Navigation Links
CDC Study Links 2 Antibiotics to Birth Defects

No added risk was found, however, for most commonly used infection-fighters,,

MONDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Taking antibiotics during pregnancy does not raise the risk for most birth defects, though there are some exceptions, new research has found.

Penicillin, which is the most commonly used antibiotic during pregnancy, as well as erythromycin, cephalosporins and quinolones, other widely prescribed antibiotics, were not associated with increased risk for about 30 different birth defects.

However, the study found that two types of antibiotics were linked with a higher risk for several birth defects: nitrofurantoins and sulfonamides, sometimes called "sulfa drugs," which are prescribed for urinary tract and other infections.

Women whose children had anencephaly, a fatal malformation of the skull and brain, were three times more likely to have taken sulfonamides, the study found. Sulfonamides were also tied to an increased risk for such heart defects as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and coarctation of the aorta, choanal atresia (a blockage of the nasal passage), transverse limb deficiency and diaphragmatic hernia, an abnormal opening in the diaphragm that results in severe breathing difficulties.

Nitrofurantoins were also associated with multiple birth defects, including anophthalmia and microphthalmos (eye defects) and several congenital heart defects. Mothers whose children were born with a cleft lip or cleft palate were twice as likely to have taken nitrofurantoins, the study found.

But pregnant women should not be overly worried if they need an antibiotic to treat an infection during pregnancy, stressed the study's lead author, Krista Crider, a geneticist with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The most important message is that most commonly used antibiotics do not seem to be associated with the birth defects we studied," Crider said.

The findings are published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Crider and her colleagues analyzed data on more than 13,000 women whose babies had one of more than 30 birth defects, including cleft palate, heart or limb defects and anencephaly. They compared the women's rates of antibiotic usage, from the month leading up to pregnancy through the end of the first trimester, with that of almost 5,000 women whose children did not have a birth defect. The data was culled from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, which began in 1997 and includes about 30,000 women from 10 states.

Information on the impact of many prescription drugs on developing fetuses is sorely lacking, Crider pointed out. Much of that stems from the fact that ethical considerations preclude conducting drugs trials in pregnant women, she said.

Though many antibiotics have been used safely for decades, resistant strains of bacteria are forcing doctors to use a wider array of antibiotics. For some, little data exist.

The researchers found that about 30 percent of women took an antibiotic between the three months prior to conception and the end of the pregnancy.

Even antibiotics that generally were safe were found to be associated with a few specific birth defects. Women whose babies were born with a certain type of limb malformation were three times more likely to have taken penicillin. Erythromycin, cephalosporins and quinolones were also associated with an increased risk for one or two specific birth defects.

However, the researchers said they did not know if the birth defects were caused by the antibiotics or the underlying infection.

One expert said women need to remember the good antibiotics can do mom and baby, as well. Though many pregnant women want to avoid taking any drugs during pregnancy, infections pose a risk to mother and baby and often need to be treated, said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"Untreated infections during pregnancy can lead to severe consequences, such as maternal sepsis [blood infection] and preterm labor," Wu said. "Yet many patients are afraid to take medications such as antibiotics during pregnancy."

The study "supports the evidence that antibiotics are safe for pregnant women," she said. "It is reassuring for doctors and patients to have more data on necessary drugs for pregnancy."

Crider also stressed that the chances of having a baby with a birth defect remain small, even if an antibiotic has been linked to an elevated risk. For example, the risk of having a child with hypoplastic left heart syndrome is about one in 4,200. Sulfonamides were associated with a three-fold increase, making the likelihood about one in 1,400, she said.

Brand names for nitrofurantoins include Furadantin, Macrobid and Macrodantin. Bactrim and Septra are among the brand names of sulfonamides.

Given the data, Crider said, women should be cautious about taking either of those types of drugs during pregnancy and should discuss other options with their physicians,.

According to the study, the overall risk for having a child with a birth defect is about three percent.

The study did not look at chromosomal defects, including Down syndrome.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on birth defects.

SOURCES: Krista Crider, Ph.D., geneticist, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Jennifer Wu, M.D., obstetrician-gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; November 2009, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seeks Seattle Area Volunteers for a Stress-reduction Study
2. Study reveals second pathway to feeling your heartbeat
3. New Study Finds Shock-Wave Therapy for Unhealed Fractured Bones as Effective as Surgery
4. AEterna Zentaris Announces Positive Preliminary Results for Phase 2 Study with LHRH-Receptor Targeted Cytotoxic Conjugate AEZS-108 in Ovarian Cancer
5. Data Supporting Boceprevir Response Guided Therapy Presented at American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Annual Meeting
6. Study spotlights efficacy of questionnaire to identify patients at high risk for lung cancer
7. Study shows that sleep deprivation can negatively affect information processing
8. Study shows that sleep disturbances improve after retirement
9. Henry Ford Hospital study: A MRSA strain linked to high death rates
10. Large Study of Anemia Treatment in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Not on Dialysis Published in the New England Journal of Medicine Failed to Meet Primary Efficacy Endpoints
11. Drake Center is Site for $3.6 Million NIH Grant to Study Mental Rehearsal that Improves Motor Skills in Stroke Patients
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, ... savings of up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free gifts with purchases, ... hours. , As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic needs, customers will ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... According to an article published November 13th on, ... D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental care, both at-home and in the ... between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) and diabetes. According to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... The rapid speed at which Americans ... more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive conditions becoming ... The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of medical care occurs in ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... "When ... said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting ... individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion is a set of ... With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an informative sidebar to any FCPX ... Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and text with the ease ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/29/2015)... Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) revealed a portfolio ... Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA), beginning today ... Chicago . Visitors to the Philips booth ... integrated Diagnostic Imaging, Clinical Informatics, Image Guided Therapy and ... and create a superior patient experience. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Une nouvelle approche consistant ... contre le cancer avancé.    --> ... au traitement photodynamique au Bremachlorin contre le cancer ... nouvelle approche consistant à combiner l,immunothérapie au traitement ...    Clinical Cancer Research . ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Global Tumor Marker ... Volume and Sales Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, ... report to their offering. --> ... the "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: