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The World in Medicine
December 15, 2010

Painkillers in Pregnancy

JAMA. 2010;304(23):2582. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1801

Males exposed to mild analgesics in utero may be at increased risk for developing reproductive disorders, according to research conducted in women from Denmark and Finland (Kristensen DM et al. Hum Reprod. doi:10.1093/humrep/deq323 [published online ahead of print November 8, 2010]).

The prospective study included 2297 Danish and Finnish pregnant women who answered questions about their use of mild analgesics—such as paracetamol (acetaminophen), aspirin, and ibuprofen—during pregnancy. About 64.3% of the Danish mothers with sons born with congenital cryptorchidism, or undescended testes, reported the use of mild analgesics during pregnancy compared with 55.5% of mothers with healthy boys. Mothers reporting use of more than one specific analgesic had a 7-fold increased risk of giving birth to sons with cryptorchidism; use of any analgesic during the second trimester or for longer than 2 weeks more than doubled the risk of cryptorchidism. The association was not found in the Finnish birth cohort; the authors noted that the study may have been statistically underpowered to find an association.

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