The fears that fetal NSAIDS exposure could be responsible for the cases of hypertension in newborns have at last been laid to rest. In a research carried out by Physician’s Briefing and published on their website on Dec 3 2012, it was proved that the aforementioned substances are not to blame. This was after an intense research performed on 377 women in a Boston Hospital whose children had PPHN. While the NSAIDs exposure has been given a clean bill of health, one would want to know more about this to understand what the research was all about.

Understanding what PPHN is and how it starts

So what is PPHN? This stands for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborns. It is the failure of the circulatory transitions in infants, which in turn causes the failure of the lung functions in the newborns. Ok, this is not a very common disorder but it is there and your infant could be one of the affected few. That is why it has become very important to follow any news on this. The good thing is that the suspected culprits, that is, the NSAIDS and ibuprofen exposure are not to blame. But if they are not, what is to blame them? While that may not be known as yet, thankfully, two suspected causes have now been taken care of. The gestational exposure of the infant to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs does not cause PPHN and therefore pregnant women can take the NSAIDs without fear, at last.

Many different NSAIDs in the market today are used by pregnant women. While it has been determined that there is no cause for alarm, does this mean that all NSAIDs are good? It may not be well known but with more research going on, this will soon be known in the near future. Ibuprofen is just one of the NSAIDs. Others include aspirin, indomethacin and naproxen to name but just a few of them. In the earlier years before this research, it had been thought that the use of NSAIDs caused the blockage of the chemical passage of cyclooxygenase in the newborns and in turn, this caused an imbalance in the circulatory transition during birth. While the cry of the baby during birth is the sweetest sound for any mother who has been looking forward to having their baby, this may not be the case if their baby experiences PPHN.

Over the counter NSAIDs cleared apart from Aspirin

They say that numbers do not lie and therefore in this research, it was established that about 8.8 percent of the infants born with PPHN were exposed at least one or more NSAIDs. However, this was mostly associated with infants whose mothers took aspirin and not any of the other NSAIDs. Therefore, from the report, it can be safely assumed that mothers who take over the counter NSAIDs during their gestational period do not necessarily expose their infants to PPHN.

Of note is that ibuprofen is the most commonly used NSAID among mothers in their gestational periods and now that it is in the clear, they can use it without any fear.