Antibiotics for UTI when pregnant are sometimes a necessary evil. However, some are better than others.
Recent research published in CMAJ on May 1, 2017, reveals interesting findings of taking antibiotics when expecting. Some findings were surprising, while others have confirmed the long-standing opinion about potential side-effects of taking antibiotics when pregnant.
Finding #1: Antibiotics are associated with 60% increase in the risk of miscarriage
Every pregnant woman (before the 20th week of pregnancy) regardless of whether she takes antibiotics or not, has about 5-6% chance of miscarriage. When you take antibiotics during early stages of pregnancy it seems to increase the risk up to 9-10%.
However, it is hard to say what increases your risk more: the underlying infection or the antibiotic treatment.
Finding # 2: Some antibiotics are better than others
According to the findings, the following antibiotic groups are associated with an increased risk of miscarriage:
- macrolides (excluding erythromycin),
These are the drug names that you should remember and avoid/ask for an alternative if taking antibiotics for UTI when pregnant:
- amoxicillin–potassium clavulanate
The findings reveal that the following antibiotics have not been connected with an increased risk of miscarriage:
- Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid). (Read more: 4 reasons why you want Macrobid for your UTI treatment)
Surprisingly, use of nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) was associated with a lower risk of miscarriage. However, since this was the first study to come across this unusual finding, further research is necessary to confirm the link between Macrobid and lower risk of spontaneous abortion.