Antibiotics While Pregnant: Is it Safe?

Suzanne Murray

pillsThe last thing you need is get sick when you're pregnant. But if you do get, say, a sinus infection, is it okay to take antibiotics?

Experts say that "most antibiotics appear safe" during pregnancy.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied data of more than 13,000 women whose babies had birth defects and compared their antibiotic use before and during pregnancy with 5,000 women whose babies did not have birth defects.

Here's what they found about specific drugs:

Penicillins, erythromycins, and cephalosporins weren't associated with many birth defects: two cases of birth defects were associated with erythromycins; and penicillins and cephalosporins were associated with one case each.

Sulfonamides and nitrofurantoins (often used to treat urinary tract infections) were problematic: these drugs were associated with several defects, according to the researchers, and need additional scrutiny.

The researchers stress that the findings don't necessarily show cause and effect, and that more research is needed.

(This is general advice, check with your own health professional with any questions while pregnant.)

Have you taken antibiotics during your pregnancy?

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