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Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant are warned by The Food and Drug Administration that the oral prescription drug Diflucan (also known as fluconazole), which is used to treat yeast infections, has been linked to increased risk of miscarriages. The warning is based on findings from a Danish study.
But the agency is evaluating the study for now and says the increased risk is only a possibility. It has not reached conclusions.
"FDA is also reviewing additional data and will communicate final conclusions and recommendations when the review is complete," the agency stated. Currently Diflucan labels do not include warnings about abnormalities associated with ingestion of the yeast infection treatment in small doses.
But the Swedish study suggests otherwise and the FDA may yet revise its conclusions. For now, the agency states, "Patients who are pregnant or actively trying to get pregnant should talk to their health care professionals about alternative treatment options for yeast infections."
It should be noted that the agency indicates an awareness of an increased risk of miscarriage with high doses of the drug Diflucan already. This, coupled with the Danish study, seems to suggest that an alternative treatment is advisable whatever the agency ultimately concludes. Luckily, alternatives do exist.
The alarming thing about this alert is that yeast infections are especially likely to occur in pregnant women, which means that the potentially at-risk group has higher chances of taking the potentially dangerous drug.
Lauren Streicher, M.D., an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, spoke to Self about the FDA warning. She recommends visiting a doctor to confirm infection and to seek appropriate treatment. She also points out that yeast infections are often misdiagnosed when people decide to treat themselves topically without seeing a doctor. While the FDA is only urging caution against Diflucan, Wider recommends steering clear of other oral medications to treat yeast infections to be safe.
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