HealthPartners study shows commonly used antibiotic is safe during pregnancy

new study
by HealthPartners
Institute for Education and Research
answers safety questions about
the use during pregnancy of a commonly used antibiotic. The medication
is a combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamide (TMP-SUL) and is sold
under brand names including Bactrim and Septra. It is often prescribed
to treat infections including urinary tract infection, bronchitis,
pneumonia, middle ear infection and traveler’s diarrhea.

Evidence about the safety of TMP-SUL has been mixed, with some studies
suggesting that use during the first trimester is associated with
congenital malformations such as cleft palate, club foot or heart

The HealthPartners study by researcher Pam Pawloski and colleagues
looked at records for more than 7,000 infants at 11 U.S. health plans
who were exposed to TMP-SUL. Researchers compared that group to infants
who were exposed in the womb to penicillin and to infants that were not
exposed to any antibiotic. Researchers found that the rates of heart,
cleft palate, clubfoot and urinary system birth defects was relatively
small (less than 1.5 percent) and was the same for all groups. The study
is published in the Nov. 24. 2015 issue of Pharmacoepidemiology
and Drug Safety

“These results can give mothers and their providers reassurance that
this antibiotic is safe to treat some of the most common illnesses,”
said Pam Pawloski, a research investigator with HealthPartners Institute
for Education and Research. Research about health issues affecting
pregnant women and children are part of HealthPartners Children’s
Health Initiative
. It includes 10 areas of focus aimed at improving
the health and well-being of children from pregnancy to age five. It’s
Important because research shows there is a strong link between health
and well-being early in life and health and well-being later in life.

About HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research
Institute for Education and Research
is part of HealthPartners, the
largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the
nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership
with members, patients and the community.


Patricia Lund, 952-883-5487
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