Short article in Dysautonomia International blog page: Link to the article
By Dr. Svetlana Blitshteyn
Guest author Svetlana Blitshteyn, MD is the Director of the Dysautonomia Clinic and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
- POTS patients may have associated gynecologic issues such as endometriosis and fibroids. Therefore, needs careful evaluation by gynecologist, POTS physician and patient.
- During pregnancy, 60% women with POTS reported severe hyperemesis gravidarum and 40% fatigue. Higher rate of miscarriage is reported.
- During pregnancy, 30-50% women reported worsening of POTS symptoms. (50% had no change in their POTS symptoms.
- After delivery, 50% of women reported improved symptoms for 6 months after delivery. In a different study, 30% reported worsening symptoms after delivery. 70% reported stable symptoms after delivery.
- POTS medicines during pregnancy:
- There are no POTS meds in Class A list by FDA (these are considered safe during pregnancy).
- I have used low-dose beta-blocker during pregnancy to control tachycardia
- Florinef and Pyridostigmine (Mestinon) are continued during pregnancy if necessary.
- Less experience with Midodrine (its newer).
- Women on SSRI's may switch to Prozac.
- Medications that need to be weaned off or used sparingly include Benzodiazepines (e.g. Clonazepam, Ativan), Xanax (Alprazolam) and stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall).
- POTS Medicines, to be stopped during pregnancy
- Ideally, stop all medicines prior to conception. But, this may be unrealistic.
- Planned pregnancy: 1st trimester - stop meds or reduce dose to minimum. If planning a pregnancy, slowly wean benzodiazepines and stimulants.
- Unplanned pregnancy: wean above meds on a faster schedule.
- Risk to the baby (in utero or postpartum)
- 4 studies - no negative effects.
- Does fainting harm the baby? No
- But, recurrent syncope may reduce placental blood flow and therefore, may need an active management.
- Metoprolol is safer than atenolol.
- Prozac which is acceptable during pregnancy may be more harmful to the baby via breastmilk (Zoloft is better).
- Will the child develop POTS?
- Not enough studies to answer this question.
- Familial incidence occurs in 13-40% of patients.
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