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NSAIDs may be risky early in pregnancy

Some common painkillers appear to more than double the odds of losing fetus

3:54pm, September 15, 2011

The popular anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and naproxen could contribute to the risk of miscarriage when taken early in pregnancy, researchers report online September 6 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Other research has indicated that the common painkillers collectively known as NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can impart some danger to a fetus. Pill bottles caution pregnant women to consult their doctors before taking the drugs, and specifically to avoid NSAIDs during the final three months of gestation. The new study bolsters evidence that would extend that caution to the first trimester.

“Women who are thinking about getting pregnant and have stopped using contraception — or just someone in reproductive age — should be a little careful,” says epidemiologist De-Kun Li of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland, who wasn’t involved in the study.  

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