Thursday, December 3, 2009

Albuterol = Autism?

While I was getting ready for work this morning, I overheard the anchorwoman say something about a new study linking the use of asthma medications during pregnancy to autism. This definitely got my attention.

So, I immediately started googling. I found the abstract of the journal article here. It says that beta 2 adrenergic agonists, (which include albuterol and other asthma drugs, as well as a pre-term labor medication), "can induce functional and behavioral teratogenesis, which explains their association with increases in autism spectrum disorders, psychiatric disorders, poor cognitive, motor function and school performance, and changes in blood pressure in the offspring."

Considering I take albuterol four times a day, I am concerned. Additional googling told me that the study found the risk period is during the late second trimester and the third trimester. This means I have time to figure out if this is something I need to be worried about.

Step 1: Getting the full journal article from my brother-in-law (he has access to journal articles at work). Step 2: Talking to my doctors about it. Step 3: Deciding if I need to (and can) make any changes.


The Lunoff Adventures said...

Good for being pro-active, but I would search to find other related studies to see if they found the same correlation. One study enough wouldn't convince me unless it was a large, large sample, over a period of many many years, and crossed many variables and showed the same result (albuterol=autism).

Kristen said...

Thanks Tracy! I will definitely check to see if there are any good references in this article. My BIL said he should be able to get me a copy on Sunday.

jbwife said...

If you wouldn't mind, please share the info you find from the study. (I've been following your blog for quite a while, linking up through Shannon's blog). I hope you find out good news!

**My twins were born at 36 weeks after using two different time of preterm labor medication to stop contractions. I plan to definitely research this too!

LTOsborne said...

You don't need to wait for your brother-in-law to get you the article. On the page in your link, on the right side, there is a box with a place that says "full text PDF". Click on it and you'll have your article. Note that this is in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which is a peer-reviewed, empirical journal. That means that studies published or discussed in it are examined by scientists in the field to ensure they adhere to proper research protocals. Without these protocals, studies cannot be replicated and authenticated by other researchers--baisically necessary to make sure the studies are not junk. Also note that this report uses 2-1/2 pages of reference material that meet the criteria of peer-reviewed and empirical.

I used Albuterol inhaler all during my pregnancy. I have an autisitc, mentally ill son of 16 years. You can bet this gets my attention. If we have had some of this info for 9 years (check out the dates on the reference materials), then why are we wasting our time on vaccines, which repeated studies using proper protocals show do not cause autism, but we have never looked at this??? And this sure explains the rise in autism--it correlates with a rise in asthma rates. I am angry!

Abilew-who said...

I happened upon this site when I searched for "albuterol autism" on Google. I thought I'd find LOTS of information from concerned parents and LOTS of information from doctors and specialists, but really, there isn't much. Goodness knows that THOUSANDS of mothers depend on their rescue inhalors once in a while - which led me to believe this would be BIG news. I'm a moderate to severe asthmatic, and while I take preventative medication, I still take, on average, one puff of Albuterol/day. Right now, I'm suffering from a pretty nasty chest cold, which brings me to 4-6 puffs/day. And I'm terrified! I had my first son 19 months ago, and he's great. He's ahead of the curve on language and development - he's passed all standard autism screening tests with flying colors. I'm not remotely worried about him. It's the 15 week-old fetus I'm currently working on that worries me. I took Advair all the way through my pregnancy with William, which we all now know isn't recommended. So this time around, I tried something else on the suggestion of my doctor. Needless to say, it doesn't work as well and I'm struggling to keep myself at one rescue puff/day. I've got calls out to my doc and I hope to get some peace of mind soon. I hope the same for you. I suspect they'll tell us it's okay - it's just one study - they haven't gone and proven that Albuterol causes autism. At least that's why my fingers are crossed. Enjoy the rest of you pregnancy and happy holidays.

GoodReason said...

Even CF doctors believe that albuterol is overprescribed in CF. I would seriously consider discontinuing it until the pregnancy is over.

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