Despite the fact that being sick while pregnant raises greater concerns and challenges, women should still avoid the use of antibiotics, particularly because the unborn child may end up suffering from asthma. Those are the conclusions of a recent study that analyzed the overuse of antibiotics and its influence in raising the amount of pathogens that are drug-resistant, while decreasing therapeutic effectiveness.
The research entitled “Relationship between prenatal antibiotic use and asthma in at-risk children,” which was recently published in the journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, focused on the use of antibiotics during pregnancy and discovered that it can be a factor in the development of asthma on the newborn, according to a press release.
“We were particularly interested in how prenatal antibiotic use affected at-risk children – those with a parent with asthma, hay fever or eczema,” explained study author Brittany Lapin, MPH. “The prevalence in asthma has doubled in developed countries in the last 30 years, and we’re still investigating why poor and minority children are diagnosed more frequently. The message to pregnant women is to avoid antibiotics to the extent that they can, and possibly avoid asthma development in their children.”
The research included 298 pairs of mothers and 3-year-old children. The scientists concluded that 22% of the 103 babies whose mothers were treated with antibiotics while they were pregnant were diagnosed with asthma. On the other hand, from the group of mothers who did not take antibiotics during the pregnancy, only 11% of their babies were diagnosed with the disease.
“The more we know about what factors increase the probability of asthma developing, the better we can assist our pregnant patients,” added the allergist Dennis Ownby, MD, ACAAI Fellow and study co-author. “We wouldn’t recommend not giving antibiotics to a pregnant woman, but we recommend caution when symptoms are not clearly caused by a bacterial infection. Pregnant women with asthma should work with their allergist to create a healthy outcome for themselves and their children.”
Despite the conclusions, the scientists believe that more information is needed about the topic, and noted that their study did not include data about wheezing, which is a whistling or squeaky sound in the chest during the breathing.