Antibiotics Could Lead To Birth Abnormalities

An astonishing relation between commonly employed drugs for treating urinary tract infections and congenital defects was uncovered by the researchers during the course of a study delving into the outcome of antibiotics use during pregnancy. It was reassuring for the researchers to find that the prevalently employed antibiotics during initial pregnancy such as penicillin appeared to be most safe.

As bacterial infections when untreated could lead to complications for the fetus, hence experts recommend pregnant women should not totally keep away from antibiotics. Rather women need to speak with their doctors regarding the available and best suited antibiotic options.

The study is the foremost large-scaled examination of antibiotics usage during pregnancy. It showed that those mothers that reported consuming two kinds of antibiotics during pregnancy namely sulfa drugs and urinary germicides known as nitrofurantoins were more prone to have babies with birth anomalies.

Antibiotics side effectsKrista Crider, the leading author of the study and geneticist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that backed the study stated that this was the foremost occasion when a link has been drawn between urinary tract infections treatment and birth anomalies. She added that further research would be undertaken for corroborating these findings.

The antibiotics that are under the scanner have been employed for several decades and have predated the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and its requisites for stringent safety assessment. The FDA presently categorises all drugs on grounds of safety to the unborn child on the basis of obtainable research. However due to the dearth of comprehensive studies in several cases, the FDA has not given the topmost grading ‘A’ to any of the antibiotics.

Sulfa drugs have been used since the longest time and studies conducted on animals have shown it to be harmful during pregnancy. Nitrofurantoins earlier had been perceived by doctors as being safe for treating urinary tract infections in the course of pregnancy.

The study that appeared in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, might lead to doctors altering the drugs they earlier prescribed for treating infections in pregnant women.

A prominent family practice doctor in Tulsa, Oklahoma stated that the research was quite remarkable and would make her re-evaluate antibiotic selections that she prescribed to patients during early pregnancy.

Birth anomalies that have been associated with sulfa drugs involve atypical brain and cardiovascular problems and shortening observed in the limbs. Those associated to nitrofurantoins involve cardiovascular problems and oral clefts. The drugs appeared to increase the risk two to three folds, depending on the anomaly.

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