Tuesday January 28, 2020

Drug prescribed to Pregnant Women with history of delivering Premature Babies may do more Harm than Good: Study

The drug, mostly prescribed to pregnant women with a history of delivering premture babies may even increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes

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Medicines (representational Image), wikimedia

New York, March 15, 2017: A drug commonly prescribed to pregnant women with a history of delivering premature babies may do more harm than good, says a study.

Far from providing any benefit, this drug — known by the brand name Makena — may even increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes, said the study published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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“Our study showed the drug to be ineffective, and it has a side effect,” said first author of the study David Nelson, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UT Southwestern) in the US.

The drug, a synthetic progestogen hormone called 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 to treat women at risk of delivering a second premature baby.

The FDA gave the drug accelerated approval in part due to findings in a 2003 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine that the drug reduced the likelihood of a repeat preterm delivery.

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However, Makena has been a source of debate among doctors because of the questions raised about the 2003 findings.

Earlier research findings on the benefit of 17-OHPC have been mixed, said Kenneth Leveno, senior author of the study and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern.

In the newly published study, pregnant women treated at Parkland Memorial Hospital, were offered the drug 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHPC) if they had a prior history of premature births and were carrying a single fetus.

The research took place from 2012 to 2016 and followed 430 women treated with the drug.

Researchers then compared the premature birth rate of those women with the historical premature birth rate of 5,787 patients seen at Parkland between 1988 and 2011 — women who also had a history of premature delivery but never took the drug.

Of the women in the study group who took the drug, 25 per cent had a premature delivery.

That compared with a 16.8 per cent preterm birth rate in the historical nondrug group.

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The rate of gestational diabetes was 13.4 per cent in women treated with the drug, compared with eight per cent in the other group, the study found.

Gestational diabetes often goes away after the birth, and therefore is not usually a serious problem for the mother, Nelson said.

However, it can lead to deliveries of larger babies and increased chances for cesarean sections and other birth complications. (IANS)

 

Next Story

Here’s how Low-Dose Aspirin may Help Mothers Lower the Risk of Preterm Birth

Low-dose of aspirin regularly can help mothers lower the risk of preterm delivery

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Low-dose aspirin therapy in early pregnancy could provide an inexpensive way to lower the preterm birth rate in first-time mothers. Pixabay

Daily low-dose aspirin, from as early as the sixth week of pregnancy through the 36th week, may lower the risk of preterm birth among first-time mothers, suggest the results of a clinical trial which involved women from several low and middle-income countries, including India.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet, involved more than 11,000 women. The results showed that women taking daily low-dose aspirin were 11 per cent less likely to deliver before the 37th week of pregnancy, compared to those given a placebo.

“Our results suggest that low-dose aspirin therapy in early pregnancy could provide an inexpensive way to lower the preterm birth rate in first-time mothers,” said study author Marion Koso-Thomas of the US National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Preterm birth is the most common cause of infant death and the leading cause of long-term neurological disability in children.

According to the study authors, advances in newborn care have improved survival for preterm infants, but this care is limited or unavailable in many parts of the world.

Earlier studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening blood pressure disorder of pregnancy.

Aspirin pregnancy
Earlier studies have suggested that low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening blood pressure disorder of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, these studies were not large enough to statistically determine the therapy’s effectiveness in reducing preterm birth. The researchers enrolled 11,976 women with a first-time pregnancy from seven sites in India, Pakistan, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala and Kenya.

Roughly half were assigned at random to receive 81 milligrams of aspirin daily; the other group received a daily placebo. Women were included in the study only if they maintained a pregnancy for more than 20 weeks.

Preterm birth (before 37 weeks) occurred in 11.6 per cent of the women who took aspirin and in 13.1 per cent of the women who took the placebo. Similarly, birth before 34 weeks (early preterm delivery) occurred in 3.3 per cent of the aspirin group and 4 per cent of the placebo group (a 25 per cent reduction).

Women in the aspirin group also had a lower rate of perinatal mortality (stillbirth or newborn death in the first seven days of life), compared to the placebo group (45.7 per 1,000 births vs 53.6 per 1,000 births).

Also Read- Here’s Why Yogurt Consumption May Help in Avoiding Breast Cancer Risk

The risk of high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy at term did not differ significantly between the groups. The low cost and safety of low-dose aspirin therapy suggests that it could be easily adapted for wide-scale use, suggested the study authors. (IANS)