A Recent report from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) announced a link between frequently used yeast infection treatment medications with the risk of miscarriages and birth defects. This shocking announcement came forth on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Caution should be exercised by all physicians when prescribing oral pills for the treatment of yeast infection in women that are pregnant said the FDA.
Pregnant women are already susceptible to yeast infections due to the hormonal changes in their body. Reports show that approximately 10 percent of pregnant women encounter yeast infections. Fortunately, these yeast infection treatment pills are not commonly prescribed to the pregnant women in the United States.
However, the JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) published a Danish study of the pregnant woman in January. The report revealed the pregnant woman of the study group to have taken one to two doses of Fluconazole (brand name Diflucan) at 150 milligrams each, which was not considered worrisome by the agency.
The study also included medical records of 1.4 million pregnancies over a 17-year span in Denmark. Findings revealed that approximately of 3,300 women who took fluconazole from seven to 22 weeks of gestation, roughly 150 miscarried. This means that women who took the drug during the first 22 weeks of pregnancy had a considerably higher risk of miscarriage than those who did not.
“FDA is evaluating the results of a Danish study that concludes there is a possible increased risk of miscarriage with the use of oral fluconazole (Diflucan) for yeast infections, we are also reviewing additional data and will communicate our final conclusions and recommendations when our review is complete,” the agency said in a statement.
Lindsay Meyer, a spokesperson for the FDA released an email message stating “until F.D.A.’s review is complete and more is understood about this study and other available data, we advise cautious prescribing of oral fluconazole in pregnancy,”
Only topical azole products for the treatment of yeast infections during pregnancy is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Due to the commonality of yeast infections, various treatments including over the counter medications be it creams, or suppositories are available. With that in mind, the FDA recommends that pregnant women should talk to their healthcare professionals about alternative treatments for fluconazole.
Naturally, the manufacturer of fluconazole refute the findings. Rachel Hooper, a spokeswoman for Pfizer, the maker of fluconazole, said in an email that the drug “has a well-established benefit risk profile supported by more than 25 years of patient experience.”