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Drugs for Heart Conditions and Pregnancy

If you have a heart condition , you and your healthcare provider need to talk about it and plan for your pregnancy. You'll also need to consider what may be involved in caring for your child later.

Here are some things that are important for any pregnant woman to do:

  • Eat a nutritious diet.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol .
  • Have your doctor approve any medicine you use (including over-the-counter drugs).

Some medicines that are safe to take when you're not pregnant should not be used when you're pregnant. The reason is that they may harm your baby. If you have heart disease , you may need to take heart medications during your pregnancy. Your doctor can prescribe those heart drugs that won't harm the fetus.

Women who suffer from pre-existing conditions or from preeclampsia or eclampsia developed during the pregnancy, are often prescribed drugs to reduce blood pressure. As these drugs can effect the functioning of the placenta , they are usually prescribed with the upmost caution.

Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and thiazide diuretics are also generally not prescribed and should be avoided during pregnancy, due to the problems they can cause in the foetus.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. American Heart Association, Heart and Strike A-Z:

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Contact Last modified: Oct 21 2004