This sheet talks about exposure to labetalol in a pregnancy or while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical advice from your healthcare provider.
What is labetalol?
Labetalol, also known as Trandate®, Normodyne®, or Labrocol® is in a group of medications called beta-blockers. Labetalol is used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain. Labetalol works by slowing the heart rate and opening up blood vessels to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
I take labetalol. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
There is no current data to suggest that taking labetalol makes it harder to become pregnant.
I just found out I am pregnant. Should I stop taking labetalol?
Talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take your medication(s). For some people, stopping this medication abruptly could have negative effects on your health.
Does taking labetalol increase the chance of miscarriage?
Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. It is not known if labetalol increases the chance of miscarriage.
Does taking labetalol increase the chance of birth defects?
Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. The limited information looking at the use of labetalol during pregnancy does not suggest that it increases the chance to have a baby with birth defects.
Could taking labetalol cause other pregnancy complications?
Most studies do not find that labetalol itself increases the chance for low birth weight (less than 5 pounds 8 ounces), preterm delivery (delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy), or stillbirth. There have been a few reports of labetalol exposure in late pregnancy leading to an infant having temporary symptoms of beta-blockade that appear shortly after birth. Beta-blockade symptoms are caused by a beta blocker being in the baby’s system. Symptoms include slowed heart rate, low blood pressure and low blood sugar and generally pass within 3 days.
While not commonly observed, there have been instances where the effects of beta-blocker exposure occurred a week after birth, and the symptoms were more severe and life-threatening. Some of the observed symptoms were abnormal breathing, sepsis (blood infection) and seizures. More study is needed to prove an association. It has been suggested that preterm infants that were exposed to labetalol for a long-time during pregnancy should be carefully monitored during the first week after birth especially if the infant presents with complications such as lack of oxygen, seizures, heart defects, or electrolyte imbalance.
Does taking labetalol in pregnancy cause long-term problems in behavior or learning for the baby?
One study of 32 children between the ages of 3-7 years old who were exposed to labetalol during pregnancy found no differences on formal testing of learning and behavior compared to children who were not exposed to labetalol. A second study found a higher chance for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children who were exposed to labetalol or a different type of high blood pressure medicine during pregnancy. However, it is not known if labetalol is the cause and suggests the role of high blood pressure should be looked at further.
Can I breastfeed while taking labetalol?
Labetalol has been found in small amounts in breastmilk. Because of this, it is not expected to cause problems in full-term breastfed infants. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your breastfeeding questions.
I take labetalol. Can it make it harder for me to get my partner pregnant or increase the chance of birth defects?
There have been case reports of men that had trouble with ejaculation while taking labetalol. In general, exposures that fathers or sperm donors have are unlikely to increase risks to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet Paternal Exposures at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/pdf/.
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