Painkillers ‘double the risk of miscarriage’

Women who take any amount of ibuprofen in early pregnancy could have more than double the risk of having a miscarriage.

The painkillers belong to a class of substances which are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which experts now say increase the risk of miscarriage in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Previous studies have shown inconsistent results when examining the effect of NSAIDs on pregnancy.

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The new study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal examined a number of commonly-used NSAIDs which included ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac.

The research found that women who took any type, and any dose, of NSAID had a 2.4 times higher risk of miscarriage than those who did not use any.

Overall, 4,705 cases of miscarriage were analysed, of which 352 (7.5 per cent) involved women taking NSAIDs.

Women in the entire sample were aged 15 to 45, and they were compared with women of a similar age who did not suffer a miscarriage (of which 2.6 per cent had been exposed to NSAIDs).