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Can I conceive while I am on Aten?

Q: I am 29 years old. Two years ago, I gave birth to a baby through a c-section. I suffered from high blood pressure in the 7th month of pregnancy. After giving birth to the baby also my BP has not come down. I am still using medicines. Now, I want to conceive again. Can I conceive while on Aten-25?

A:Aten is the brand name of a medicine called atenolol. It belongs to a class of drugs called betablockers. Aten, like other betablockers, should not be used in pregnancy because the drug reaches the fetus via mother's blood and can cause side effects. There is no data/experience with its use in early pregnancy since it is contraindicated but when used in mid and late pregnancy even under close medical supervision, there have been cases of harm to the fetus. The only safe drug during pregnancy is alpha methyldopa sold under the brand name of Alphadopa. Its dose is 250 to 500mg 2-3 times daily.

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