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USE OF CARVEDILOL IN PREGNANCY

Date of issue: May 2024, Version: 4

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A corresponding patient information leaflet on USE OF CARVEDILOL IN PREGNANCY is available.

Carvedilol is a non-cardioselective beta blocker licensed for the treatment of hypertension, angina pectoris, and symptomatic chronic heart failure (CHF).

Data relating to carvedilol exposure in human pregnancy are highly limited. There are two case reports detailing non-malformed infants following exposure throughout pregnancy to carvedilol. Two small studies found no adverse effects on fetal growth following in utero exposure to carvedilol and one of these studies reported similar crude rates of preterm delivery for exposed and unexposed infants. Further research is required to confirm these findings, particularly given that beta blocker class data have suggested possible adverse effects on fetal growth. There are no further studies of pregnancy outcomes following gestational exposure to carvedilol. An evidence-based assessment of the absolute risks of congenital malformation, miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, low infant birth weight and adverse neurodevelopmental effects is therefore not possible.

Use of beta blockers near term may result in neonatal beta-adrenoceptor blockade, leading to neonatal bradycardia, hypotension and hypoglycaemia. Respiratory distress has also been reported. Assessment of the neonate for these effects is advised.

Exposure to carvedilol at any stage in pregnancy would not be regarded as medical grounds for termination of pregnancy. Additional fetal monitoring is generally indicated in pregnancies complicated by maternal cardiac disease, regardless of pharmacotherapy. Additional growth scans should be offered following gestational exposure to beta blockers. Other risk factors may be present in individual cases which may independently increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Clinicians are reminded of the importance of consideration of such factors when performing case-specific risk assessments.

Related document: Use of beta blockers in pregnancy

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to NHS health care professionals who are logged in.

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from UKTIS.org to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.