In an effort to protect unborn children, a U.S. senator is pushing for the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take control.
According to a news article, by clearly labeling many prescription drugs, lawmakers hope women who are abusing prescription drugs, or at least taking them, will be more aware of their decision to do so.
Many women know the risks associated with using prescription drugs while pregnant but having the labels listing those risks specifically may help decrease the number of babies born addicted to the medications.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that stated in 2009 nearly 3.4 babies out of every 1,000 born were suffering from various levels of addiction to prescription pain killers. While virtually all drugs, including illegal drugs and prescription drugs, are dangerous, some are more harmful than others and some only during certain stages of pregnancy.
To be safe, women should really be in constant communication with their physician, and seek help if they do have an addiction problem. With the FDA having a warning label directed toward pregnant women on prescription drugs, the chances could be lower for a child to be born addicted themselves.
According to the FDA, the agency itself proposed some revisioning to its current labeling back in 2008. The changes would include deliberate information regarding medicines that could be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It would also enable health care providers to make better decisions when they are prescribing the drugs to pregnant or nursing women in the first place. As of February 2011, the final rule is in the writing and clearance process.
But Senator Chuck Schumer wants more. He is recommending more training for physicians to know the warning signs of prescription drug abuse. He also wants the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control to look further into the problems of pregnancy and addiction.