Bringing a new life into the world is one of the highest responsibilities and best feelings bestowed upon a woman. In addition to creating a new life, giving birth allows a woman to step into motherhood, which is regarded as the greatest joy of being a woman. Unfortunately, not all women who get pregnant end up giving birth, resulting in immeasurable grief and pain. There are various reasons that may lead to complications during childbirth, but in a world where we have a pill for almost all disorders, medicines are among the top causes of miscarriage.
Belonging to the macrolide class of medicine which are natural substances that have both antifungal and antibacterial properties. Azithromycin is linked to an increased risk of pregnancy complications. It is reported that the risk of spontaneous abortion increases up to 65% with azithromycin. This compound was discovered in 1980 by Pliva, a Croatian pharmaceutical company. Later, Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical company, and Pliva signed a licensing agreement, and Pfizer started selling azithromycin in both the United States and western Europe. It works by killing the bacteria; however, it isn’t useful against flu and viral infections. Still, in 2010, it became the most prescribed medication for outpatients in the United States. Besides the risks posed to pregnant women, azithromycin can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Overdose of this medicine can lead to abnormal heart rhythms.
Brand Name: Zithromax
Celecoxib is an analgesic that is both a COX-2 inhibitor and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Cyclooxygenase or COX-2 is an enzyme that causes inflammation and pain in the body. This enzyme was discovered by Daniel L. Simmons in 1988 at Brigham Young University. Later, the first COX-2 inhibitor was developed in 1991 by Brigham Young University in association with Monsanto. As for celecoxib, it was created in 2003. In 2001, Pfizer, the company that designed this medicine, released data following the clinical trials; however, FDA pointed out that crucial information regarding side effects was missing from that data. This led to investigation and lawsuits. Despite that, it is available in the form of tablets and capsules. It is largely used to treat pain caused by menstruation, arthritis, and the musculoskeletal system. Celecoxib can cause kidney failure, anaphylaxis, increased heart rate, and miscarriage. For this reason, it is strictly prohibited for people with cardiovascular diseases and pregnant women.
Brand Name: Celebrex
It is mostly used to treat conditions that are caused by bacterial infections, such as strep throat, skin infection, and respiratory tract infection. Additionally, it may also be administered to patients with Helicobacter pylori and Lyme disease. Since it belongs to the macrolide class, it works similar to azithromycin, i.e., by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Clarithromycin was developed with the goal of creating a macrolide antibiotic that doesn’t cause instability of the gastric acids which was a common side effect of erythromycin, the first-ever macrolide antibiotic. Finally, Taisho Pharmaceutical from Japan developed clarithromycin in 1980. Similar to azithromycin, it is also linked with an increased risk of miscarriage. Besides that, it can also cause diarrhea, vomiting, and oral and vaginal yeast infection.
Brand Name: Biaxin
Available as both immediate-release and extended-release tablets, as well as an oral suspension, this medicine belongs to the category of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and it is used in the treatment of infections that are caused by pathogenic bacteria. It is frequently used in the treatment of urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and more. Not only it is listed as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization but they have also declared it a critically important medicine. It should be noted that, while it works nicely against bacterial infections, it isn’t useful against viral infections. Although ciprofloxacin tablets were approved for sale in 1987, the sales were mediocre at best; however, as soon as an intravenous formula was introduced, the sales of this medicine reached 2 billion euros. As for the side effects, it can cause not only pain in the muscles and joints but also in the nervous system because it can cross the blood-brain barrier. When it comes to pregnancy, physicians are divided between the use of this medicine. Some suggest that it is safe during pregnancy, others claim that it can cause heavy bleeding, and even patients have claimed to experience intense pain and spontaneous abortion upon taking ciprofloxacin.
