“More than a third of reproductive-aged women enrolled in Medicaid, and more than a quarter of those with private insurance, filled a prescription for an opioid pain medication each year during 2008-2012, according to a report in this week’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Opioids are typically prescribed by health care providers to treat moderate to severe pain. They are also found in some prescription cough medications. The most commonly prescribed opioids among both groups of women were hydrocodone, codeine and oxycodone.
“Taking opioid medications early in pregnancy can cause birth defects and serious problems for the infant and the mother,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Many women of reproductive age are taking these medicines and may not know they are pregnant and therefore may be unknowingly exposing their unborn child. That’s why it’s critical for health care professionals to take a thorough health assessment before prescribing these medicines to women of reproductive age.”
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – January 22, 2015
Note: See counterpoint of view on the subject available at: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/01/27/cdcs-newest-report-opioids-prioritizes-hypothetical-fetuses-living-women/