Que­bec study links cer­tain an­tibi­otics to birth de­fects

The Hamilton Spectator - - HEALTH -

A large study pub­lished in The Bri­tish Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Phar­ma­col­ogy found that cer­tain an­tibi­otics taken dur­ing preg­nancy may in­crease the risk for birth de­fects. Cana­dian re­searchers fol­lowed 139,938 moth­ers of ba­bies born in Que­bec from 1998 to 2008, track­ing their an­tibi­otic use in the first trimester, and their ba­bies’ birth de­fects. The se­nior au­thor, Anick Bérard, a pro­fes­sor of epi­demi­ol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Mon­treal, said that an­tibi­otics in the class called quinolones — ciprofloxacin, lev­ofloxacin and others — are par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous and should be avoided in preg­nancy. But she said: “In­fec­tion it­self is as­so­ci­ated with ad­verse preg­nancy out­comes, and they must be treated. Our study shows that we must think about which an­tibi­otics to use.” The study found no in­crease in birth de­fects with the use of amox­i­cillin, ni­tro­fu­ran­toin or the cephalosporins.

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