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News From the Food and Drug Administration
June 20, 2017

Warnings for Anesthetic Drugs

JAMA. 2017;317(23):2363. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.6977

The FDA recently approved label changes warning of risks when general anesthetic and sedation medications are used in young children and pregnant women during their third trimester.

Changes to the labels indicate that using the medications during lengthy or multiple procedures can cause neurodevelopmental abnormalities and long-term cognitive deficits in children younger than 3 years. A previous announcement explained that studies in young or pregnant animals show that exposure to the drugs for more than 3 hours can cause widespread loss of neurons in the developing brain, leading to lasting harm.

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