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Procardia for pregnancy
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Procardia for pregnancy

I've just been prescribed procardia and we are 31 wks. It's the first medication that my dr. has tried but I've been having contractions since about 20 wks. I've had to visit the L/D unit four times but each time, my labor was easily stopped with Stadol and Phenergan, only to return a few days later. The contractions would be spuratic for a week or so and then become closer and more intense until I once again had to visit the hospital. My question is this...I have always had low blood pressure and if this drug is used to lower blood pressure (by relaxing the smooth muscle tissue which would be the heart and uterus) then couldn't this be dangerous for me to take? I asked my pharmacist and he said that I should just "keep an eye on my bp while taking the med." Also, with what I've researched, I've found that it could potentially be harmful to my baby, even causing birth defects. I realize that sometimes you have to go with the lesser of the two evils, but I don't feel like I'm in any way about to deliver. I have the fetal fibronectin test done every two weeks and it remains negative. So am I causing myself and my baby more grief and danger by considering this medication? If anyone has any ideas on this matter, please respond. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and desperate.
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376739_tn?1317669990
Well are the contractions you're experiencing causing problems or are they just Braxton Hicks contractions?

The problem I have with doctors prescribing certain (potentially harmful meds) is that they only get so many hours in school on pharmaceutical drugs. A pharamcist would have more information on drugs whereas your doctor would have more information on your pregnancy. There really needs to be a team effort in a case like this because obviously you don't want to cause undue harm to your unborn baby.

My other problem is that if your baby is to come pre-term, the longer they stay in the womb, the better their chances of surviving. So it comes down to, "Do I want to take this drug to keep my baby in the womb for as long as possible?" or "Will I be able to live with myself if I don't take the drug and deliver a pre-term baby that may or may not survive?"

That is really hard. I'm personally not really into taking a lot of medication. And there are so many different approaches to keep you from going into labor.

I guess I just don't understand fully what your doctor is doing. Women have contractions throughout pregnancy and it is normal. Is there any other indication that you are considered high risk for going into pre-term labor?
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Avatar_n_tn
Well I'm considered a high risk pregnancy only because I have had three miscarriages, but they were all during my first trimester. I have also had trouble conceiving due to endometriosis, of which I have to have scar tissue surgically removed every 18 months. However, I don't see how this is directly related to my current situation. I have had one successful pregnancy and I had absolutely no problem with him. Granted, it was seven years ago and my body has changed a lot with aging, I'm sure. More than one Dr. has told me that some women just contract throughout their entire pregnancy. I found this odd because I didn't with my son, but things are just different now. The contractions aren't Braxton-Hicks. They progress and increase in intensity and I've been on monitors several times to confirm it, but as far as I can tell, they've caused no real problem other than the discomfort that I experience. I was told last week when the med was prescribed that my cervix was dilated to maybe 1/2 and I was beginning to eface but that my daughter was still high in my uterus and felt to be causing no pressure on my cervix. I'm a nursing student and in my last year, so my husband says that I'm just over analyzing this and should let my dr. do his job, but that's hard to do when the outcome could be my child's safety. Also, what about my blood pressure concerns? Any takes on that?
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376739_tn?1317669990
Women can start having contractions as early as 6 weeks into the pregnancy. As you know, a contraction is a muscle tightening up and then relaxing. Some women can have painless contractions that they never notice during pregnancy (like I did with my first) until they are in active labor. Others will definitely notice discomfort and maybe even painful contractions throughout their pregnancy, mostly in the 3rd trimester due to Braxton Hicks (which can be seen on monitors).

All of my questions were not directed in frustration toward you whatsoever. I feel more frustrated with doctors lately. Obviously he cares very much that your baby will be fine. But I just don't get the medication at all. Especially if you have low blood pressure. The baby isn't his only priority- you are also a priority and the blood pressure thing is worrisome.  

To just answer your real question- if it were ME I would not take the medication. But you must do what you feel is right. If you are having doubts, don't take it until you get more answers. I would put myself on bedrest (unless you already are on bedrest) and just take it easy.

I was dilated to 3cm for a month before each of my daughters were born. I'm sure I was dilating and effacing sometime in the 6th-7th month as well. I don't know! I just feel badly about your situation and wish I had a better answer for you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I, 32 weeks pregnant with my 5th child. I went into pre-term labor at 23 weeks and the doc put me on Procardia. I only took 1 pill since I was worried about the baby. My pharmacist told me it was very safe and he has known of pregnant woman that have taken the medication. When I was 25 weeks pregnant I went for my follow up, they notice I was contracting every 2-3 minutes. They did an ultrasound and my cervix is at 2.2 in length. Baby's head is resting on my cervix and the more i walked the more she would push down. They admitted me in the hospital for 1 week and now I'm on bed rest with a pump that provides the medication Terbutaline. This is the medication they will give me in shots when I would go in to L/D with regular contractions. Maybe you should talk to your doc about this. They also gave me steroids shots to help the baby's lungs. At 35 weeks they will remove my pump since it will be safe to have the baby. I wish you all the luck and I understand what your going.
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