Painkillers and Pregnancy Problems: The Surprising Connection

Published: September 10, 2012

In earlier newsletters I discussed how arthritis medications called NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) are likely responsible for over 30,000 preventable deaths a year. Now, new research shows that NSAIDs also more than double the risk of miscarriages when they are taken during pregnancy.

In a study of more than 50,000 pregnant women, researchers from Canada and France compared women who miscarried with women who didn't — and found those with miscarriages were 2.4 times more likely to have taken NSAIDs just prior to or during pregnancy. And many types of NSAID were implicated: diclofenac, naproxen, celecobix, ibuprofen, and refecoxib.

"The use of nonaspirin NSAIDs during early pregnancy is associated with statistically significant risk of having a spontaneous abortion," wrote the researchers. "Nonaspirin NSAIDs should be used with caution during pregnancy," they advised.

For more information, see Anti-inflammatory drugs taken in early pregnancy more than double risk of miscarriage.


"Use of nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during pregnancy and the risk of spontaneous abortion," Nakhai-Pour HR et al, Canadian Medical Association Journal. Volume:183. Issue:15. Pages: 1713-1720. DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.110454 Published: OCT 18 2011

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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