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villen

Pregnant? Need Some Help!

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Hello everybody:)

First, excuse my language/spelling. I`m Norwegian so my english is not perfect;) I have been reading a lot on this forum and it`s been very helpful to me. To make a long story short: I am struggling with anxiety and the last four years been having issues with POTS/IST symptoms as well. I`ve been taking the beta blocker Atenolol for the last 8 years, and its been working ok ( maybe the effect has decreased the last years) I have many POTS-symptoms, but feeling unwell, dizzy and tachy after eating (especially much carbs etc), during and after exercise and feeling ill in the morning, are my main problems. I function ok in my everyday life, but I only work part time because of my health. Otherwise I`m healthy. My doc has given me a "clean bill of health", and says I don`t need the beta blockers,( that this is only my anxiety etc)

The cardiology specialist diagnosed me with IST, and says I could take beta blocker to ease my symptoms ,that it wasn`t dangerous and I could expect a normal life span. My heart is structually normal, I have taken many echoes, holter, EKGs etc the last years.

I have had a boyfriend for many years now , and we have been talking about having a baby:) I have really wanted to become a mom the last years, and I feel I`m very ready for it mentally! It`s the health thing and the symptoms that make me scared and make me reluctant. I am now 30 years old, and the only thing (ok, not the ONLY thing;) I can think of is getting pregnant and having a family with my wonderful boyfriend:) The thing is that I think I might be pregnant now!! (I haven`t been taking a test, but will do so if my period is more than two days late). I think its really exciting and a blessing, but It scares me if I have to wean off the atenolol , and also how the pregnancy would be. I wondererd if any of you have been on a low dose of beta blocker through your pregnanices? And how did you cope with your symptoms during pregnancy and birth? I have read that many women have had perfectly normal and heatlhy babies despite taking beta blocker during their pregnanices, and that many docs think its safe. I know it's a risk, but I don`t know how I can manage totally without out. I have tried stopping/reducing earlier, and it makes my heart beat high, I feel it pound all over etc. My doc says its nothing to worry about, but if my heart rate gets really high during pregnancy, they will of course discuss if its necessary to give me a beta blocker.

Have a good weekend:)

Villen:)

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There are some beta blockers that are safe to take while you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Atenolol is not one of them. Please talk to your cardiologist as soon as possible and get switched to a beta blocker that is safe for pregnancy.

I'm in the same boat that you are. I can't function without the meds. I've talked to my cardiologist about getting pregnant and she is fine with it as long as I switch to medications that are safe BEFORE I try to get pregnant. Then I will need to see her on a regular basis (for my health) and a high-risk obstetrician (for the baby).

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I know a women who is now pregnant with her third child and she has been taking small doses of beta blockers, but says that she does go into labor early and is put on bedrest, because of her dysautonomia. I'm just seeing the post above. I was on atenolol, and it can cause harm to an unborn fetus. This woman I was talking about has two other children and is on the FB website for Dysautonomia-POTS~Awareness and Support!~ You may want to talk to her about this...I started getting my symptoms for dysautonomia after a virus after having two children when I was 41, but I had a miscarriage of twins, that I believe could have been possibly related to this. I have always had a high heart rate all my life that I can remember started with low blood pressure, and than had high blood pressure when I was about 40. I would definitely talk with your doctor right away.

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Thanks so much for your replies. I have read that atenolol is safe, but I guess that it says both things on the internet. I will talk to my doctor anyway!! I have read many women (especially those with hypertension) who have been taking atenolol, and everything went fine.I know about the risk factors, so again, will make an appointment with my doctor and discuss:) Thanks again:)

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The US system from classifying drugs as safe or not safe for pregnancy is as follows:

Class A - definately safe for fetus (shown by studies in pregnant women)

Class B - propably safe for fetus (shown by animal studies)

Class C - "risk cannot be ruled out" (animal studies show possible fetal risk, but no human studies have been done)

Class D - definite fetal risk (shown by human studies or cases)

Class X - absolutley contraindicated, fetal risk outweighs any possible benefit

Cardioseletive (blocks beta 1):

Class B:

acebutolol

Class C:

betaxolol

bisprolol

esmolol

metoprolol

nebivolol

Class D:

atenolol

Non-cardioselective (blocks beta-1 and beta-2):

Class B:

Pindolol

Sotalol

Class C:

all others

Now, that being said, labetalol, pindolol, and long-acting metoprolol are usually the prefered drugs in the high-risk OB population.

Use of other beta blockers (specifically propranolol, nadolol, and atenolol) at any time during pregnancy is associated with premature labor and neonatal apnea, fetal growth restriction, fetal bradycardia, and hypoglycemia. Additionally, use of these beta blockers EARLY in pregnancy is associated with smaller placental size and low birth weight.

The drugs that are safe to take while you are pregnant are not always the ones that are safe to take while you are breast feeding. For example, propranolol, metoprolol, and labetalol are excreted into breastmilk the least and have shown no risk to the infant, while atenolol and acebutolol are excreted into breastmilk at high rates and can therefore put the infant at risk.

