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Heartburn drugs deemed safe for fetuses according to Ben-Gurion University researchers
Date:10/7/2009

BEER-SHEVA, Israel, October 7, 2009 H2 Blocker drugs, such as Famotidine, Cimetidine and Ranitidine, approved in the U.S. for acid reflux (heartburn), pose no significant risks for the fetus according to a large collaborative cohort study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology provides significant reassurance for the safety of the fetus when H2 blocker drugs are given to women to relieve acid reflux during pregnancy.

H2 blockers are among the most frequently recommended drugs for acid reflux symptoms of heartburn, regurgitation and trouble swallowing, which are common in pregnant women. The findings of a large cohort study examining infants born to mothers who were exposed to H2 blockers, particularly Famotidine, during pregnancy. Usually symptoms of acid reflux are more frequent and more severe in the latter months of gestation. It has been estimated that between 30 percent to 80 percent of pregnant women are affected.

The study was a collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka University Medical Center and Clalit Health Services -- all in Beer-Sheva, Israel -- along with the Division of Pharmacology, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. It was part of the doctoral thesis of Ilan Matok under the supervision of principal investigators epidemiologist Dr. Amalia Levy and pediatrician and clinical pharmacologist professor emeritus Rafael Gorodischer. The study was conducted by the three Israeli entities as part of the BeMORE collaboration (Ben-Gurion MotheRisk Obstetric Registry of Exposure). The investigation of the safety of other medications commonly used off-label in pregnancy is an ongoing project of BeMORE investigators in large cohorts of women in Southern Israel.

"Of the vast majority of medications approved for use, there is insufficient data from human studies to determine whether the benefits of t
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Contact: Andrew Lavin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
212-290-9540
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

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