The Zika virus outbreak has sparked a massive media campaign to warn women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant about the dangers of exposure. The ongoing efforts, which we have written about before, are intended to reduce the risk of birth defect or miscarriage. Now, a new study has spurred the US Food & Drug Administration to investigate a risk factor from an entirely different quarter that may be far more prevalent.
Pregnancy is risky even without complications
The wonder of pregnancy is at odds with the reality; every major system in the body is affected, and those changes leave pregnant women more susceptible to certain kinds of infections. Hormone level changes make yeast infections in the vaginal area more likely, and most doctors turn to a trusted cure for the common complaint. Fluconazole (brand name Diflucan) is an “azole antifungal,” and is extremely effective at eliminating fungal infections. The drug does so by interfering with the way new fungal cells form. Apparently, however, it interferes with much more.
The remedy is worse than the disease
“In this nationwide cohort study in Denmark, use of oral fluconazole in pregnancy was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of spontaneous abortion compared with risk among unexposed women and women with topical azole exposure in pregnancy. Until more data on the association are available, cautious prescribing of fluconazole in pregnancy may be advisable. Although the risk of stillbirth was not significantly increased, this outcome should be investigated further” (emphasis ours).
That Diflucan increases the risk of spontaneous abortion is equally worrisome to the concern that drove the study: “Vaginal candidiasis is common during pregnancy. Although intravaginal formulations of topical azole antifungals are first-line treatment for pregnant women, oral fluconazole is often used despite limited safety information” (emphasis ours). If your doctor is prescribing medication during your pregnancy that has not been fully approved for use during pregnancy, you and your unborn child are the victims of medical negligence.
Losing a child is never easy, but losing a child because of a medical mistake is devastating. If you believe that your doctor took unnecessary risks during your pregnancy, or if you were prescribed oral Diflucan while pregnant, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced and compassionate Nashville birth injury attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Visit our offices in Nashville, Gallatin, or Knoxville, call 615.246.5549 or contact us today for a free consultation.