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What is the danger of taking antibiotics in early pregnancy?

09 May 2017, 09:00

Canadian scientists examined almost 200,000 pregnant women who, due to circumstances, had to be treated with antibiotics: macrolides, tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, sulfanilamide preparations and metronidazole.

To date, medical professionals around the world suffer from a lack of information on the use of antibiotics at various stages of pregnancy : there is little data on the use of antibacterial drugs, and clinical studies on this are rare. The thing is that most doctors avoid carrying out any experiments in women during pregnancy - and this is absolutely logical. After all, no one can be sure that taking antibiotics does not affect the course of such an important physiological process.

Canadian scientists from the University of Montreal confirmed: antibiotics can indeed pose a considerable danger, and especially in the first trimester of gestation.

The experiment was based on information from the organization of pregnant Quebec (QPC), collected from 1998 to 2009. Thus, the study group consisted of almost 9,000 women who had an early miscarriage. Also there were women who had a pregnancy without excesses (almost 90 thousand). In general, scientists analyzed almost two hundred thousand pregnancies.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that spontaneous miscarriages occurred mainly in those women who in the first trimester were forced to receive antibiotic treatment - in particular, drugs of the macrolide, tetracycline group, as well as fluoroquinolones, sulfanilamide preparations and metronidalose. It is noteworthy that after the treatment with azithromycin and metronidazole, the risk of miscarriage increased by about 70%, and after treatment with norfloxacin spontaneous abortion took place almost five times more often.

"Such indicators should lead medical practitioners to the idea that antibiotics should not be prescribed without first analyzing the possible consequences from their administration," said Professor Jason Newland of the American Society of Infectious Diseases (IDSA).

However, as the study showed, not all antibacterial drugs are so dangerous for pregnant women. Fortunately, the scientists did not find the relationship between miscarriage at an early stage in the treatment of erythromycin and nitrofurantoin. Also, experts have confirmed the fact that cephalosporin antibiotics and penicillin group preparations possess relative safety.

"The conclusions made on the basis of our experiments will prove useful in clinical practice. It is very important that recommendations on therapeutic prescriptions for infectious diseases in pregnant patients are revised, "the researchers say. In addition, it should be noted that a large number of participants in the experiment, as well as verified data on antibiotic therapy and facts of spontaneous interruption of the gestation process do not allow to question the results of the study.

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Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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