Epidural Long Term Side Effects | Blog By Dr. Surinder Kaur Gambhir, Paras Bliss, Panchkula
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What are the side effects of an epidural?

What are the side effects of an epidural?

by: Dr. Surinder Kaur Gambhir
Sr. Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Women experiencing labor pains can opt for epidural to handle their pains better. It is also essential that each woman is advised about the advantages and the disadvantages of Epidurals. Please note that it can also have few side effects.

Following are the side effects of epidural:

  • You may have a sudden drop in blood pressure. You will have continuous monitoring of blood pressure you may need I/V fluid medications and oxygen.
  • You may experience the same headache earned by leakage of spinal fluid less than 1% experience their side effect.
  • After epidural, you need to change your sides while lying in bed and need continuous monitoring of fetal heart rate.
  • You might experience the following side effects like shivering, ringing in ear, backache, soreness in the needle area and nausea.
  • Epidural can make labor to slow down due to weaker contraction you may be given Pitocin to speed up labor.
  • You might fluid that your epidural makes pushing more difficult and additional medications or intervention may be needed like forceps, cesarean etc.
  • For a few hours lower part of the body may be numb, you have to walk with assistance.
  • There may decrease in heart rate and respiratory depression. Though medication doesn’t harm the baby.
  • You may have difficulty in urinating due to numbness in the body.
  • Sometimes there may be paralysis of intercostals muscles can decrease in heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Failure to achieve analgesia in 5% of cases. This can occur in cases like obesity, multiparity, cervical dilation more than 7 cms.
  • There may be dangerous complications as subdural hematorrhea or thrombosis.
  • Delayed onset of breastfeeding can be one of the side effects of epidural.
  • Catheter misplaced into a vein leads to seizures or cardiac arrest.
  • Epidural veins can be punctured which leads to bloody tap that leads to the hematoma.
  • High block
  • Epidural abscess
  • Paraplegia
  • Arachnoiditis

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