BOSTON (CBS) –- Researchers are warning about a danger for some new mothers -– being prescribed too many painkillers after a Cesarean section.

A study conducted by Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that the average prescription is double the number of pills the patients actually use.

Oxycodone is often prescribed to women who have C-Sections, and they’re frequently left with extra pills. Most women studied reported keeping the pills in an unlocked cabinet.

Researchers say this all adds up to an estimated 20 million pills that could be misused.

“We are the source of these excess opioids, and we need to do more to restrain that, but we really need to tailor that so the individual gets what they need,” Dr. Sarah Osmundson, an assistant professor of maternal-fetal medicine at Vanderbilt University, told HealthDay. “Our take-home point is we don’t want one-size-fits-all prescribing.”


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