In light of a report that some antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections (UTI) during pregnancy can have adverse effects, maternal fetal medicine specialists at Akron Children’s Hospital remind pregnant women to always ask questions about medications they’re being prescribed.
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 2 specific antibiotics linked to increased risk for birth defects when taken during the first trimester are being prescribed to women who are suffering from UTIs. Safer alternatives may exist for some women.
Commonly prescribed antibiotics nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole under the brand names Bactrim and Macrobid should be avoided, if possible, during the first trimester of a pregnancy, said Jennifer Luli, certified nurse practitioner, Akron Children’s Hospital Maternal Fetal Medicine.
“Pregnant women need to advocate for themselves and discuss with their providers whether there’s another alternative before being prescribed one of these antibiotics,” Luli said. “Both are commonly dispensed, but they’re better used in the second and third trimester. They can be safe, however, and they’re still considered appropriate when no other options are available.”
About 8% of pregnant women will contract a UTI, which can cause serious complications for mothers and their babies, according to Elizabeth C. Ailes, PhD, from the CDC.
Luli encourages patients to alert their providers when they are, or may be pregnant. Physicians, meanwhile, should also ask patients if they’re pregnant before prescribing certain medications.
The Maternal Fetal Medicine practice at Akron Children’s Hospital offers expecting mothers the highest level of care, with a variety of treatments and services in the fields of prenatal care, genetic counseling, fetal diagnosis and management of high-risk pregnancies. Providers manage complications in pregnancies and provides families with support and a plan of care to deliver a healthy baby.
Maternal Fetal Medicine providers are located in Akron Children’s Hospital facilities in Akron, Canton, Kent, Mansfield, Medina and Norwalk.