Many pregnant women take opioids despite unclear effects on babies

02/14/2014 | HealthDay News

An analysis of data on more than 530,000 U.S. women who gave birth between 2005 and 2011 found that more than 14% of them took narcotic pain drugs while they were pregnant. The most prescribed drug was hydrocodone and the most common reason for taking the drugs was back pain, according to the study published in the journal Anesthesiology. The safety of using narcotic drugs to treat pain among pregnant women, however, is still unclear, the study's author Brian Bateman said. "Ultimately, we need more data to assess the risk/benefit ratio of prescribing these drugs to women and how it may affect their babies," Bateman added.

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