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Will fever during pregnancy harm the fetus?

Q: My 25 years old wife is in the 13th week of pregnancy. In her 4th week of pregnancy, she got fever and the physician gave her Gentamycin, Paracetamol IV, Cifaxin 200 mg, Nimuslide paracetamol and Levo Citrizine twice a day. Later she developed cold, cough, blockage of nose and difficulty in breathing. Therefore, the physician prescribed Cheston DT (bromhexin 4 mg, chlorphirnine 2 mg and Guaiphenesin 50 mg). Considering the age of the fetus to be around 4 weeks, will there be any problem with the baby? However, the scan reports have shown no issues.

A:Fever is not a disease but a symptom. Before giving any medication to anyone, particularly a female pregnant patient, it is absolutely essential that a correct diagnosis be made. Antibiotics such as gentamycin, that too via intravenous route, are indicated only in life threatening susceptible bacterial infections. If the fever was due to viral infections then the drug would do more harm than good. Gentamycin is not to be used during pregnancy. There is evidence that the drug reaches fetus and can damage either kidney (probably reversible) or 8th cranial nerve leading to hearing and vestibular (balancing the body while walking) impairment. This damage, if any, would not appear on ultrasound since it is functional rather than physical. Paracetamol is safe during pregnancy. There is no brand called Cifaxin. However there is product called Cifoxin, which contains ciprofloxacin. It is also an antibacterial but should not be given during pregnancy. Animal studies (when given to rabbits during pregnancy) have shown that its use can lead to abortion and/or toxicity to fetus. Nimesulide is either banned or not permitted for use in advanced countries such as United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia etc. etc. It can damage liver and in any case is strictly banned for use during pregnancy. It is not possible to give an opinion at this stage whether any harm has been done to the fetus. Periodical ultrasound test should be done to monitor the progress of fetal development even though this will only reflect physical, but not functional, status. I hope she is regularly taking folic acid 5 mg (such as Folet) daily.


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