Scientists Study Link Between Expectant Mothers’ Antacid Use and Asthma Development in Children

By Kristine Hartvigsen on January 23rd, 2017

Earlier this month, researchers in Scotland conducted a review of eight studies in five countries suggesting that the children of mothers who used acid-suppressive medications while pregnant may be at higher risk for developing asthma.

Based on their analysis, they estimated that children born to these mothers were slightly more than one-third (30%) more likely to develop asthma later in life.

Almost half of women report experiencing heartburn during their pregnancies, particularly during the second and third trimesters. Many take acid-suppressive medications — brands such as Tagamet, Zantac, Prilosec, or Nexium — to relieve their heartburn symptoms. Some antacids are available over the counter, and they are generally considered safe because they do not affect the fetus’s development.

The analysis was far from conclusive, however, and failed to establish a direct causal link. Some scientists speculated that the heartburn itself rather than the antacid used to treat it may be the culprit. Other suspect obesity could be a significant factor. Nonetheless, the researchers emphasized that the results of this analysis by itself should not change advice given to expectant mothers, because this research is in its earliest stages. It is always wisest for pregnant women suffering from heartburn to consult their personal physician before taking any medications.

This blog provides general information and discussion about healthcare-related subjects. The content and linked materials provided are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader is an expectant mother with a medical concern, she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician or healthcare provider.

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