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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Obstetrics - Public Health and Epidemiology - Women's Health

Spontaneous Abortion and a Diet Drug Containing Caffeine and Ephedrine: A Study within the Danish National Birth Cohort
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012
Author: Penelope P. Howards et al.

by Penelope P. Howards, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Bodil H. Bech, Ellen A. Nohr, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Charles Poole, Jørn Olsen

Background

Medications may be consumed periconceptionally before a woman knows she is pregnant. In this study, the authors evaluate the association of a prescription diet drug (Letigen) containing ephedrine (20 mg) and caffeine (200 mg) with spontaneous abortion (SAB) in the Danish National Birth Cohort.

Methods

Women were recruited during their first prenatal visit from 1996–2002. Pre-conception and early pregnancy medication use was reported on the enrollment form, and pregnancy outcome was determined by linking the mother's Civil Registration Number to the Medical Birth Registry and the National Hospital Discharge Register. Of 97,903 eligible pregnancies, 4,443 ended in SAB between 5 and 20 completed gestational weeks, inclusive. Letigen use was reported for 565 pregnancies. Cox regression models accounting for left truncation were fit to estimate the effect of pre-conception and early pregnancy Letigen use on SAB.

Principal Findings

The estimated maternal age-adjusted hazard ratio for SAB was 1.1 (95% confidence interval 0.8–1.6) for any periconceptional Letigen use compared to no periconceptional use.

Conclusions

Although Letigen has high levels of caffeine (the recommended 3 pills/day are approximately equivalent to caffeine from 6 cups of coffee), periconceptional use does not appear to be associated with an appreciably increased hazard of clinically recognized SAB.

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