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Pregnant Women Should Be Cautious When Taking Proton Pump Inhibitors

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Boston, MAWhile a recent study indicates that pregnant women taking a proton pump inhibitor may not be at an increased risk for having babies with birth defects, a Boston University epidemiologist says the results are "far from definitive," CNN reports.

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was still "reassuring," according to Dr. Allen Mitchell.

"There's no evidence that they do any harm, but we don't yet have as much safety evidence as we would like," said Mitchell. "Unlike experimental studies, a single observational study can't provide definitive results."

According to the news provider, proton pump inhibitors are available through prescription as well as over the counter and are typically taken by those experiencing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn.

Mitchell told the news source that while the proton pump inhibitors may not have devastating effects on the fetus, pregnant women should still consult their physicians prior to taking them.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the FDA recently warned doctors and patients that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors could increase the risk of hip, wrist or spine fractures.

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