Some Popular Painkillers Double the Risk of Miscarriage: Study

A number of widely used painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), could significantly increase the risk of a miscarriage when taken by pregnant women, according to the findings of a new study. 

Canadian researchers looked at the pregnancy side effects of popular pain medications, including Aleve, Advil, Cataflam, Celebrex, and the recalled drug Vioxx, finding that the drugs were associated with double the risk of spontaneous abortions.

The study, which was published online by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at the health records of nearly 50,000 Canadian women who had suffered miscarriages. Researchers found that women who took NSAIDs during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy were more than twice as likely to have a spontaneous abortion than those who had not.

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Researchers said that there was no dose-response effect seen, meaning that the size of the dosage did not appear to be a factor.

The study does not make a causal connection between NSAIDs and miscarriages, but the study’s authors recommended that the findings should cause pregnant women to use them with caution. An estimated 17% of pregnant women take NSAIDs during pregnancy.

The study comes two months after a number of studies found that NSAIDs were associated with an increased risk of heart problems. In July, researchers from the University of Florida determined that chronic NSAID users had a 47% increased risk of cardiovascular events. 


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