(NaturalPath) According to a study out of Drexel University, certain anti-asthma drugs, if taken during pregnancy, have been linked to an increase in autism risk.
The researchers looked at birth records from 1997 to 2007 and saw that children whose mothers took a particular anti-asthma drug during pregnancy were 30 percent more likely to be eventually diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
“Since the teratogenic [an agent which could cause development issues in a fetus] potential of most drugs with respect to neurodevelopmental outcomes is generally understudies, I would hope my research would encourage more researchers to explore prescription drug use as a potential autism spectrum disorder risk factor,” said the lead researcher. Another researcher added, “This study adds to a body of recent research suggesting that medications used for certain common health conditions like asthma, when taken in pregnancy, may influence a newborn’s neurodevelopment.”
Interestingly, the study found that 3.7 percent of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder had mothers who took the drug during pregnancy. Of children not diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, 2.9 percent were born to mothers who took the drugs.
For more information, read the full study.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.