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Breast Feeding

Is blood pressure medication safe?

12/01/2006

Question:

I have recently been diagnosed with high bloodpressure. We still don`t know the cause since I have no family history of high blood pressure and all my blood work came back normal. My bloodpressure was normal during my latest pregnancy but high at the end of my first pregnancy 3 years ago. I am not overweight and are close to my pre pregnancy weight.

I have been taking APO HYDRO 25MG/HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE 25 MG for about 3 weeks without it lowering my blood pressure a significant amount. My doctor gave me ZESTORETIC, but I am not sure how safe it will be for my baby (7 weeks old) since I am breast feeding.

Answer:

This class of anti-hypertensive drug has not been reviewed by the AAP, however there are no reports thus far of problems in babies whose mothers are taking the medication while breastfeeding.

Because neonates are very sensitive to this type of anti-hypertensive, it should be avoided in the first 4 weeks after the birth.

Since your baby is 7 weeks old, it is no longer contraindicated.

The only precaution would be to monitor the infant for the theoretical complications of hypotension and or weakness.

Safer alternatives would be Captopril or Enalapril, both of which are approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in breastfeeding mothers.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati