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Thread: Certain Antibiotics in Pregnancy Linked to Birth Defects

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    24th September 2007
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    Default Certain Antibiotics in Pregnancy Linked to Birth Defects

    This is a very long article. This is the beginning and the link to the rest.

    Study links some antibiotics with birth defects; others appear safe for fetus

    By CARLA K. JOHNSON , Associated Press
    November 2, 2009

    CHICAGO - Researchers studying antibiotics in pregnancy have found a surprising link between common drugs used to treat urinary infections and birth defects. Reassuringly, the most-used antibiotics in early pregnancy — penicillins — appear to be the safest.
    Bacterial infections themselves can cause problems for the fetus if left unchecked, experts said, so pregnant women shouldn't avoid antibiotics entirely. Instead, women should discuss antibiotics choices with their doctors.
    The new study is the first large analysis of antibiotic use in pregnancy. It found that mothers of babies with birth defects were more likely than mothers with healthy babies to report taking two types of antibiotics during pregnancy: sulfa drugs (brand names include Thiosulfil Forte and Bactrim) and urinary germicides called nitrofurantoins (brand names include Furadantin and Macrobid).
    It was the first time an association had been seen between urinary tract treatments and birth defects, said lead author Krista Crider, a geneticist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which funded the research. "Additional studies are going to need to be done to confirm these findings."
    Used for many decades, the antibiotics in question predate the Food and Drug Administration and its requirements for rigorous safety testing. The FDA now grades all drugs for safety to the fetus based on available research, but rigorous studies are so lacking in many cases, that no antibiotics get the highest grade of "A."
    Sulfa drugs are the oldest antibiotics and some animal studies have found harm during pregnancy. Nitrofurantoins previously have been viewed by doctors as safe to treat urinary tract infections during pregnancy.
    The study, appearing in November's Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, may cause doctors to change the drugs they choose to treat pregnant women with infections. The findings were released Monday...
    Last edited by Islander; 11-03-09 at 05:21 PM.

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