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Miscarriage tied to use of nonaspirin anti-inflammatory drugs

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should take heed of a new warning about use of NSAID’s – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - early in pregnancy. Researchers say the common pain medications are tied to a 2.4 greater chance of miscarriage.

In their analysis, scientists looked at 4705 cases of miscarriage up to the 20th week of pregnancy, by reviewing medical and pharmacy records.

Among the 4705 women, age 15 to 45, 352 took a nonaspirin anti-inflammatory drug up to 20 weeks gestation.

As a control, the researchers made a comparison to 47,050 age matched women who did not miscarry - 1,213 (2.6%) had used an NSAID.

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Dr Anick Berard, from the University of Montreal, one of the study's co-authors said:

"We consistently saw that the risk of having a spontaneous abortion was associated with gestational use of Diclofenac, naproxen, celecoxib, ibuprofen and rofecoxib alone or in combination, suggesting a class effect."

The finding suggests the drugs should be used with caution during pregnancy. The results were consistent, regardless of dose of the non aspirin pain medication taken by the women. NSAID use during pregnancy has also been linked to increased risk of birth defects.

Acetaminophen or paracetamol has been linked to higher likelihood of asthma in offspring when taken during pregnancy, according to a finding published April, 2011 in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy.

The new study links higher chance of miscarriage for women taking non-aspirin anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs during early pregnancy. Speak with your health care provider for options if you are pregnant and need to take pain medication.

Image credit: moreguefile