No Go on NSAIDS Early in Pregnancy

Motrin Advil and Aleve should not be taken during first trimester of pregnancy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Avoiding medicine unless absolutely necessary is usually advised by doctors when a woman is trying to conceive or in her first trimester. A new study validates that policy.

According to a recent Canadian study, women who are in their first trimester of pregnancy are 2.4 times more likely to miscarry if they take nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

"Avoid taking painkillers if trying to conceive or in your first trimester of pregnancy."

Dr. Anick Bérard, from the University of Montreal and the Director of the Research Unit on Medications and Pregnancy at CHU Ste-Justine reports that using NSAIDs  during early pregnancy is associated with a significantly higher risk of having a miscarriage. Their study revealed a consistently higher risk of miscarriage when diclofenac, naproxen, rofecoxib, ibuprofen and celecoxib (Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Vioxx and Naprocen are the most common) were used in the first trimester of pregnancy. Higher or lower dosage did not impact the miscarriage events.

Since the use of nonaspirin NSAIDs early in pregnancy has also been associated with major congenital malformations, the researchers recommend these medications should be used cautiously during pregnancy.

Researchers from the University of Montreal, CHU Ste-Justine, Quebec, and École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information, Rennes, France, developed a study designed to determine the risk of miscarriage associated with types and dosages of nonaspirin NSAIDs. The researchers used data from the Quebec Pregnancy Registry. They reviewed 4,705 cases of miscarriage that occurred in the first 20 weeks of gestation. Of these miscarriages, almost 8 percent took nonaspirin NSAIDs. A control group of 47,050 women who did not miscarry was established. Only close to 3 percent of the control group took nonaspirin NSAIDs

The women included in the study were 15 to 45 years old on the first day of gestation. Exposure to nonaspirin NSAIDs as defined by this study included filling at least one prescription for any of the drugs included in this review during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 7, 2011
Last Updated:
September 7, 2011