Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Over-the-Counter Drugs Double Risk of Miscarriage?

It seems like every day I see a new headline about the dangers to the unborn that surround us. It's especially glaring when you're the one who is pregnant. I recently wrote about diet soda being a possible miscarriage culprit. Now I'm writing about a more obvious danger, over-the-counter drugs. 

It's easy to assume that if it is sold freely in stores, it must be safe. Unfortunately that is far from the truth. Millions of Americans take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This includes Aleve, Advil, Celebrex, and Diclofenac to name a few. A new study concluded that "Gestational exposure to any type or dosage of nonaspirin NSAIDs may increase the risk of spontaneous abortion. These drugs should be used with caution during pregnancy." This isn't the first time this kind of miscarriage link has been found either. Another 2003 study also found that NSAIDs or aspirin taken during pregnancy increased risk of miscarriage by 80%. 

We need to remember that pregnant women are not included in safety testing for all drugs before they are put on the market because of possible risks to the unborn baby. It is safest to assume that all drugs are not safe for you and baby, especially considering that the long lists of side effects actually affect normal, healthy adults. It's also important to note that another class of prescription drugs are very dangerous. Statins are guaranteed to cause birth defects or miscarriage as they are a Class X drug. Millions of Americans take these to lower cholesterol levels. With all this in mind, is it any wonder why 10 to 25 percent of pregnancies end up in miscarriage? The United States is the most drugged nation in the entire world. 

I'm glad we do not use any drugs in our household, we don't even keep them in the house. But I know many women who do and I hope you take this message into consideration to weigh the pros and cons of drugs and their effects on a fetus.

Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. Thanks for blogging about this. I work as a nurse and TOO OFTEN, I have patients that don't know what they are taking, don't know the benefits vs. risks of taking the medication, don't look at labels on over the counter medication, so they end up taking more than the recommended dose. I have Ibuprofen in the house, but I did not take any when I was pregnant because of the miscarriage risk. I wish more people would do their research, instead of taking something because, "That's what my doctor told me to do."

  2. I had no idea about the link, but it does make perfect sense that the drugs are not even tested on pregnant women, so how do we know they are safe. I like the idea of natural remedies like exercise, relaxation, correct food, herbal and homeopathic medicines. I'm not saying to go crazy with the "herb doctor" or anything, but at least to be aware.

    Thank you once again for opening my eyes!

  3. And it is so hard for women to keep track of, even if they do read the labels, without doing more research. Honestly, I was quite exasperated when I looked at my PRENATAL vitamins and saw the typical "If pregnant or nursing, please consult a physician before using this product." If even prenatal vitamins, which are designed for pregnant women, say this, I can see how many women ignore this vital warning. But companies are so concerned with getting sued, they actually pay little attention to how anything affects their customers.


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