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More Pregnant Women Prescribed Opioid Pain Pills

The number of pregnant women in the United States being prescribed narcotic pain medicines has grown, says a new study. This is happening even though the risks to a developing fetus are unknown. Researchers looked at the pharmacy records of 1.1 million pregnant women receiving Medicaid. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of women filling a prescription for these drugs rose from 18.5% to almost 23%. Codeine and hydrocodone were most often prescribed. The prescription rates varied from 9.5% to 41.6% depending on the state. Another study published online in the journal Anesthesiology in February found similar results. The pregnant women in that study had private health insurance. The journal Obstetrics & Gynecology published the new study. HealthDay News and the New York Times wrote about it.

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