Warning issued to women taking popular over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like Nurofen and Voltaren during early pregnancy.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is already in talks with drug companies to ensure packaging labels contain warnings that include women who are trying to conceive but may not yet know they’re pregnant, reports The Age.

Current warnings on packages only relate to women who already know they are pregnant and are not mandatory for products that target period pain.

“This is relevant, as the data suggests that the risk is greatest when the medicine is taken close to the time of conception,” the TGA stated in a health advisory on Tuesday.

A TGA review into non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) confirmed the link between the use of NSAIDs, with the exception of aspirin, and the increased risk of miscarriage.

Popular NSAIDs include ibuprofren, diclofenac, mefenamic acid and naproxen, commonly sold in Australia under the names Nurofen, Voltaren, Ponstan and Naprogesic.

The incidence of spontaneous abortion for clinically recognised pregnancies up to 20 weeks gestation is considered to be 8-20%. The incidence of subclinical pregnancy is higher, ranging from 22-26% as found in studies that assessed daily urinary human chorionic gonadotrophin levels.

‘Data suggested a 5- to 7-fold increased risk of miscarriage in women taking NSAIDs around the time of conception.’

‘However, once pregnancy is established, or if pregnancy occurs despite their use, they can be continued into the second trimester (up to 32 weeks) as there are no data suggesting increased fetal malformations.’

The TGA has proposed to replace warnings on all oral non-aspirin NSAIDs with: “Do not use if likely to become pregnant, or during the first six months of pregnancy except on doctor’s advice. Do not use at all during the last three months of pregnancy.”

The change would not be implemented until late 2018 if it passes consultation.

If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, consult a health professional before using these products and consider using an alternative medicine.

We recently shared an article warning pregnant women who take paracetamol are more likely to have children with behavioural problems. Scientists found an association between mothers who took the drug in the first and third trimester of pregnancy and hyperactivity and emotional problems in their seven-year-old children.

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  • If you have access to the link why don’t you insert it?
    I think Nurofen has Aspirin in it listed as a different name. Pehaps a medical professional with appropriate title can verify or refute this.


  • I didn’t take medication during my pregnancy without consulting the GP first.


  • During one of my pregnancies, I caught a virus, couldn’t get out of bed or drink or eat. The hospital recommended Panadol. I wasn’t comfortable taking it but noticed I could get out of bed and eat and drink until the effects wore off. I still avoided it and barely touched it


  • That’s confusing, I think it’s better to steer away from nurofen and paracetamol during your whole pregnancy if you can!


  • I think all women should talk with their GP before taking any medication whilst pregnant.


  • Thanks for the article,l’m sure alot of people need to know.


  • Disappointed that you brought up the paracetamol study again. This is copy and paste, taken out of context, sensationalised article. At least add the link to the study so people can make a well rounded decision.

    • Do you know where I can get a copy of this article?


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