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Health experts have long urged moms-to-be to think twice before taking painkillers in early pregnancy because of the higher risk of miscarriage. In addition, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen have been on pregnancy list of don'ts for years due to the increased risk of harm to the fetus when taken in later trimesters.
But now a new study suggests that much of the previous evidence has been on prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), not the over-the-counter type, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville studied "over-the-counter NSAID use among nearly 3,000 pregnant women who were part of a larger study. Overall, 43 percent said they'd used the painkillers at some point when they conceived or in their first six weeks of pregnancy. Thirteen percent of those women suffered a miscarriage during the study. However, the risk was no greater for the women who'd used NSAIDs, regardless of the number of days they took the drug," the Chicago Tribune said about the report.
The findings were first published in the July issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Despite the suggestion that such medications are not linked to miscarriage, the study's authors said "women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should ask their doctors about all medication use, including over-the-counter painkillers," according to the Chicago Tribune report.
Consult our Feel Better Safely guide for pregnancy-approved pain and allergy remedies.