Brand Name: Floxip
Diclofenac is also a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is mostly used to relieve pain in conditions like arthritis, polymyositis, dental issues, temporomandibular joint, and other pains that are caused by inflammation. Additionally, it is also prescribed to cancer patients as long-term analgesia, as its effects last anywhere from five to eight hours. It works by reducing the production of hormones that cause inflammation. Diclofenac is available in the form of tablets, injections, suppository, and ointments. It was first sold in the United States in 1988, despite it being patented in 1965. Interestingly, there are over 10 million Americans that have a prescription for this medicine. Some of the most frequently experienced adverse effects of diclofenac are gastrointestinal bleeding and cardiovascular complications. Previously, it was believed that it didn’t cause any harm to the mother or the fetus; however, studies show that diclofenac significantly boosts the risk of miscarriage. Even if abortion doesn’t occur, the unborn child is observed to develop kidney diseases.
Brand Name: Moufen
Ibuprofen was discovered in 1961, and its discovery is credited to an English pharmacist, Stewart Adams, and John Nicholson, an Irish military officer working for the East India company. Presently, the World Health Organization has enlisted it as an essential medicine. Shockingly, each year ibuprofen is prescribed to 21 million people in the United States, despite it being available as an over-the-counter medicine. Similar to other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ibuprofen inhibits the body from producing prostaglandin, which is responsible for the secretion of the COX-2 enzyme that causes inflammation. Ibuprofen can cause nausea, dyspepsia, diarrhea, constipation, and fluid retention. Similar to diclofenac, ibuprofen is linked with kidney failure in an unborn child. As for the pregnancy, physicians consider ibuprofen to be relatively safe for up to 15 weeks in pregnancy; however, it is not recommended after that period as it is linked with spontaneous abortion.
Brand Name: Advil
The most frequent use of this medicine is in the treatment of ulcers caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is also used to induce labor, help with the passage of a miscarriage, and post-partum bleeding. Misoprostol works by making the cervix dilated and soft. Pregnant women are strictly advised to not take this medicine, as it is known to cause miscarriage. Moreover, in Brazil, women often use it for self-induced abortion. Surprisingly, it is illegal in Brazil, and it is sold at the price of USD 100, whereas it is $2 for a pill in the United States. Some of the side effects of misoprostol are diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and headaches. It should be noted that people with asthma or who are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should not administer this medicine because it can result in hemorrhage and pelvic infections.
Brand Name: Cytotec
Naproxen is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine that is frequently used to relieve pain caused by menstruation, inflammatory diseases, and fever. It is one of the most used over-the-counter medicine for pain, and in 2019, there were 11 million prescriptions of naproxen in the United States. Interestingly, it also has veterinary uses, as it is commonly administered in horses by mouth as a painkiller. Additionally, it is also used to fight equine exertional rhabdomyolysis in horses, a type of disease that breaks down muscles. As for its adverse effects during pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage along with bleeding, especially if the user has been taking naproxen for a long time. Other common side effects include dizziness, headache, heartburn, stomachache, and stomach ulcers.
Brand Name: Aleve
This medicine is based on thalidomide, which is a compound that was discovered in 1994, and it has been used in the treatment of cancer. Interestingly, pomalidomide was only approved in 2013, and it is prescribed to people with multiple myeloma who have already received two chemotherapies and show a sign of progression. Myeloma is cancer that develops within the plasma cells. After pomalidomide is administered, it enhances the immune cells’ ability to kill abnormal kills in the bone marrow. Physicians recommended that women should not try to get pregnant if they are taking pomalidomide as it can cause stillbirth along with other birth complications. Additionally, it is also recommended that if someone is using pomalidomide, they must abstain from intercourse.
Brand Name: Pomalid
The only blood thinner on this list, warfarin is commonly used to inhibit clotting of the blood and strokes. Interestingly, cows can be thanked for the development of this medicine. Cattle were dying due to an unknown disease in the 1920s, and as veterinarians try to perform procedures on them, cows begin to hemorrhage. Frank Schofield, a Canadian veterinary pathologist, noticed that cows that ate silage with a certain type of mold remained well. Many experiments were conducted following that, and finally, in 1948, Karl Link, an American biochemist, synthesized warfarin. It is known to cause bleeding and deterioration of bone mineral density. As for pregnancy, it can induce miscarriage along with stillbirth and bleeding in the fetus. It works by signaling the liver to stop the production of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.
Brand Name: Coumadin