Pregnant women who take an antifungal medication used to treat vaginal yeast infections are at a higher risk of having a miscarriage compared to women not taking the drug.
Although the increased risk was only slightly higher, a new study is the second one to show a link between oral fluconazole and miscarriage. In a 2016 study, women who used the oral version of fluconazole had a slightly higher risk of miscarriage than those who used the topical version.
Researchers looked at the medical records of 320,000 pregnant women in Quebec. Women who took oral fluconazole had a miscarriage rate of 12% compared to 6% for women who never took the drug, according to findings published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Women who took fluconazole had an increased miscarriage risk whether they took the low-dose or high-dose pill.
In a commentary to the study, Drs. Vanessa Paquette and Chelsea Elwood, both of the British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, wrote: “The study re-emphasises safe prescribing practices in pregnancy, which include confirming the correct diagnosis and then choosing the safest medication with the largest body of data in pregnancy at the lowest appropriate doses.”