The CDC released the findings of their new study published last week in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology indicating that taking opioid painkillers such as codeine, hydrocodone or oxycodone shortly before or during early pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects. If you find yourself in this situation, please don't panic. Although the headline is technically true, the risk is still very low. Please read the rest of this post to learn more about what this study found. Study Design and Results The purpose of the study was to see if treatment with any opioid analgesic medication just before or during early pregnancy was associated with the occurrence of certain birth defects. The study used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study , a population-based, case-control study to understand the causes of and risk factors for major birth defects in the United States. Researchers found that 2%-3% of the mothers interviewed were treated wi...
Alternative Names Tylenol # 3 overdose; Phenaphen with codeine overdose; Tylenol with codeine overdose Symptoms Airways and lungs
Breathing shallow Breathing slow and labored Respiratory arrest Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
Pinpoint pupils Heart and blood vessels
Low blood pressure Nervous system
Coma Convulsions Drowsiness Stupor (lack of alertness) Skin
Bluish skin (fingernails and lips) Cold, clammy skin Heavy sweating Stomach and gastrointestinal system
Nausea and vomiting Spasms of the stomach and intestines Vomiting Liver failure Urinary system
It's not unusual for people living with chronic pain to also be dealing with some depression and/or anxiety . But if you're taking an opioid like oxycodone for the pain and also taking an herbal supplement containing St. John's Wort, you may unknowingly be reducing the effectiveness of your pain medication. A small study in Finland found that when St. John's Wort and oxycodone were taken together, the plasma concentration of oxycodone decreased by 50 percent and its half-life (the time it takes for half the drug to be elimitated from the body) was shortened by 27 percent. The reason for the significant decrease in oxycodone's effectiveness may lie in the fact that St. John’s wort is a well-known to induce CYP450 liver enzymes, which play an important role in the metabolism of many opioids. Although oxycodone was the only opioid tested, it would be logical to think that other opioids which are metabolized through the CYP450 pathways might be similarly...
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