Pregnant Women Should Avoid Antibiotics As They Increase Miscarriage Risk
Women who take common antibiotics to treat infections during the early stages of pregnancy may be at a two-fold higher risk of suffering a miscarriage, a new study warns.
Macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole were associated with an increased risk of "spontaneous abortion," meaning loss of pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation. The study doesn't prove cause and effect. But, it does tie use of certain medicines to a higher risk of miscarriage - up to double the risk for some classes of antibiotics, the researchers said.
Researchers from the Universite de Montreal in Canada looked at data from about 8,702 cases, defined as clinically detected spontaneous abortions, which were matched with 87,020 controls. The mean gestational age at the time of miscarriage was 14 weeks.
Researchers found that many classes of common antibiotics, such as macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole, were associated with increased risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy. Erythromycin and nitrofurantoin, often used to treat urinary tract infections in pregnant women, were not associated with increased risk, the researchers said.
So what's a woman to do if she's pregnant and has a bacterial infection? The best approach is to aim for the "lowest effective dose" using the most appropriate antibiotic, according to the researchers.
These findings may be useful for policy-makers to update guidelines for the treatment of infections during pregnancy, the researchers noted. The study was published in the 'Canadian Medical Association Journal.
(Inputs from HealthDay)
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