Commonly Used Antibiotics for UTIs Deemed Safe in Pregnancy

June 21, 2011

In 2009, it was suggested by researchers from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study that nitrofurans and sulfonamides, antibiotics commonly used for the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs), may increase the risk of birth defects when taken during the first trimester.

In 2009, it was suggested by researchers from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study that nitrofurans and sulfonamides, antibiotics commonly used for the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs), may increase the risk of birth defects when taken during the first trimester. Despite this warning, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in a new Committee Opinion, have deemed these two antibiotics appropriate to use when there is no suitable alternative, even in the first trimester.1 In the second and third trimesters, when the potential risk for nitrofurans and sulfonamides to cause birth defects is less, these agents should be considered first-line treatment for UTIs.

References:

Reference
1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee opinion no. 494: sulfonamides, nitrofurantoin, and risk of birth defects. Obstet Gynecol. 2011;117:1484-1485.