Decongestants taken during pregnancy linked to rare birth defects
Fox News reported on Tuesday that a new study shows decongestant medications taken in the first trimester of pregnancy may raise a child's risk for rare birth defects.
Decongestants are some of the most commonly used drugs, however, so fully understanding the consequences of taking them during pregnancy is important, said study author Dr. Allen Mitchell, director of theSlone Epidemiology Center at Boston University.
‘Major birth defects of any kind affect about two to three percent of live born infants, so they are rare,’ Mitchell said.
First-trimester use of phenylephrine, which is found in Sudafed among other products, was tied to an eight-fold higher risk of a heart defect called endocardial cushion defect. And phenylpropanolamine (Acutrim) was also linked to an eight-fold risk of defects of the ear and a three-fold increase in stomach defects.
All were associations that had been suggested by earlier studies and identified involved defects that generally affect less than 1 per 1,000 infants. Some of them may require surgery, but not all are life-threatening.’