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Decongestants & Birth Defects

April 8, 2014
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A study looking at decongestants and birth defects found that one of the most common ingredients,  phenylephrine, is associated with a specific birth defect. Researchers found “accumulating evidence supports associations between first-trimester use of specific oral and possibly intranasal decongestants and the risk of some infrequent specific birth defects.”

Specifically, when taken during the first trimester of pregnancy, phenylephrine is associated with endocardial cushion defect, an abnormal heart condition where the walls of the heart are poorly formed or absent. Pregnant mothers are cautioned against taking any drug that could have side effects that may impact their baby’s health.

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