. I haven't been taking my water pill since last Friday and my OB/GYN wants me to wait one cycle before I try to conceive. Well I just wondered if anyone else had a similiar situation and what happened and any advice would be appreciated. I am just trying to do the right thing here but I have to take care of myself in order to take care of my unborn baby-if/when that happens ;())

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answers from Chicago on

Of course the healthier you make yourself the better it will be for you and your future baby. And quitting smoking and losing weight can certainly improve your BP. But if you get pregnant and still have high BP listen to your drs and take the methyldopa. If you have high BP and really don't want to take this med then I would seriously reconsider getting pregnant. Untreated high BP in pregnancy can have serious consequences for you and baby and I don't believe it would be worth the risk when there is a med available to help. It is labeled Category B (same as Tylenol), so considered to be very safe for the baby. I wish you the best.

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answers from Iowa City on

I had to take methyldopa because I had pregnancy induced high blood pressure (drastically elevated...160/100 and above where my normal is 110/68). I ended up on bed rest. I didn't have any side effects from the medication and my daughter was born as healthy as can be.

If I were in your position I think I would take some time, 3-6 months or so, to see if I could get my blood pressure under control naturally. Exercise 30 minutes a day, low sodium/high potassium diet, drink some hibiscus tea, cut out caffeine. This is assuming your BP isn't extremely elevated. If it is then you really need to take the medication while working on lowering it naturally.

It is more dangerous to a fetus to have a mother with high blood pressure than to have a mother who takes methyldopa.

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answers from Atlanta on

All medications, even those that are supposedly "safe" have their risks to both you and your unborn child. It's important to evaluate each one versus the risk of having high blood pressure while you are pregnant. Because you have a peeexisting condition, I highly recommend you go under the care of an OB-GYN who specializes in high risk pregnancies before you get pregnant. They will be able to get you in to a program that minimizes the risks to you and your baby.

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answers from Houston on

If you are hypertensive it is important to keep your BP well controlled before pregnancy. Unfortunately chronic hypertension carries a 25% risk of developing superimposed preeclampsia during pregnancy, so know the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia: There are also some experienced ladies on their message board that are also on BP meds if you want more advice.

Methyldopa is one of the safest BP drugs for pregnancy. It's older and there is a lot of data on its use. However, I didn't like how I felt on it and it didn't control my BP as well (dose would wear off quickly).

Labetalol is another drug commonly used for pregnancy, but I wanted to avoid beta blockers since they inhibit thyroid hormone conversion and I'm already on meds for low thyroid.

My cardiologist said he has had a lot of patients on calcium channel blockers during pregnancy, so I'm on procardia right now at 34 weeks gestation. Baby is doing great.

I would definitely stop smoking if you can since it can not only raise your BP it is also can negatively impact pregnancy. (preterm labor, low birth weight, etc

Since you are getting older and risks go up due to "advanced maternal age" I would ask your doc if it would be better to loose weight before ttc or if it would be better to ttc while you are younger. Loosing weight only lowers pregnancy risks slightly so it wouldn't be my highest priority right now.

If you want more information on your risks or what the best treatment plan for pregnancy is you can always ask your OB or GP to refer you to a MFM specializing in high risk pregnancies for a pre-conception consultation. They have a lot more experience with hypertensive pregnancies.

I hope this helps, good luck with whatever you decide!



answers from New York on

My primary doctor put me on Methyldopa for hypertension after asking me what my plans where as far as having any more children. I was on it for about 2 years before getting pregnant…stayed on it my whole pregnancy and my blood pressure remained under control…never had to do any adjusting of my dosage at all….Labetalol and Methyldopa are the only 2 safe blood pressure medicines to be on when pregnant. With my daughter I was on the labetalol and needed multiple adjustments during my pregnancy…with my second pregnancy (I had my son on 01/30/12) and taking the Methyldopa my blood pressure was totally under control…so no worries if he puts you on that you are safe!!
Meg :)

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