Flu Drugs Appear Safe for Pregnant Women

DALLAS, April 30 (UPI) — A study of pregnant women found the three anti-viral drugs used to treat influenza appear safe for the women and their babies, U.S. researchers said.

“A woman has to balance the benefits and potential risks of any medication taken during pregnancy. But with influenza, the added risks of complications from the disease in pregnancy need to be considered,” senior author Dr. George Wendel of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said in a statement.

“This is the first large study that systematically looked at the safety of all these drugs in pregnancy.”

Wendel and colleagues analyzed the medical records of women who gave birth at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas from 2003 to 2008 — before H1N1 influenza.

The study compared pregnant women without flu and 239 pregnant women who had influenza and were treated with one of the flu medications Tamiflu, Relenza and Flumadine.

The study, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, found no differences in the mothers’ rates of pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, gestational diabetes, premature membrane rupture, fever during labor or prolonged hospital stay.

However, in two cases premature children had a bowel condition, necrotizing enterocolitis, but since the mothers each received a different anti-viral, the prematurity may have been the common factor between the two babies, the researchers said.

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