-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Two antibiotics that were
linked to birth defects may be safe to take during pregnancy after
all, an obsetricians/gynecologists group says.
The antibiotics, nitrofurans and sulfonamides, are typically
used to treat urinary tract infections, at least until a 2009
report found that the antibiotics may increase the risk for birth
defects if taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.
But after reviewing the existing research, the American College
of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) determined that the
antibiotics are still "appropriate when there is no suitable
alternative," according to an ACOG news release.
The 2009 study that raised alarm about the antibiotics had
significant limitations, including that it relied on women's recall
of what they'd taken during pregnancy. In addition, subsequent
studies found no link between nitrofurans and sulfonamides and
"Antibiotics are commonly prescribed during pregnancy for a variety of bacterial infections, so there is considerable data now on the relationship of antibiotic exposure to birth defects," said Dr. William H. Barth, Jr., chair of ACOG's Committee on Obstetric Practice, in a news release.
The 2009 study "had several significant limitations, including
patient recall bias. Furthermore, this was an observational study,
so it's impossible to know whether the birth defects were caused by
the antibiotic or the infection itself, or some other factor," he
ACOG's Committee Opinion was published in the June issue of
Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The National Women's Health Information Center provides detailed
medication use during pregnancy.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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