The Food and Drug Administration is calling for changes to the labeling of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because women who are 20 weeks pregnant or later should not take the drugs.

Taken at this point in pregnancy, NSAIDs can cause serious kidney problems in the unborn child, which in turn can lead to low amniotic fluid levels in the womb. This can lead to other pregnancy-related complications.

The drugs include:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Diclofenac
  • Celecoxib

NSAIDs are available both over the counter and in stronger doses with a prescription. They are usually used to relieve pain and lower a fever.

“It is important that women understand the benefits and risks of the drugs they can take during their pregnancy,” said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni in the statement. “To that end, the agency is using its regulator to educate women and their health care providers about the risks of using NSAIDs after about 20 weeks of gestation and beyond.” Dr. Cavazzoni is the acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

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