anyone have information on Procardia? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-23-2008, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have been taking Procardia to prevent perterm contractions from continueing and the info I've come across has not been very helpful or conclusive as far as side effects on mother or baby since this is an "off label" use for the drug.
Have any of you mommys had experience with Procardia or do you know anyone taking the med?
Any adverse side effects to report or warn against?
I know some of the warnings say that lab animals and their babies have adversly responded to the med during pregnancy.
I just want my baby and I to be safe and I know being born too early's not safe but I also don't want to be experimenting with something that could be causing harm.
Please let me know of your experiences!
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#2 of 10 Old 02-23-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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I think honestly most of the drugs used to try to stop PTL are not fully tested in terms of really long term effects. Procardia is supposed to be one of the better meds for stopping contractions and fewer side effects than some others. You may find more information on the preemie/NICU forum, the mamas over there are awesome and supportive. If I may ask, are you just contracting or were you having cervical change? You might want to find out about a fetal fibronectin test. It could just be irritable uterus and not true PTL, in which case, the medications might not be needed.

I'm a mom of a 33 weeker, btw, now 3 years old. Just so you know I'm not some random DDC crasher!
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#3 of 10 Old 02-23-2008, 08:34 PM
 
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I just got done having a 35 weeker after 3 weeks on the generic version of procardia and I was on terb for 13 weeks before that...I was taking a 90mg XL tab a day. It made me feel better than taking the terb, but when it came right down to it, im pretty sure it didnt have a great effect on the little one. He is still in the NICU right now...no telling how much a role the meds (terb and procardia) played in his health, but from what the Dr told me, it does tend to weaken/suppress the baby's lungs and heart since it does the same thing to the mom.......so unless the baby makes it past 36 weeks, and the mom stops the meds, and the baby has time to recover from them, and gain a little strength, the baby will tend to have some breathing and heartrate issues. Not that they will tell you that til afterwards though I took them to prevent a severly premature baby, and expected that at 35 weeks he would be strong enough, but right now he isnt
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#4 of 10 Old 02-23-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lousli View Post
I think honestly most of the drugs used to try to stop PTL are not fully tested in terms of really long term effects. Procardia is supposed to be one of the better meds for stopping contractions and fewer side effects than some others. You may find more information on the preemie/NICU forum, the mamas over there are awesome and supportive. If I may ask, are you just contracting or were you having cervical change? You might want to find out about a fetal fibronectin test. It could just be irritable uterus and not true PTL, in which case, the medications might not be needed.

I'm a mom of a 33 weeker, btw, now 3 years old. Just so you know I'm not some random DDC crasher!
Just a side note....the FFN test tends to give alot of false negatives....even a tiny spot of blood in the sample will throw the result off. I had 3 in the 2 weeks before I delivered...all negative....same with my twins..had 2 in the 2 weeks before I delivered and same thing, all negative. There was even a girl in L&D the same night I was getting my cerclage out.....the nurse had done her FFN test 4 nights before when I was there.....negative, but there she was 8cm and her water had just broken. I dont trust that test at all.
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#5 of 10 Old 02-23-2008, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not actually having changes to my cervix, just the rhythmic contractions.
I feel like it could just be an irritable uterus but the midwives say that because I did have a + fFN swab and 32 weeks is too soon to deliver, I should take the med to keep labor from starting.
Lilgsmommy, I'm so sorry to hear your babe's having a hard start.
I hope things take a positive turn soon!
You're in my thoughts s
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#6 of 10 Old 02-23-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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The FFN is supposed to be highly accurate as a negative test, but it can still have false negatives of course. It also does not predict PROM. But it can help you determine how aggresively to treat contractions, for example.
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#7 of 10 Old 02-24-2008, 02:01 AM
 
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I took it for awhile and it stopped contractions but cause my Bp to be low low..so they moved me to mag. I have read that it cause delays in baby development...
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#8 of 10 Old 02-24-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ~NewMa~ View Post
I'm not actually having changes to my cervix, just the rhythmic contractions.
I feel like it could just be an irritable uterus but the midwives say that because I did have a + fFN swab and 32 weeks is too soon to deliver, I should take the med to keep labor from starting.
What do you mean by 'rhythmic' contractions?

If there are no changes in cervical length, I would think twice before taking medicine to stop contractions.

I was prescribed meds by an OB weeks ago (at 27 weeks, and I'm at 31 now and doing just fine without them) for contractions, even though there was no cervical change and I had only had 3 bad BH bouts over a period of 2 weeks, which were all eventually stopped by chugging tons of water. My main concern was cervical change, which had not occurred. The contractions were obviously BH, because they weren't painful, either.

After researching the medicine, a calcium-channel blocker, I decided that I would keep it on hand (because higher doses can be used to stop PTL if it really is occurring) but not to take it on a daily basis as prescribed. Why? I have low BP (like, 100/60), and a calcium channel blocker would reduce this further, which would likely result in less blood circulating to the babies and me just feeling crappy in general. Also, as PPs said, the drugs are not well-researched as far as long term effects on babies. And lastly, when I explained to my MW everything, she agreed with me that by no means did the medicine seem necessary. My bouts only came at night after a busy/stressful day, and there was no cervical change. What I did to remedy the situation was to rest & sleep more, do less in the evenings, and drink way more water than I thought possible. The MW did say that she would be concerned if the contraction bouts were occurring earlier in the day, when I was well-rested.

So in addition to researching the medicine, I think it is worth taking a look at your situation critically: when are the contractions occurring, what do they feel like, can you do anything to reduce stress and get more rest, can you drink more water (you always can!), etc. With the full picture you'll be able to get a better understanding of what is truly necessary.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#9 of 10 Old 02-25-2008, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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By rythmic I guess I just meant they were coming "regularly". Every 2 minutes for almost 2 hours before I decided to call.
They started about every 10 minutes from the time I woke up that morning (at 6am). Then by the time I called the midwife (at about 1100) they were coming every 2 minutes. I know I was drinking plenty. I'd had 4 bottles of water and an orange juice before I even went in to see her and was peeing every 1/2 hr.
I'd had a full nights rest and had no work that day. I actually was having a pretty easy going day.
Even though I wasn't (and still am not) having cervical change, the midwife decided to start the Procardia because my fFN came back positive and she said she'd rather be safe and keep things at bay because for them to continue that frequently would bring on labor and 32 weeks was just too early to deliver.
I wish that she had never taken the fFN swab after researching how unreliable it is.
I plan to talk to her about other options at my next appointment on Tuesday.
They actually just increased the dose slightly at my last appointment (friday)
because I was contracting every 3 minutes. I could barely even feel them though. I didn't think it was a big deal to let them just happen since they're not causing any distress or cervical change.
On one hand I want to stop taking the med and just take it easy.
On the other hand, I feel like if I stop taking it and I do deliver early and the baby has complications, I'll feel guilty I didn't do anything to stop it.
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#10 of 10 Old 02-25-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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Oh, boy, that does sound really tricky. I would have started the medication if I were in your shoes, as well. I hope you and your midwife will reach a solution that you are at peace with, and tell that baby to stay put!

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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