FDA warns pregnant women to avoid pain relievers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is sounding the alarm that pain relievers could have devastating effects on unborn babies.

CANADA - 2016/01/21: Prescription pills in a yellow bottle over a wooden table with selective depth of field. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The agency warns that women who are 20-weeks pregnant or later risk serious health problems if they use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, otherwise known as NSAIDs.

The drugs are used to relieve pain and include medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, and celecoxib.

Doctors said using the drugs can cause unborn babies to produce low levels of amniotic fluid in their kidneys. Amniotic fluid is responsible for protecting and developing  a baby’s lungs, digestive system and muscles.

For pregnant women, who are 30 weeks or later, using pain relievers could result in heart issues in the unborn baby, according to the FDA.

FDA officials will require prescription labels to contain the updated health risks.

If doctors should prescribe NSAIDs to women who are between 20-to-30-weeks pregnant, the dosage should be at its lowest effective level for the shortest duration, according to health officials.

The FDA also encouraged pregnant women to talk with a health care professional before taking medication.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.