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The results of a Canadian study demonstrate an increased risk of birth defects in babies whose mothers used NSAIDs during the first trimester of pregnancy. NSAIDs, which include Aleve, Advil, Vioxx and Celebrex, are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat pain and inflammation. The study found that “women who filled NSAID prescriptions early in pregnancy had more than twice the risk for any congenital defect,” particularly heart defects. While there are well-documented effects of NSAIDs on the fetus late in pregnancy, risks in the early stages of pregnancy are less well defined. The study is reported in the September issue of Birth Defects Research Part B.

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