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A Dangerous Combination

Oh, the joys of pregnancy! Baby blankets, booties and bottles abound in anticipation of the new little bundle. Unfortunately, so do fatigue, swelling, and aches and pains. But before reaching for an over-the-counter pain reliever, take heed: Researchers have found that some pain relievers can induce miscarriage.

Researchers interviewed 1,055 pregnant women immediately following conception and up to five months into their pregnancies. (Miscarriage is defined as a natural abortion that occurs prior to 20 weeks gestation.) Participants were asked about their prenatal use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including inbuprofen, naproxen, or combination thereof (i.e., Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn); drugs containing aspirin (i.e., baby aspirin, Alka Seltzer, Excedrin, Soma); and paracetamol (acetaminophen)-containing drugs (i.e., Tylenol products, Theraflu, Triaminic, Vicodin).

Results: The study concluded that NSAID use was associated with an 80 percent increased risk for miscarriage; the association was even higher if NSAIDs were used around the time of conception or if use lasted for longer than one week. The use of aspirin was associated with a similar outcome; however the use of acetaminophen was not associated with increased risk, regardless of timing and duration of use.

Pregnant women can ease their pain and discomfort in ways that do not involve taking pills. A doctor of chiropractic can recommend a course of therapy that can help alleviate many of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy discomfort.

To learn more about the benefits of regular chiropractic care during pregnancy, visit


Li DK, Liu L, Odouli R. Exposure to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during pregnancy and risk of miscarriage: population based cohort study. British Medical Journal, Aug. 16, 2003: 327(368).