HealthDay News — According to a study published in CMAJ, the use of macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and metronidazole during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage.

Anick Bérard, PhD, a professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Pharmacy, and colleagues matched 8702 cases of spontaneous abortion with 87,020 controls by gestational age and year of pregnancy. 

The researchers used data from women ages 15 to 45 who were covered by Quebec’s drug insurance plan.

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The team found that 16.4% of the women who had miscarriages were exposed to antibiotics during early pregnancy, compared to 12.6% of the controls. 

Azithromycin and clarithromycin were linked to a 65% and two-fold increased risk of miscarriage, respectively. Norfloxacin was associated with more than a four-fold increased risk.

“After adjustment for potential confounders, use of macrolides (excluding erythromycin), quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and metronidazole during early pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion,” the authors write. 

“Our findings may be of use to policymakers to update guidelines for the treatment of infections during pregnancy.”


Muanda FT, Sheehy O and Bérard A. “Use Of Antibiotics During Pregnancy And Risk Of Spontaneous Abortion.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2017;189(17): E625-E633. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.161020

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