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Does taking Betacap for migraines impact pregnancy?

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Posted on Thu, 12 Apr 2012
Question: Hi Doctor.

I have been having migraine attacks 1-2 times a month with headaches accompanied by vomiting for last 6 years.

I visited a neurologist who prescribed Betacap TR 40 to be taken once daily for 2 months. I was planning to conceive. But, as per his advice we have postponed it till the Betacap course is over.

I am worried about accidentally getting pregnant while I am on Betacap. If it happens, what are the risks to the baby and side effects.

Also, the neurologist said my headaches could disappear during pregnancy without any medication. Is this true ?

Should I stop taking Betacap and continue with my plan for conceiving in the hope that my migraine will get better if I get pregnant. Is there any chance of it getting worst ?
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Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar (45 minutes later)
Hello Rashmita,

Betacap is a beta blocker, that is used to prevent attacks of migraine in women having severe migraine.

Beta-blocking agents in general reduce perfusion of the placenta which may lead to adverse outcomes for the neonate, including pulmonary or cardiac complications, or premature birth. The newborn may experience additional adverse effects such as hypoglycemia and bradycardia. Hence is contraindicated during pregnancy.

Yes it is true that the symptoms of migraine do reduce slightly during pregnancy, but the effect is seen mainly in the last 2 trimesters.

But stopping the therapy midway is not advisible. Once the therapy is done, you might be able to have better control of your symptoms. Hence you should continue the therapy as advised by your doctor.

Once the therapy is completed, you can try for a baby.

Hope I have answered your query.

I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Deepak Anvekar (22 hours later)
Hi Dr XXXXXXX

Thanks for answering my query.

I have taken the Betacap TR 40 tablets only for 6 days (1 daily) and I am really worried about the side effects on the baby. One of my friends was on some therapy (not migraine) before she got pregnant. Her baby girl was born with defects in both eyes and she's still not able to regain her eyesight after treatment and surgeries for last 7 months.

Can I stop the therapy since I have hardly completed a week ? I was warned but was not aware of the exact nature of the possible complications with pregnancy. Otherwise I would have never started with this therapy.

If I have to continue and complete the full course of 2 months, how long should I wait before conceiving to eliminate ALL risks and side effects completely ?

Thanks,
Rashmita
doctor
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar (2 hours later)
Hello Rashmita,

Please understand that, Betacap is a very good drug and many people all over the world use it.

The effects on a fetus, that i mentioned above, occur only when the medication is taken during pregnancy and not anytime before the pregnancy.

The description of your friends history, and the complications are not associated with use of betacap.

If you want to conceive in the near future, then, you can stop the medication at any time.

Once you stop the medication, the effects of the drug will end effectively after 48 hours after taking the last dose.

After 48 hours, there is no problem with concieving.

I hope this helps.




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Deepak Anvekar

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 336 Questions

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Does taking Betacap for migraines impact pregnancy?

Hello Rashmita,

Betacap is a beta blocker, that is used to prevent attacks of migraine in women having severe migraine.

Beta-blocking agents in general reduce perfusion of the placenta which may lead to adverse outcomes for the neonate, including pulmonary or cardiac complications, or premature birth. The newborn may experience additional adverse effects such as hypoglycemia and bradycardia. Hence is contraindicated during pregnancy.

Yes it is true that the symptoms of migraine do reduce slightly during pregnancy, but the effect is seen mainly in the last 2 trimesters.

But stopping the therapy midway is not advisible. Once the therapy is done, you might be able to have better control of your symptoms. Hence you should continue the therapy as advised by your doctor.

Once the therapy is completed, you can try for a baby.

Hope I have answered your query.

I will be available to answer your follow up queries.