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OTCs and birth defects

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

A study finding that OTC use among pregnant women is common concludes that further evalauation is needed "to establish safety or to identify risk" associated with taking the products, Martha Werler, Boston University Slone Epidemiology Center, et al., conclude in the September American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The authors analyzed data from the 1998-2004 BU Slone Epidemiology Center Birth Defects Study (BDS) and the 1997-2001 National Birth Defect Prevention Study (NBDPS) in order to distinguish patterns of OTC medication use in pregnant women. The BDS study involved 7,563 mothers of offspring with and without birth defects; the NBDPS study surveyed 2,970 mothers of offspring without birth defects to identify the most commonly used forms of OTC medication. Analgesics, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and cough medications ranked highest. "Because most pregnant women ingest at least one OTC medication," researchers state, "it is imperative that we obtain empiric evidence of whether such exposures are safe"...
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