NBC Nightly News: Over the Counter Painkillers May Cause Miscarriages

PregnantSep 6, 2011 – NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams reported tonight that over-the-counter pain killers like Motrin and Aleve may cause miscarriages. NBC’s Chief Science Correspondent, Robert Bazell reported that a new study out today from The University of Montreal in Canada shows why women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should be concerned. 

The study involved some 47,000 women and some of the most popular over-the-counter pain relievers, NSAIDS which include ibuprofen sold under brand names such as Motrin and Advil. And naproxen sold as Aleve.  These medications already carry warnings against use late in pregnancy. But Dr Anick Berard and her team has found that taking these drugs early in pregnancy, in the first 20 weeks, may more than double the risk of miscarriage.  Acetaminophen sold as Tylenol does not seem to be a problem.

Dr. Berard says that these studies are not done to alarm women, but to provide better knowledge to women and physicians as to what’s happening with medications when used in pregnancy.

Robert Bazell says even experts not involved with the research agree.  Dr. Alan Fleischman of the March of Dimes says this is an important study.  It’s confirmatory. There has been other evidence that there are some concerns with these kinds of drugs.

Robert Bazell reported that because the effects of these drugs can occur so early in pregnancy, experts, even the drug makers have advised women to start talking to their doctors about any pain medications that they are taking as soon as they plan to get pregnant.

The NBC report concluded that miscarriages are very common.  And while their cause is often unknown, information like this latest study can help women make the best decisions.

 

 

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