Common pain medicines may double miscarriage risk


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Pregnant women taking anti-inflammatory drugs could double their chances of miscarriage, according to a new study out of Canada. But some doctors don't seem to be convinced.

Miscarriages are extremely common, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. Doctors say it happens for one out of five women. Canadian researchers found that taking anti-inflammatory pills could contribute to those numbers. The debate seems to go back and forth.

"All of these drugs have the potential for toxic effects if you take too many or take them at the wrong time," said Dr. Douglas Richards, a high-risk ob/gyn for Intermountain Medical Center.

Dr. Douglas Richards said that even mild drugs can cause problems with some people., but that women who take an NSAID and then find out they are pregnant should not worry too much.
Dr. Douglas Richards said that even mild drugs can cause problems with some people., but that women who take an NSAID and then find out they are pregnant should not worry too much.

Between whether it's safer for pregnant women to take over the counter pills or prescription non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs -- also known as NSAIDS.

The study suggests common pills like Advil, Motrin, and even Naproxen could be the culprit, mainly because doctors say that theoretically these drugs seem to interfere with a chemical that's important for normal fetal growth.

"Implantation and normal growth of an embryo depends on a class of drugs called prostaglandins, and these drugs inhibit prostaglandins," said Dr. Richards.

Researchers studied nearly 50,000 women, and the chances of miscarriage doubled for those who took NSAIDS. Richards suggests women shouldn't take any pills during pregnancy if they can help it.

Some of these drugs are particularly dangerous in the 3rd trimester - like regular dose aspirin or these non- steroidal drugs - because they can affect baby's blood vessels,' he said. "(They) close down an important blood vessel to the baby's heart."


Researchers studied nearly 50,000 women, and the chances of miscarriage doubled for those who took NSAIDS.

But the study still has its limitations. Dr. Richards said even with mild over the counter drugs like Tyleneol, some patients still find themselves in emergency situations.

Still, Dr. Richards said there's really no need to worry.

"They shouldn't panic if they take one of these drugs and find out that they're pregnant because the odds ratio, the increased risk, is really not that high," He said.

Email: [niyamba@ksl.com](<mailto: niyamba@ksl.com>)

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