Heartburn Pills Taken During Pregnancy Has Potential Links To Asthma In Children

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald January 10, 04:00 am

Pregnant moms who take heartburn pills might have triggered their baby's asthma development. A new study from the University of Edinburgh has found links of the medication to asthma in children.

Moms suffering from heartburn are usually prescribed by their doctors with H2-receptor antagonists or heartburn pills to deal with acid reflux. This medication is generally believed to be safe for pregnant women and their babies.

But a study, which has been published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found at least a third of babies born to mothers who have taken heartburn pills while pregnant have developed asthma symptoms and sought treatment. The researchers reviewed data coming from healthcare and prescription databases of around 1.3 million children in Finland.

"Our study reports an association between the onset of asthma in children and their mothers' use of acid-suppressing medication during pregnancy," co-study author Professor Aziz Sheikh said, according to EurekAlert. Yet the researchers are not suggesting that pregnant moms should immediately stop taking heartburn pills as their findings are still in its early stages.

Heartburn is common during pregnancy. Some mothers experience this for the first time while heavy with child, so to get relief and do without the discomfort they take the prescribed pill.

Heartburn during pregnancy develops because of the body's physical and hormonal changes, according to Baby Center. The condition goes away for most mothers after giving birth.

The experts said that further research is still being undertaken to determine the links and factors between taking the pill to asthma development. "We don't yet know if the heartburn medication itself is contributing to the development of asthma in children," Dr. Samantha Walker said, Telegraph reports.

But the study is an eye-opener for researchers. The number of people suffering from asthma attacks is increasing. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation in America, 24 million Americans have the condition and 8.6 percent of these are children. It's the third leading cause of hospitalization among kids and a child who suffers from asthma tend to miss several school days. 

Are you pregnant and suffering from heartburn? Do you take any medication? What do you think of this study? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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