FDA: Limit pregnant women's, children's exposure to anesthesia

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The Food and Drug Administration issued a drug safety announcement Wednesday warning that lengthy use of sedation or anesthetic drugs in pregnant women during the third trimester and children under 3 years old can have adverse effects on children's brains.

The FDA will now require warnings on the labels of general anesthetic and sedation drugs. The agency urges healthcare providers to "balance the benefits of appropriate anesthesia in young children and pregnant women against potential risks," especially if the exposure will be longer than 3 hours or if multiple procedures are needed.

According to the FDA, human studies have shown a single, short exposure to such drugs for infants and toddlers likely won't have adverse effects, but further research is needed.

View the safety warning here.

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