By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) - Researchers say they've found a surprising link
between some common antibiotics used to treat urinary infections
and birth defects.

The new study in November's Archives of Pediatrics and
Adolescent Medicine is the first large analysis of antibiotic use
in pregnancy.

It finds that mothers of babies with birth defects were more
likely than mothers with healthy babies to report taking two types
of antibiotics during pregnancy. Those were sulfa drugs and urinary
germicides called nitrofurantoins.

The study's lead author says it's the first line between urinary
tract treatments and birth defects and will need to be confirmed by
additional studies.

However, experts note that left unchecked, the bacterial
infections also can cause problems for a fetus and say women
shouldn't avoid antibiotics entirely.

The study finds that penicillins, which are the most-used
antibiotics in early pregnancy, appear to be the safest.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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