In Britain a study was conducted on the usefulness of the antibiotic metronidazole. This is because in England around 42,500 babies are born before their full term (22-36 weeks). Western Europe has the highest number of under weigh babies.
This dug was prescribed usually to pregnant women to reduce the risk of premature babies. In a single week there were twenty premature babies born due to the use of this antibiotic. This antibiotic was usually administered to prevent the risk of premature birth.
The baby charity Tommy's clinic conducted this study. It found that this drug instead of reducing the risk of premature deliveries increased or rather doubled the chances of premature babies in pregnant women.
But the results shocked the entire medical community. Andrew Shennan, professor of obstetrics at St Thomas's Hospital, London said that previously the usage of the drug metronidazole was recommended by many organizations but now they have stopped the usage of this drug.
Women who are at a risk of delivering a premature baby are asked to take a vaginal infection. This itself poses a great threat for a premature delivery. In case of other problems infections during pregnancy are picked up in the hospitals during various tests. In all these cases the antibiotic metronidazole is prescribed.
Prof Shennan and colleagues showed that the number of premature babies born due to this drug was close to 1000 and about one in 200 pregnant women are given the antibiotic.
In conclusion the doctors said that this drug will no longer be used as a preventive measure and other alternate drugs will be administered. Hence further research is necessary so that a complete ban on such drugs can be levied.