Monday, March 09, 2015
Pregnancy is a delicate time during which many medications and habits can impact the developing foetus. A recent study found that pregnant women, whose children are at risk for developing asthma, should avoid antibiotics. Antibiotic overuse linked drug resistance and decrease in the efficacy of treatment has been found to be the reason to shun them in pregnancy.
These results were published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The study evaluated 298 mother-child pairs and followed them through the child's third year of life. The researchers found that 22% of the 103 children born to mothers who took antibiotics prenatally were diagnosed with asthma by age 3. In comparison, only 11% of the children born to mothers who did not take antibiotics during pregnancy were diagnosed with asthma.
"We were particularly interested in how prenatal antibiotic use affected at-risk children -- those with a parent with asthma, hay fever or eczema," said the researchers. They further added, “The message to pregnant women is to avoid antibiotics to the extent that they can, and possibly avoid asthma development in their children."
The researchers however noted that prenatal antibiotic use was only linked to asthma development and not to wheezing, which is a whistling or squeaky sound in the chest produced whilst exhaling. Asthma is often accompanied by wheezing.
These findings can help healthcare professionals assist pregnant patients better and prescribe antibiotics with caution, particularly when the symptoms are not clear.
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