Heartburn Drugs Safe for Fetuses, says Israeli Study

BEER SHEVA – A new study done by Israeli scientists has shown that heartburn drugs are safe for the foetus.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, has been published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

According to the new findings H2 blocker drugs like Famotidine, Cimetidine and Ranitidine, administered to pregnant women for reducing acid influx can be safely used.

The H2 blockers are the most commonly used medication to relieve acid reflux symptoms of heartburn, regurgitation and trouble swallowing in pregnant women.

Dr. Rafael Gorodischer, professor emeritus at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev said: “Of the vast majority of medications approved for use, there is insufficient data from human studies to determine whether the benefits of therapy exceed the risk to the fetus.

“Medicines are approved for use only after there is sufficient scientific evidence demonstrating the drug safety and effectiveness for its intended uses.”

“Exposure to H2 blockers among this group was not associated with significantly increased risks of major congenital malformations. The results were unchanged when therapeutic abortions of exposed fetuses were included in the analysis.

Also, infants exposed in utero had no increased risk of perinatal mortality, low birth weight or premature birth,” said Dr. Amalia Levy of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences.

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