Childhood Asthma Development Tied to Antibiotics
Written by Faith Anderson on November 26, 2012
Increased Risk of Asthma With Antibiotic Exposure in Pregnancy
The Copenhagen Prospective Study on Asthma in Childhood observed 411 children whose mothers suffered from asthma, until age five, and found that children born to women who used antibiotics for non-respiratory infections in pregnancy were twice as likely to develop asthma. Researchers confirmed these findings by analyzing data from a large Danish study, in which more than 30,000 children born to mothers who took antibiotics while pregnant were observed. According to the research, more than 3% of these children were hospitalized for asthma-related complications by the age of five. Study authors also indicated that 17% of the children exposed to antibiotics in utero had an increased risk of hospitalization from asthma and an increased risk of corticosteroid use.
Antibiotics May Affect Immune System Development
Scientists believe that the results of the Danish cohort study support the theory that asthma development is related to bacterial ecology. The body has a natural bacteria that helps ward off the development of certain diseases, including asthma, and antibiotic use can interfere with that bacteria, possibly causing the child to suffer from asthma symptoms. “We speculate that mothers’ use of antibiotics changes the balance of natural bacteria, which is transmitted to the newborn, and that such unbalanced bacteria in early life impacts the immune maturation in the newborn,” said Hans Bisgaard, study co-author and University of Copenhagen professor.
Contact a Drug Injury Attorney for Help
Although the study authors note that these findings do not conclusively prove that antibiotic use caused an increased risk of asthma, other research has also linked the use of acetaminophen (Tylenol) in pregnancy to asthma development in children. Both studies confirm the fact that pregnancy is a critical time for the development of a child’s immune system, and suggest that additional research is needed to examine the potential risks of using medications in pregnancy. If your child has suffered from asthma or another serious health issue, and you believe antibiotics, acetaminophen, or another pharmaceutical drug to be the cause, contact an experienced drug injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a defective drug lawsuit against the drug manufacturer, in order to pursue financial compensation for your child’s injuries and medical bills.