Common yeast infection pill tied to miscarriages
[Reuters Health, 2/19/19] Pregnant women who take fluconazole, an oral antifungal used to treat vaginal yeast infections, may be more likely to have miscarriages than women who don’t take this pill during pregnancy, a Canadian study suggests.
About one in 10 develop yeast infections, a risk that is up to 10 times higher than in nonpregnant women, researchers note in CMAJ. While topical medicines are usually the first thing prescribed for yeast infections, women who don’t improve with this approach may be given fluconazole even though using this drug in pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of certain birth defects including skeletal and heart malformations.
For the current study, researchers examined data on 29,458 pregnancies ending in miscarriage between 6 and 19 weeks gestation and on 245,059 pregnancies that didn’t end in miscarriage.
Women who took low doses of fluconazole (150 milligrams) were more than twice as likely to have a miscarriage as women who didn’t use this drug at all during pregnancy, and women who took higher doses of the drug had more than triple the miscarriage risk.
“Regardless of dosage, oral fluconazole use is associated with the risk of spontaneous abortions,” said lead study author Anick Bérard of the University of Montreal in Quebec.
The drug wasn’t associated with an increased risk of stillbirth, however, and only high doses were linked to heart defects, Bérard noted.
“This is reassuring given that low-dose is the most frequently used,” Bérard said………….
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Jaelin Stickels, CNM, WHNP