Childhood digestive disorders are a common occurrence and are sometimes unexplained. Maternal medication during the development of the foetus' digestive system may contribute to the increase in childhood digestive disorders, especially with drugs acting on the cholinergic system. This study investigated the association between prenatal exposure to drugs with atropinic properties and the use of digestive disorder medications in childhood (0-3 years). Children from POMME (PrescriptiOn Médicaments Mères Enfants), a French database of reimbursed drugs for pregnant women and their children, were included (N = 8 372). Each drug prescribed during antenatal life was assigned an atropinic score (0 = null, 1 = low, 3 = strong). The prenatal atropinic burden was calculated as the sum of atropinic scores of drugs prescribed. More than 30% (N = 2 652) of the children were prenatally exposed to atropinic drugs. They used significantly more digestive disorder medications than unexposed children (RRa = 1.11 [1.06; 1.16]). The strength of the association increased with the prenatal atropinic burden. Our results suggest long-term digestive effects after prenatal exposure to atropinic drugs.
Keywords: atropinic drug; digestive disorder; drug safety; pharmacoepidemiology; prenatal exposure.
© 2018 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.