TORONTO – A new study from Canadian and French researchers finds the use of anti-inflammatory drugs during the early stages of pregnancy more than doubles a woman’s risk of miscarriage.
The study, published Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found the risk of miscarriage was 2.4 times greater for women who took any type and dosage of non-aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, a commonly used and easily accessible over-the-counter painkiller.
Other common medications used during pregnancy include NSAIDs such as naproxen, celecoxib, rofecoxib and diclofenac.
Researchers defined exposure as NSAIDs taken in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy or in the two weeks prior to the start of pregnancy. The study found diclofenac was associated with the highest risk of miscarriage if used alone. The lowest risk of miscarriage was associated with women who used only rofecoxib in that time period.
“The use of nonaspirin NSAIDs during early pregnancy is associated with statistically significant risk of having a spontaneous abortion,” writes Dr. Anick Bérard, from the University of Montreal and the Director of the Research Unit on Medications and Pregnancy at Montreal’s CHU Sainte-Justine.
“Given that the use of nonaspirin NSAIDs during early pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of major congenital malformations and that our results suggest a class effect on the risk of clinically detected spontaneous abortion, nonaspirin NSAIDs should be used with caution during pregnancy.,” the authors conclude.