The September American Medical Association newsletter reports a study from Canada that compared 4,705 women who miscarried in the first 20 wks of pregnancy to 47,050 controls who had normal pregnancies. All women were aged 15-45. The study found that in the miscarriage group, twice as many women had taken NSAIDS during their pregnancy. NSAIDS stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatorys and include ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, and Alieve (naproxen), Diclofenac, Vioxx (rofecoxib) to name a few.
However, the actual percent of patients in both groups who took NSAIDS was low. Only 7.5% of patients in the miscarriage group had taken NSAIDS and 2.6% of the women in the normal group had taken the medications. Therefore there are likely to be other factors that contributed to the miscarriage.
Many of my friends and colleagues are in the process of getting pregnant so I felt that it was important to share this information. Although there is limited data on the connection between NSAIDS and miscarriages, this study suggests that women avoid NSAIDS if possible to avoid a potential problem. NSAIDS already carry warnings against their use late in pregnancy but the recent Canadian study suggests that there could be dangers in taking them early on in the pregnancy as well.
Dr. Catherine Begovic M.D.