Opioid Use in Early Pregnancy Linked to Birth Defects

Women who take opioid analgesics in the month before and during the early months of pregnancy could be at increased risk for birth defects in their babies, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The study used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, an ongoing population-based case-control study. The researchers estimated adjusted odds ratios and 95 percent confidence intervals for birth defects categories with at least 200 case infants or at least 4 exposed case infants. Therapeutic opioid use was reported by 2.6 percent of 17,449 case mothers and 2 percent of 6,701 control mothers. Use of opioids before or during early pregnancy was tied to defects such as conoventricular spetal defects, atrioventricular septal defects, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, spina bifida and gastroschisis.

Read the abstract on the study of birth defects in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Read more on opioids:

-10 Recent Anesthesia Findings Making Headlines

-Pain Physicians Can Utilize Random Urine Tests to Reinforce Proper Opioid Use

-FDA Approves Opioid Analgesic for Breakthrough Cancer Pain

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