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News2009November › Antibiotics cause birth defects, pregnant women warned › November 2009

Antibiotics cause birth defects, pregnant women warned

Some antibiotics can cause severe birth defects, pregnant women have been warned this week

Some antibiotics can cause severe birth defects, pregnant women have been warned this week.

Antibiotic use is common among pregnant women, and doctors have believed they do not affect the growing fetus, but a new study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has discovered that two types of the drug can cause several severe birth defects.

One group, the nitrofurantoins, are regularly given to pregnant women who are resistant to other antibiotics, and they include the drug Furadantin. The other group, the sulfonamides, include diuretics such as Bumetanide and Clopamide, and COX-2 painkillers such as Celecoxib.

Other antibiotics, such as penicillin, were also associated with birth defects, but the effect was negligible, say the CDC researchers. They made the discovery after analysing the records of 13,155 women who gave birth to a child with one or more defects.

(Source: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2009; 163: 978-85).


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