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Interaction of Pharmaceuticals with Environmental Chemicals 

Interaction of Pharmaceuticals with Environmental Chemicals
Chapter:
Interaction of Pharmaceuticals with Environmental Chemicals
Author(s):

Anderson J. Martino-Andrade

and Shanna H. Swan

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190490911.003.0007
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date: 20 September 2017

This chapter describes research on several commonly used analgesics that have been described as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, leading to concerns about possible interactions between therapeutic drugs and chemicals in the environment. Mild analgesics such as acetaminophen are widely used by pregnant women worldwide. In vitro, in vivo, and epidemiologic studies report that prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and other mild analgesics can cause hormonal disturbances resulting in gonadal development and male genital abnormalities, particularly cryptorchidism. These results suggest the potential for interaction between mild analgesics and environmental chemicals such as phthalates because they appear to disrupt similar hormonal signaling systems and cause common reproductive changes. Given the increased prevalence of prenatal exposure to phthalates and analgesics, these potential adverse effects should be taken into account when considering the risks and benefits of mild analgesic use during pregnancy.

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