Wide use of prescription painkillers found in U.S. women of childbearing age: CDC

January 22, 2015 7:36 PM

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ATLANTA (Reuters) - Prescription painkillers are used widely by U.S. women of childbearing age, a federal report released on Thursday found, and health officials said exposure to such drugs during pregnancy could increase the risk of birth defects.

Of women aged 15-44, more than a third on Medicaid and a fourth on private insurance filled prescriptions for so-called opioid pain medications each year between 2008-2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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