Getting treatment is important when you have hypertension – but if you are a woman expecting a baby, taking the medications that you need may cause serious complications with your pregnancy. Statistics show that anywhere between 6 and 8 percent of pregnant women suffer from high blood pressure, but little is known about the effects of medications that they take during their pregnancies.
In order to get a better understanding of how pregnant women treat their hypertension, the American Heart Association recently conducted a study that looked at the prescriptions that these women were taking.
Researchers reviewed the records of one million Medicaid patients and found that 4.4 percent of them – about 48,000 patients – were pregnant women who had prescriptions filled for high blood pressure medications like angiotensin receptor blockers and ACE inhibitors. Researchers also found that the prescriptions for these drugs for pregnant women increased almost 5 percent from 2000 to 2006.
Medical experts say, however, that unfortunately there is not a lot of information about which hypertension drugs are safe for pregnant women to use. And what is known about some of these drugs is problematic – experts say that some antihypertensive medications are associated with kidney problems and poor growth of infants. In some cases, newborns can actually die because of these drugs.
Drugs and Pregnancy
Women who suffer from medical conditions face hard decisions when they become pregnant, because many of the drugs that they need may be harmful to their unborn babies. Oftentimes prescription – and even over-the-counter medications – can be detrimental to a fetus, and can result in a variety of physical and mental health challenges. Because of this, it is imperative for women to consult their physician about the medications they are taking in order to determine if a drug is harmful, and if there are safer alternatives.
Also, when women drink, smoke, and take illicit drugs, these substances can have deleterious effects on a baby and, in some cases, can even lead to death of the child.
If you or your baby has been harmed as a result of a particular medication you used during your pregnancy, contacting an attorney is advised. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.