A review on the impact of analgesic use during pregnancy on stillbirth

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Article type :

Review Article

Author :

Girish B S*, Joel M Johns, Meghana C S, Rakshitha H R, Vineela Nekkanti

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Abstract :

Stillbirth is a tragic complication of the pregnancy which is associated with emotional, social and economic disturbances. Stillbirth can be a result of advanced maternal age, smoking, obesity, comorbid conditions, poor economic status, drug use during pregnancy, etc. Though evidences suggest a number of factors contributing to stillbirth, use of analgesics adds an extra burden for the occurrence of stillbirth. Every drug has its own set of pros and cons, which may directly or indirectly affect the foetal health. Drug exposure was associated with the two-fold increased risk of stillbirth in pregnancy. Due to lack of significant evidence suggesting the occurrence of stillbirth which is a result of analgesic use, control over the use of analgesics during pregnancy is not well established. Hence, in the current literature review, the risk of analgesic-induced stillbirth is highlighted. The misuse of analgesics as over-the-counter medicines is widely known. Painkillers are often used to self-medicate without the supervision of a medical practitioner. Some of these drugs tend to cross the placental barrier and can have hazardous effects on foetus. Many circumstances might drive a pregnant woman to use analgesics which includes pain associated with the adaptation of mother’s body to the change during pregnancy. Due to ease of access and lack of knowledge about foetal risk, analgesics are consumed irrationally leading to pregnancy-related complications such as stillbirth.  

Keyword :

Analgesic, Pregnancy, Stillbirth, NSAID, Opioid, Drug use.
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