CDC study warns of birth defect risk tied to opioid painkillers

03/2/2011 | U.S. News & World Report

Women who took prescription opioids for pain just before or right after becoming pregnant had nearly twice the risk of giving birth to a baby with hypoplastic left heart syndrome compared with nonusers, according to a CDC study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. But the absolute risk of certain birth defects associated with opioid painkillers is still "relatively modest," the study's lead author, Cheryl Broussard, said.

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