Decongestants in pregnancy linked to birth defects

In a case control study involving nearly 20,000 infants, researchers found up to an eightfold increased risk of certain birth defects associated with ingredients in over-the-counter products.

This included increased risk of endocardial cushion defect with first trimester use of phenylephrine, and increased risk of ear defects and of pyloric stenosis with first trimester use of phenylpropanolamine.

The researchers said the findings should be “kept in perspective” as the absolute