We describe the results of a prospective study in which 120 women who developed hypertension in the last trimester of pregnancy were randomly allocated in double blind manner to atenolol or placebo. The mean duration of treatment was five weeks. The only difference between groups during the neonatal period was in respiratory distress syndrome, mainly related to spontaneous premature labour, which occurred in six placebo group babies but in none from the atenolol group. Fifty five children from each group have been followed to 1 year of age. All in the atenolol group are developing normally but one child from the placebo group is brain damaged. These findings do not suggest any short or medium term paediatric complications after the use of beta blockers in pregnancy.
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