Risk of Miscarriage Along with Use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs During Pregnancy
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are medications that treat inflammation, pain, and fever. There are several different types of NSAIDs. Some are available over-the-counter (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen) and others can only be obtained by prescription. A new study released in the August 16, 2003 British Medical Journal finds that prenatal use of NSAIDs and aspirin increased the risk of miscarriage.

The research, based on a sample size of 1,055 expectant women,reveals they're risk of having a miscarriage is five times more likely to happen with women who took NSAIDs at the beginning of their pregnancies compared to women who took them later within their pregnancies. According to the study, there is an 80 per cent increase in the chance of a miscarriage in women that took these NSAIDs at any point within their pregnancy. The researchers also found that the risk increased when the drugs were used for longer than 1 week but these risks were not affected by other factors such as drinking alcohol or coffee.

Researcher De-Kun Li from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute in Oakland, California where the study had been conducted says that there was a "striking contrast" between the effects of acetaminophen and that of NSAIDs in the results of this study.

This new study follows up on a study at the University of Aarhus in Denmark in 2001 by which researchers examined patients' medical records and the national birth registry. The team found an association between miscarriages after 28 weeks and NSAID usage in the weeks immediately before the miscarriage.

Pharmacologist Andy Gray of Natal University's Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in South Africa suggests, "Women should avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications during pregnancy and not take anything without consulting their doctor."

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