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Is It Safe to Take a Decongestant During Pregnancy?

Decongestants have been linked to birth defects

You should always consult with your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy- even a decongestant. There are many factors that determine whether it is in your best interest to take a specific medication and it is a decision that you should make with your physician. You and your doctor must weigh your medical needs, the potential risk to your baby, and how much medication you need before deciding whether you should take a certain drug. However, our pharmaceutical class action lawyers believe that it is decision that you should make with full and accurate information.

Study Finds Link Between Decongestants and Birth Defects

Researchers from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University found that over-the-counter decongestant drugs containing phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine could result in rare birth defects if a pregnant woman took the drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy. More specifically, the study found that when taken during the first trimester, decongestants…

  • Containing phenylephrine were linked to an eightfold higher risk of being born with a heart defect known as endocardial cushion defect.
  • Containing pseudoephedrine were linked to an eightfold higher risk of being born with birth defects of the ear or stomach, and a threefold higher risk of being born with limb reduction defects.

This study confirmed some associations between decongestants used during pregnancy and birth defects that had been suggested by earlier studies, and reached some new conclusions. Some previous associations between decongestant used during pregnancy and birth defects were not confirmed.

The study was published in the July 3, 2013 American Journal of Epidemiology.

Call a Lawyer If Your Child Has Been Hurt

If your child has suffered a birth defect because of a medication taken during pregnancy, then we encourage you to learn more about your child’s legal rights and possible recovery. Your family may be able to join with other families that suffered similar injuries from the same drug in order to make a fair recovery. Please call us today at 1-800-800-5678 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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