Infection during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child. However, a recent large-scale study linking popular antibiotics such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin) to an increased risk of birth defects suggests that doctors must be especially careful when determining which antibiotics to prescribe to pregnant patients.
Conducted by Canadian researchers at the University of Montreal and published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in July 2017, the study followed nearly 140,000 mothers whose babies were born in Quebec between 1998 and 2008, tracking their antibiotic use during the first trimester and birth defects diagnosed in their babies' first year of life. The study identified fluoroquinolone antibiotics in the quinolones class as particularly hazardous to developing fetuses and recommended that women avoid these drugs completely during pregnancy. Quinolones such as Cipro, Levaquin, and Floxin (ofloxacin) are broad-spectrum synthetic antibiotics commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other bacterial infections.
The University of Montreal study also linked an increased risk of congenital defects to the use of a number of other widely used antibiotics, including:
- Avelox (moxifloxacin)
- Penicillin V
Fortunately, there are safer options for expectant mothers. The study did not see an increase in birth defects among babies whose mothers used amoxicillin, nitrofurantoin, or cephalosporin class drugs.
Birth defects are considered common in the United States where, each year, approximately 120,000 babies are born with at least one congenital malformation. While some birth defects can be relatively minor, others can severely impact a child's development and quality of life, requiring costly, lifelong medical care.
Birth Injury Lawyers You Can Trust
If your baby was born with a birth defect you believe was caused by taking a quinolone antibiotic like Cipro or Levaquin during your first trimester, you and your child may be entitled to compensation from the drug's manufacturer.
Contact Holton Law Firm today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the detail of your potential antibiotic birth defects case. Or, request a copy of our free eBook, Answers to Parents' Questions About Birth Injuries, for more information.