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Forum Name: Obstetrics

Question: Ventolin and pregnancy


 Ree - Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:40 pm

I am a 35 year old female who is asthmatic. It is usually under control and I stopped taking my preventer medication as I was trying to conceive. I have recently found out I'm pregnant (3 home pregnancy tests were positive) - 4 weeks only. I am in a snow filled area and my chest gets "tight" but I am worried about using my ventolin. I also have a "virus/cold" (Swollen lymph node, headaches, muscle aches, sinus problems, sore throat and cough - fo about 1 week). I haven't been taking any medications (besides pre-natal vitamins) except the occassional paracetamol. This is my first pregnancy. Because of my age I may already have some problems but I don't want to hurt the baby by taking ventolin. Is it safe to use this during pregnancy?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:05 pm

User avatar Hello,

I am so glad to see you are taking your prenatal vitamins. I can understand your concern about your medications. Most women with asthma have perfectly normal, healthy babies, but we know that uncontrolled asthma can result in too little oxygen getting to the baby, increasing the risk for low birthweight and other problems. Uncontrolled asthma can also increase your risk for pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and hyperemesis (too much vomiting).

These are much greater threats than the unknown potential risk to the baby by using your medication to remain in control. We have not seen documented association of increased birth defects in babies whose mothers have used their asthma medications but since we don't do studies on pregnant women we do not have the kind of controlled studies that can show definite safety. For this reason the manufacturers do not make claims to that effect. Talk to your doctor about this but the evidence does suggest it is important to be well-ventilated and if that means using your medication, this is the risk/benefit ratio we are looking for.

Your age does not increase your risk greatly. There is nothing magical that happens to a woman's body at precisely age 35 so don't worry too much. It is true that having your first baby now slightly increases some risks but most women your age deliver perfectly healthy babies and it is becoming much more common than it was in the past besides. Taking care of yourself is your best assurance for a healthy pregnancy. Good luck with the virus and let us know if you have other concerns.

Best wishes.

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