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Home Wellness Research Drugs in Pregnancy Antibiotics Up the Risk of Preterm Dilevery

Antibiotics Up the Risk of Preterm Dilevery

Monday, 17 November 2008 18:57
Many health-care providers routinely screen pregnant woman for trichomoniasis, because the infection has been linked with preterm delivery. However, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that the treatment for trichomoniasis -not the condition itself - may be to blame for the heightened risk of preterm delivery.

The study looked at 617 pregnant women with asymptomatic trichomoniasis. Of this group, 320 were treated with the antibiotic metronidazole and 297 were given placebo. Trichomoniasis resolved in 93.6% of women who were treated with metronidazole, compared with 35.4% of those given placebo. In total, 19.0% of the metronidazole group delivered before 37 weeks of gestation, compared with 10.7% of controls. In other words, those taking the antibiotic were at almost double the risk of preterm delivery, compared with mothers who remained untreated.

Failure of metronidazole to prevent preterm delivery among pregnant women with asymptomatic Trichomonas vaginalis infection   N Engl J Med 2001 (Aug 16);   345 (7):   487-493