Can decongestants cut risk of premature birth?

Surprising results show mums-to-be who treated their pregnancy congestion less likely to give birth early


A study from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) has found that taking decongestants during pregnancy could halve the risk of having a premature birth.


The research revealed that mums-to-be who took decongestants during their second or third trimesters had their risk of a preterm birth reduced by 58% compared to women who didn’t use decongestants.

“The more we can learn about what could potentially cause preterm birth would help our understanding in how to stop it,” said Rohini Hernandez, who conducted the study.

“Medication use is a major concern for pregnant women and generally, when medications are found to have effects on the foetus, they’re usually found to have adverse effects.

“This was surprising in that a potentially beneficial effect was found,” Rohini added.


Although results are promising, Rohini added that more research needs to be done to determine if there’s an actual relationship between decongestant use and preterm birth and if so, what’s causing the outcome.

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