Many pregnant women regularly take over-the-counter painkillers, without being made aware of the potential risks. A new study suggests that the side effects of painkillers such as Aleve and aspirin may increase the risk of birth defects when taken during early pregnancy.
The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention study. The research focused on a class of over-the-counter drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that include Advil, Aleve and Motrin.
Serious and Unalterable Birth Defects
The findings showed that use of the painkillers increased the risk of birth defects, including:
- Anophthalmia (absence of one or both eyes)
- Microphthalmia (abnormally small eyes)
- Spina Bifida
- Cleft Palate
Researchers found that pregnant women who took Aleve (naproxen) or aspirin during pregnancy were 3 times as likely to give birth to children with no eyes, or with abnormally small eyeballs that often resulted in blindness.
The research also indicated that women who took painkillers were 3 times as likely to have children with a clubfoot and other physical deformations. These particular defects, known as amniotic band syndrome, usually occur in one out of every 10,000 U.S. births. The risk of cleft palate rose by as much as 80 percent in some cases, while spina bifida increased by 60 percent.
The researchers suggested using caution before taking these drugs during pregnancy.
If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect that you feel may be the result of taking NSAIDs during pregnancy, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free evaluation of your case. We believe in finding justice for those injured by these dangerous drugs.