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Category: Pregnancy Health Interview Study News

Increased risk of birth defects from opioid use

Although potential risks to a developing fetus remain largely unknown, doctors are prescribing opioid painkillers to pregnant women in startling numbers. A recent study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology shows a staggering 23 percent of 1.1 million pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid nationally filled an opioid, or narcotic, prescription in 2007—up from 18.5 […]

Decongestants in pregnancy linked to birth defects

A woman’s use of decongestant medications in the first trimester of pregnancy may raise her child’s risk of certain rare birth defects, according to a small study.  Some types of over-the-counter decongestants, including the popular phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine, were individually linked to rare, specific birth defects of the digestive tract, ear, and heart. Read more […]

Dr. Allen A. Mitchell receives highest honor from the National Birth Defects Prevention Network

Allen A. Mitchell, MD, a professor of public health (epidemiology) and professor of pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, recently received the Godfrey P. Oakley, Jr., Award at the annual meeting of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network. Mitchell, who is also the director of Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center […]

Too many pills in pregnancy

The thalidomide disaster of the early 1960s left thousands of babies with deformed limbs because their mothers innocently took a sleeping pill thought to be safe during pregnancy.  In its well-publicized wake, countless pregnant women avoided all medications, fearing that any drug they took could jeopardize their babies’ development. Read more at The New York […]

Researchers identify phthalates in numerous medicines and supplements

Researchers from Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center, in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health, have found numerous prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements use certain chemicals called phthalates as inactive ingredients in their products. Read more at: Boston University Medical Campus Discovery News Emax Health EurekAlert Health Canal Med India News Track India Rodale

Medication use by pregnant women climbs

Pregnant women today know that using tobacco and drinking alcohol is risky to their fetus, and a majority of them avoid these substances. But researchers at BU’s Slone Epidemiology Center have found that an increasing number of pregnant women are taking both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Read more at BU Today

PHIS and BWHS featured in the 2010 issue of Research at Boston University

Safety in numbers When the thalidomide tragedy of the 1960s revolutionized the drug regulatory system in the United States and elsewhere, the only group that did not benefit from the new safety net was the same group devastated by thalidomide’s destructive effects: pregnant women and their babies. Location is everything African American women who live […]