A study has suggested a potential link between mothers taking heartburn pills during pregnancy and children developing asthma.
Hormonal changes such as pressure on the stomach often cause increased heartburn or acid reflux during the pregnancy period, so scientists are stressing that the links remain inconclusive.
“It is important to stress that this association does not prove that the medicines caused asthma in these children,” said Professor Aziz Sheikh, Co-director, Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, University of Edinburgh, “further research is needed to better understand this link.”
The drugs have previously been linked to increased allergies in children, but that was also proven inconclusive.
So far, studies have suggested prescribed heartburn medication could be one third more likely to result in asthma from the child.
At this point in research, it is still recommended to take any prescribed medication, but further studies are underway.
“It is important to stress that this research is at a very early stage,” explained Asthma UK director of policy and research, Dr Samantha Walker, adding “expectant mums should continue to take any medication they need under the guidance of their doctor or nurse.”