According to a recent study from the CDC, and published by the New York Times, women who take codeine, oxycodone and other opioid pain drugs early in pregnancy may be exposing their babies to a higher risk of birth defects. Babies whose mothers took opioids were considerably more likely than others to have congenital problems, including a potentially fatal syndrome in which the left part of the heart does not develop completely; spina bifidaand gastroschisis, in which the intestines stick out of the body.
The study was one of the largest to examine the effects of opioid use during pregnancy.
“Opioids and their receptors act as growth regulators during embryologic development, which may explain our findings,” said Cheryl S. Broussard, the paper’s lead author.
Sources: nytimes.com and American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology