News: Pain Medications in Pregnancy & Birth Defects

If you’re a woman of child bearing age who uses prescription pain medications to treat your migraines or other chronic pain, you’ll want to pay attention to this important research study. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control have determined that use of oxycodone, codeine, and hydrocodone in early pregnancy can lead to serious birth defects.

A relationship between use of opioid pain medications and birth defects has been observed since the 1970s, but unfortunately, this did not change the way doctors prescribed medications for pregnant women.

The most commonly observed birth defects were glaucoma, congenital heart defects, spina bifida, and hydrocephaly. Previous studies had suggested a link between opioid use in pregnancy and cleft palate, but this study did not find that connection.

The overall increased risk of birth defects is truly quite low. However, it’s definitely something to be aware of and carefully discuss with your doctor if you’re planning a pregnancy or are currently pregnant.

Sources:
Prescription Painkiller Use Linked to Birth Defects
Maternal Treatment with Opioid Analgesics & Risk for Birth Defects

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain, and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.

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