Advertisement

How safe are beta-blockers for treating headaches during pregnancy?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Among headache preventive medications, beta-blockers have the best track record for a combination of effectiveness and safety in pregnant women. Propranolol (Inderal) is considered the best first-choice prevention drug during pregnancy for most women. Even though it is considered relatively safe, some problems have been noticed with women using blood pressure medications during pregnancy. Beta-blockers, such as propranolol, can increase the baby's risk of having low blood sugar, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, or slowed breathing at birth. Ideally, beta-blockers should be tapered within the last few weeks of pregnancy (starting around week 36) to minimize effects on labor and the newborn baby. Early use of another beta-blocking medication, atenolol (Tenormin) at conception or during the first trimester has been linked to low birth weight.
The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

More About this Book

The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...

Continue Learning about Patient Education

Cutting Through the NSAID Confusion
Cutting Through the NSAID Confusion
News about the FDA warning that NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be heart risky has made lots of you worried about taking those pain-...
Read More
Do statin drugs lower blood pressure?
Anthony L. Komaroff, MDAnthony L. Komaroff, MD
Statins, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor), are taken ...
More Answers
What types of food should I avoid when taking statins?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Statins are a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs people take to lower triglyceride and LDL choleste...
More Answers
Why Silence Is Bad for Your Health
Why Silence Is Bad for Your Health

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.