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Good luck on getting pregnant! If it doesn't work out this month-there is always next month! It took us almost 3 years, but he was worth the wait! I was on Metoprolol during my entire pregnancy and also on Flecainide, a calcium-channel blocker.

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Hello, I am currently 23 weeks pregnant but not on any beta blockers. I was previously on propanolol (inderal) but I weaned off about a year ago cause it made me super tired. I still deal with tachycardia and Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) but have been doing ok through this pregnancy. My heart rate usually goes up to 130 upon standing but I just rest a lot and stay hydrated. I have also taken plenty of echos and holters so I know im not having any svt's just tachycardia and pvcs. I found the first trimester to be the worst so far with being symptomatic ( was pretty bed bound for about 3 weeks) and really noticing a racing heart rate but it got a lot better around week 14. My doctor has said if I need to be on a beta blocker that it shouldnt be a problem cause many pregnant women take them but I am functioning fine for now without it so I just deal with the tachycardia. I know it can be scary but some womens heart rate raise in pregnancy anyway cause of all the bloodflow. I wish you the best of luck with this pregnancy and hopefully you talk with your doctor to find a good solution for you.

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Welcome villen :). I was extremely symptomatic for thr latter half of my second pregnancy and throughout my third (I have become progressively worse, and have also just been diagnosed with systemic mastocytosis). I had a holter monitor on for 48 hours when I was about 8 months pregnant with our third, and my average heartrate over the 48 hours was 99 beats per minute :). And I was already completely sedentary at that time since I'd black out if I stood for more than a minute or so.

Anyways, I wasn't on meds at all until I was breastfeeding #3, and then I tried Propranolol (which honestly did nothing for my symptoms). Even with a super wonky heart rate and all the other disabling symptoms of dysautonomia, both of my boys couldn't have been any healthier. They were 15 and 10 days late, and each weighed close to 9 pounds. I opted for natural childbirth with both (i.e. no pain meds), and although I needed constant help with the baby afterwards (since I couldn't stand up while holding baby), I didn't feel any worse after labour than I did before.

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I was diagnosed with POTS when I was around 8 weeks pregnant last summer. I took 25 mg. of metoprolol throughout the rest of my pregnancy with no ill effects that I know of. I stopped taking it recently because I think it was causing me fatigue and tachycardia has never really bothered me. I was on a daily IV drip for a week when things got really bad in the first trimester.

I felt better in the second and third trimesters when I had increased blood volume.

Before I got sick we were probably 70% sure we were done with two children and 30% learning towards having number three. But now that I was so sick while pregnant we're done unless we decide to adopt. But if we had absolutely wanted a third (or if I had gotten sick during my first pregnancy instead of my second), I absolutely would have done it again. You get through each day and at the end you have something worth it all.

Do you take anything for your anxiety? I'm taking Zoloft now for anxiety. I didn't take it while pregnant but I am taking it while breastfeeding. I've found it to be helpful with my POTS symptoms in general. I don't know what's considered safe during pregnancy, but I believe Zoloft is the first antidepressant recommended for breastfeeding mothers. And when things get really bad, I take an ativan, which some sources will tell you not to take, but I checked with Dr. Hale at Texas Tech and feel comfortable taking it very occasionally (I've taken 4 doses since having the baby) and watching for signs of sedation in the baby (haven't seen any).

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Thanks to all of you:) Turned out I was just a little late with my period. I felt a little relieved (and also a little disappointed). We hadn`t been planning too much, and had been quite careful, so i couldn`t really expect to be pregnant. But when I was late with the period(I usually never are), I really thought I was pregnant, and started worrying about my medicine etc. I want to start trying "for real" soon, but it scares me about the atenolol. I don`t think we are that "strict" about the use of atenolol in pregnant women here in Norway (I can`t say for sure), but I have also read that metropolol and maybe other BBs is a safer drug. (If I absolutely can`t function and become very ill when pregnant). I`m not taking anything for my anxiety, as I feel beta blocker is the only thing that really helps with the heart symptoms, (although it can give me fatigue and dizzyness as well), and I don`t want to take too much pills.

I will talk to my doc about withdrawing from atenolol, and/or switching to metropolol, but I`m sure she will think its the best if I don`t take any drug at all (easier said than done when the heart is racing badly and I feel horrible). Thanks again, you all give me hope and motivation with your stories, and I believe that my body can handle a pregnancy, I really do. I guess I`m just scared, because of all the symptoms.

I really feel the "clock ticking", and want to become a mom, so I`m quite frustrated about all this.

Love, Villen:)

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I would talk to your doctor about it. They may feel that staying on something is better than not. I would also recommend starting a prenatal vitamin now (prescription ones are best) if you plan to become pregnant within the next year. It could be just me but I feel a lot better on prenatal vitamins and I think they help. Only you know what your body can handle but don't be discouraged. I thought I was gonna have a miserable pregnancy which started off rough but so far has turned out pretty good. Also, i recently went to a high risk OB because I have Sjogren's and she was actually familiar with Pots. She said some women end up fainting left and right but they make it through with the right treatment. I wish you the best of luck and keep us updated!

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