Government confirms link between anti-inflammatory meds and miscarriage

woman's hand with pills

The Australian Government’s Department of Health has issued a statement warning of the risks of using a number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) close to conception and during pregnancy.

Poor labelling and risk of miscarriage

Women who may be treating period pain with these drugs, not realising they are pregnant are at particular risk, the warning says.

The warning also addresses the issue of inconsistent advisory labelling across a number of commonly used products.

The government is seeking to improve this labelling to further clarify which medications women should consider avoiding.

Which drugs are potentially risky?

The Department of Health has flagged the following as NSAIDs – stating that all but aspirin pose a risk to pregnant mums. The jury is still out on the safety of aspirin.

  • aspirin
  • celecoxib
  • diclofenac
  • etoricoxib
  • flurbiprofen
  • ibuprofen
  • indometacin (previously known as indomethacin)
  • ketoprofen
  • ketorolac trometamol
  • mefenamic acid
  • meloxicam
  • naproxen
  • parecoxib
  • piroxicam
  • sulindac

Approach with caution

The Department of Health offered the following advice to women who may be considering using any of the above medications:

“Use of non-aspirin NSAIDs is known to be associated with an increase in the risk of miscarriage, particularly when taken close to the time of conception.

“If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, consult a health professional before using these products and consider using an alternative medicine.

“If you use any over-the-counter medicine, always read the label and follow the instructions.”

Seek professional advice

If you’re concerned about the safety of any medication you are considering, please consult your preferred health professional for up-to-date, accurate advice.

Find full details of the NSAIDs warning at the Department Of Health website.

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