A common oral medication used to treat vaginal yeast infections may increase the risk of miscarriage if taken during pregnancy, a study claims. While topical treatments are first line for pregnant women with fungal infections, oral fluconazole is often used during pregnancy, according to the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Researchers from the University of Montreal in Canada looked at data on 441,949 pregnancies from the Quebec Pregnancy Cohort between 1998 and 2015. They found that taking oral fluconazole was linked to adverse outcomes.
"Our study shows that taking any dose of oral fluconazole while pregnant may be associated with a higher chance of miscarriage," said Anick Berard from the University of Montreal.
"Taking higher doses of fluconazole over 150 mg in early pregnancy may be linked to a higher chance of a newborn with a heart defect," Berard said. The study is consistent with other studies, although more research is needed as the study sizes are still small.
"The study re-emphasises safe prescribing practices in pregnancy, which include confirming the correct diagnosis and then choosing the safest medication with the largest body of data in pregnancy at the lowest appropriate doses," said researchers from British Columbia Women's Hospital and Health Centre.