Taking Xanax during pregnancy doesn’t increase a baby’s risk of autism, a large study finds.
Prescribing anxiety medication and rates of autism have both increased in recent years, and previous studies have suggested the two may be linked.
The researchers analyzed medical records of nearly 1.5 million mothers and children up to the age of 14 born in Taiwan between 2004 and 2017.
After accounting for other risk factors, such as genetic history of neurodevelopmental disorders, there was “no evidence” that anxiety medications correlated with a higher risk of autism in children.
dr Vincent Chen, an epidemiologist who led the research, said: “This cohort study found no evidence that exposure to benzodiazepines during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of ASD or ADHD in the offspring.
“Our results challenge current assumptions about a possible association between neurodevelopmental disorders and maternal use of benzodiazepines before or during pregnancy.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says women should be aware of the risks of taking benzodiazepines, including sedation, low muscle tone and difficult breathing. But the connection to autism was never fully established.
Xanax doesn’t increase a child’s risk of autism, a landmark study finds (stock image
Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to a broad spectrum of disorders in which children have difficulty interacting with their peers and may repeat behaviors.
It begins in early childhood, although some cases may not be diagnosed until teenage or early adulthood.
It is believed that around 5 million people in the US suffer from this disease.
Experts warn that anxiety pills could become the next opioid crisis
Experts today warned the US risks triggering an opioid-like anxiety pill crisis if it decides to screen everyone under 65 for the disease.
The US Preventative Services Task Force, one of the most influential bodies in US public health, recommended last month that the roughly 200 million Americans ages 18 and older be screened — even if they have no symptoms.
It would make clinical help for anxiety more accessible and force patients to jump through fewer hurdles to get help, the doctors claim.
But experts told DailyMail.com it could lead to a surge in prescriptions for anti-anxiety drugs – already feared to be at the center of a burgeoning addiction crisis in the US.
The most common anxiety medications fall into the benzodiazepine class, with fast-acting drugs like Xanax, Klomopin, Valium, and Ativan belonging to this group.
dr Anna Lembke, director of the Dual Diagnosis Clinic for addiction medicine at Stanford University, told this website she feared the new guidelines had echoes of the opioid epidemic.
dr Jonathan Shedler, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, told Fox News that following the recommendation would be “terrible.”
Researchers at the Chiayi Chang Guny Memorial Hospital in Chiayi, southwest Taiwan, investigated the link between autism and benzodiazepine use in pregnancy.
Benzodiazepines – which include Xanax – are a class of psychotropic drugs known for their depressant effects on the central nervous system.
They diffuse rapidly through the blood-brain barrier and cause sedative effects.
They are used for those struggling with sleep, anxiety, spasticity due to CNS pathologies, muscle relaxation and epilepsy. One of the debilitating side effects is its addictive potential
Medical records were extracted from 1.13 million mothers who gave birth to 1.5 million children.
All births took place between 2004 and 2017.
The mothers’ medical records were examined for those prescribed benzodiazepines during pregnancy.
The children’s records were also accessed to show which had been diagnosed with autism.
A total of 826 of the 76,000 children exposed to Xanax developed autism (1.1 percent).
For comparison, among the children not exposed to the drug, 13,200 of the 863,000 (0.9 percent) in the group were diagnosed with the disease.
First, the analysis showed a slightly higher risk of autism in infants whose mothers took Xanax.
They had a 13 percent higher risk of developing autism in the first trimester, 10 percent in the second, and 21 percent in the third.
A sibling comparison was then conducted, comparing the risk of autism in infants from the same mother.
These results showed that there was no significant difference in the autism rate between the two groups.
The study also looked at ADHD rates in children.
But after controlling for confounders, there was no difference in the prevalence of autism between babies whose mothers took the medication during pregnancy compared to those whose mothers didn’t.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/taking-xanax-during-pregnancy-does-not-raise-risk-of-autism-in-babies-major-study-rules/ Taking Xanax during pregnancy does NOT increase risk of autism in babies, key study rules