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Study: Rise In Antihypertensive Drugs During Pregnancy

About 6 to 8 percent of women experience high blood pressure during pregnancy, or gestational hypertension. Doctors must closely monitor pregnant women with high blood pressure because it is associated with a variety of serious health conditions manifesting in both the infant and mother, such as preeclampsia and premature birth.

To combat the effects of gestational hypertension, some doctors prescribe antihypertensive drugs during pregnancy, a decision that comes with risks. While hypertension can cause serious health problems, the use of antihypertensive medication during pregnancy may also bring the risk of serious side effects, according to a new medical study.

"We know little about how women and their doctors treat the condition (gestational hypertension)," explained Brian Batemen, one of the study's coauthors.

The research, published in Hypertension, analyzed the use of antihypertensive medication such as beta blockers and methyldopa. The data shows that the use of antihypertensive drugs during gestation rose 1.4 percent between 2000 and 2007. Nearly 5 percent of women use hypertension-fighting drugs during their pregnancies.

While moderate to severe cases of gestational hypertension may necessitate medicine, it's important for mothers to know that there are risks associated with these drugs. Little data is available, so the use of antihypertensive drugs during pregnancy remains a troubling unknown in the medical community.

If you or your baby has suffered serious harm from the effects of a drug and the manufacturer failed to sufficiently warn you of the risks, you may have the ability to collect money damages. To learn more, consult an experienced Ohio birth injury lawyer.

Source: Forbes.com, "Antihypertensive Use Among Pregnant Women On The Rise," Larry Husten, Sep. 10, 2012

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