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Painkillers linked to miscarriage says report.

USING certain painkillers such as ibuprofen during pregnancy increases the risk of a woman suffering a miscarriage, a survey suggests.

Researchers in California studied more than 1,000 pregnant women and found that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increased the risk of miscarriage by 80 per cent.

They found the risk was higher when NSAIDs, the group of drugs which includes products such as ibuprofen, were taken around the time of conception, or were used for longer than a week.

The team from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute also found a similar increased risk with aspirin - although the researchers noted that the association was weaker and estimates uncertain due to the small number of aspirin users studied.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, found that use of paracetamol during pregnancy was not linked to a greater miscarriage risk.

Researchers said that while confirmation of their findings was under way it might be wise for doctors and women to be aware of the risk and avoid using NSAIDs around conception.

But Dr Melanie Davies, who chairs the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' guideline and audit committee, said the study was small and women should not be unduly concerned.

She also noted that it had been advised for some time that women who knew they were pregnant should avoid these painkillers, particularly as paracetamol was an effective alternative.

A total of 1,055 women were interviewed for the survey after their pregnancy was confirmed and asked about their drug use since they became pregnant, their reproductive history and other known risk factors for miscarriage.

Fifty-three (5 per cent) said they used NSAIDs around conception or during pregnancy.

The report noted: "We found that the use of NSAIDs during pregnancy increased the risk of miscarriage by 80 per cent."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 15, 2003
Words:301
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