According to a new study, a common antibiotic is linked to a higher risk of birth defects. A study was published in the medical journal BMJ that has suggested that women who are prescribed macrolides during the first three months of pregnancy have higher chances of birth defects in comparison to those who were prescribed penicillin.
Macrolides is used to treat infections and often it is prescribed when a patient is allergic to penicillin. The finding of the research is that to pregnant women this medicine increases the risk of major malformations to 28 per 1,000 births compared to 18 per 1,000 births with penicillin.
BMJ tweeted, “Children of mothers prescribed macrolide antibiotics during early pregnancy are at an increased risk of major birth defects, particularly heart defects, compared with children of mothers prescribed penicillin, finds new study http://ow.ly/wDZG50yraKM #BMJResearch.”
Data from over 104,600 children born in the U.K. was analyzed in the study from 1990 and 2016. The study did not find a connection between macrolides and neurodevelopmental disorders. Also, before conception, there was no associated risk between birth defects and macrolides prescribed.
As per the author of the study, pregnant women and their doctors need to find an alternative antibiotic based on the type of infection. A study author has also warned about the risks of not taking antibiotics at all. The author said that infection itself can be very damaging to the unborn baby as well.