Blood Pressure Home > Bystolic and Pregnancy

In animal studies on Bystolic (nebivolol) and pregnancy, the medication caused stillbirths, difficult labor, and prolonged pregnancy when it was given to pregnant rats. Since animals do not always respond to drugs the same way that humans do, healthcare providers can give Bystolic to pregnant women if the benefits outweigh any possible risks. However, you should discuss the issue with your healthcare provider.

Can I Take Bystolic During Pregnancy?

Bystolic® (nebivolol) is a prescription drug approved to treat high blood pressure. Based on the results of animal studies, this medication may not be safe for use in pregnant women.

Bystolic and Pregnancy Category C

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but that do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Also, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
When given to pregnant rats in late pregnancy and while breastfeeding, a high Bystolic dosage caused the following problems:
  • Prolonged pregnancy
  • Difficult labor or delivery
  • Low birth weights in the baby rats
  • Decreased maternal care (the mother rats did not take care of the babies as well as normal)
  • Stillbirths
  • Decreased survival after birth.
When given to rats early in pregnancy, high doses of Bystolic caused the following problems:
  • Low fetal weight
  • Small and reversible bone problems
  • Increased miscarriages.
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category C medicine may be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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