Letters NICE on hypertension

Summary should have included advice for women of childbearing potential

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6485 (Published 12 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6485
  1. Kate Harding, consultant obstetrician1,
  2. Andrew Shennan, professor of obstetrics1,
  3. Cathy Nelson-Piercy, professor of obstetric medicine1
  1. 1Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Guy’s Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK
  1. kate.harding{at}gstt.nhs.uk

The BMJ summary of the recent guideline on the management of hypertension from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Evidence (NICE)1 does not mention that women of child bearing potential should not be treated with either angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers without a detailed discussion of the teratogenic potential of these drugs and advice to discontinue them preferably before conception. Over a fifth of ongoing pregnancies are unintended,2 and thus a woman’s current intentions may be insufficient protection against the unwanted affects of ACE inhibitors in early pregnancy.


Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6485


  • Competing interests: None declared.


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