Popular Antifungal Drug Increases The Risk Of Miscarriage

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Popular Antifungal Drug Increases The Risk Of Miscarriage
Popular Antifungal Drug Increases The Risk Of Miscarriage

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Popular antifungal drug increases the risk of miscarriage

The use of fluconazole, a popular drug for treating fungal infections, including thrush, during pregnancy has been associated with a higher rate of miscarriage. In addition, taking higher doses of the drug in early pregnancy may be associated with a higher likelihood of developing heart disease in the newborn.

Popular antifungal drug increases the risk of miscarriage
Popular antifungal drug increases the risk of miscarriage

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The use of fluconazole, a popular drug for treating fungal infections, including thrush, during pregnancy has been associated with a higher rate of miscarriage. This is evidenced by new research published in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

About 10% of pregnant women suffer from vulvovaginal candidiasis ("thrush" - a common fungal infection), the risk of which is 2-10 times higher for them than for non-pregnant women.

Although topical treatment of fungal infections in pregnant women is the first line of treatment, low doses of oral fluconazole are often prescribed. The fact is that thrush during pregnancy can be more severe and resistant to treatment.

Researchers looked at Quebec Pregnancy Cohort data on 441,949 pregnancies between 1998 and 2015. They used information from the Quebec Prescription Drug database of prescription drugs.

The researchers sought to assess the impact of low (≤150 mg) and high (> 150 mg) doses of fluconazole during pregnancy on miscarriage, serious congenital malformations, and stillbirth. They found that oral administration of fluconazole was associated with adverse effects.

“Our study shows that taking any dose of oral fluconazole during pregnancy may be associated with a higher chance of miscarriage,” said Dr. Anick Berard of the University of Montreal, Quebec. "Taking higher doses of fluconazole, over 150 mg, in early pregnancy may be associated with a higher chance of a newborn developing heart disease."

The findings are consistent with the results of other studies, but scientists are confident that more research is needed to obtain more solid evidence.

“The study re-emphasizes the safe prescribing rules for pregnancy, which include confirming the correct diagnosis and then selecting the safest drug with the most data during pregnancy at the lowest appropriate doses,” summarized the authors of another study, Dr. Vanessa Paquette and Chelsea Elwood of British Columbia Women's Hospital and Health Center, Vancouver.

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