Sunday September 15, 2019

Drug prescribed to Pregnant Women with history of delivering Premature Babies may do more Harm than Good: Study

The drug, mostly prescribed to pregnant women with a history of delivering premture babies may even increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes

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Medicines (representational Image), wikimedia

New York, March 15, 2017: A drug commonly prescribed to pregnant women with a history of delivering premature babies may do more harm than good, says a study.

Far from providing any benefit, this drug — known by the brand name Makena — may even increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes, said the study published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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“Our study showed the drug to be ineffective, and it has a side effect,” said first author of the study David Nelson, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern) in the US.

The drug, a synthetic progestogen hormone called 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 to treat women at risk of delivering a second premature baby.

The FDA gave the drug accelerated approval in part due to findings in a 2003 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine that the drug reduced the likelihood of a repeat preterm delivery.

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However, Makena has been a source of debate among doctors because of the questions raised about the 2003 findings.

Earlier research findings on the benefit of 17-OHPC have been mixed, said Kenneth Leveno, senior author of the study and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern.

In the newly published study, pregnant women treated at Parkland Memorial Hospital, were offered the drug 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHPC) if they had a prior history of premature births and were carrying a single fetus.

The research took place from 2012 to 2016 and followed 430 women treated with the drug.

Researchers then compared the premature birth rate of those women with the historical premature birth rate of 5,787 patients seen at Parkland between 1988 and 2011 — women who also had a history of premature delivery but never took the drug.

Of the women in the study group who took the drug, 25 per cent had a premature delivery.

That compared with a 16.8 per cent preterm birth rate in the historical nondrug group.

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The rate of gestational diabetes was 13.4 per cent in women treated with the drug, compared with eight per cent in the other group, the study found.

Gestational diabetes often goes away after the birth, and therefore is not usually a serious problem for the mother, Nelson said.

However, it can lead to deliveries of larger babies and increased chances for cesarean sections and other birth complications. (IANS)

 

Next Story

Too Much Coffee During Pregnancy Bad for Baby’s Liver, Says New Study

For the study, the researchers investigated the effects of low (equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee) and high doses (equivalent to 6-9 cups of coffee) of caffeine given to pregnant rats, on liver function and hormone levels of their offspring

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A patron holds an iced beverage at a Starbucks coffee store in Pasadena, Calif., July 25, 2013. VOA

Ladies, limit your tea or coffee intake if you’re expecting, as researchers have found that excess caffeine intake during pregnancy may impair baby’s liver development and increase the risk of liver disease in adulthood.

In a study on rats, it was found that pregnant rats, which were given caffeine, had offspring with lower birth weight, altered growth and stress hormone levels and impaired liver development.

Published in the Journal of Endocrinology, the study indicates that consuming 2-3 cups of coffee a day may alter stress and growth hormone levels in a manner that can impair development of baby’s liver.

“Our results indicate that prenatal caffeine causes an excess of stress hormone activity in the mother, which inhibits IGF-1 activity for liver development before birth. However, compensatory mechanisms do occur after birth to accelerate growth and restore normal liver function as IGF-1 activity increases and stress hormone signalling decreases,” said study co-author Yinxian Wen from the Wuhan University in China.

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a hormone that plays an important role in childhood growth. “The increased risk of fatty liver disease, caused by prenatal caffeine exposure, is most likely a consequence of this enhanced, compensatory postnatal IGF-1 activity,” Wen said.

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A model wears the Owlet Band pregnancy monitor at the Owlet booth at CES International, Jan. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. The device can track fetal heart rate, kicks and contractions. VOA

For the study, the researchers investigated the effects of low (equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee) and high doses (equivalent to 6-9 cups of coffee) of caffeine given to pregnant rats, on liver function and hormone levels of their offspring.

“Our work suggests that prenatal caffeine is not good for babies and although these findings still need to be confirmed in people, I would recommend that women avoid caffeine during pregnancy,” Wen said.

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Sweta Gupta, Clinical Director and Senior Consultant at Fertility Solutions, Medicover Fertility in Delhi, agreed that too much of caffeine could be harmful for the baby. “Pregnancy is a time of craving and mood swings. Some consider coffee for relief in such situations,” she said.

However, according to Harshal Rajekar, Consultant Gastro Surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital in Pune, there is hardly any evidence showing that caffeine is harmful for pregnant woman or her baby’s liver though it’s true that excess of caffeine can affect sleep and may deprive the mother of adequate rest during pregnancy, which can, in turn, harm both the mother and the child. (IANS)