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Taking Yeast-Infection Medicines While Pregnant Could Lead to Miscarriage, FDA Warns

Photo: Jerzyworks / Masterfile / Corbis

Pregnancy is no cake walk. There’s the possibility of morning sickness, complete and utter discomfort while ambulating, sitting, or sleeping, and, of course, the restrictions on food and drink. Here’s another annoyance: Thanks to changing hormone levels, women are more susceptible to yeast infections when they’re pregnant.

Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising doctors not to give pregnant women oral drugs to treat the infections because of mounting concerns that they could increase miscarriage risk.

In 2011, the FDA warned that taking high doses of the drug fluconazole (brand name Diflucan) during most or all of the first trimester was linked to birth defects. But a study published in a January issue of JAMA found that women who took just one or two low doses in the first 22 weeks of pregnancy had a higher chance of miscarriage than women who didn’t take the drug. They also found that the risk was higher among Diflucan users compared to women using a topical azole cream.

The FDA isn’t issuing any further recommendations until they complete a full review of the data but a spokesperson said that, in the meantime, they “advise cautious prescribing of oral fluconazole in pregnancy.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that pregnant women use only topical treatments, but the Times reports that some doctors still prescribe pills for persistent infections and some women prefer them over creams.

Yeast-Infection Meds Could Lead to Miscarriage