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Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Could the steroid, prednisolone, help women to avoid repeated miscarriages?

How £1-a-month drug could end the misery of miscarriages
article in the Daily Mail

Extract 1:

"Thousands of women could be spared the misery of repeated miscarriages with a pill that costs just £1 a month, it emerged yesterday.

Researchers have found fresh evidence that a third of unexplained miscarriages may be caused by an overactive immune system.

They believe treatment with a common steroid, used for asthma and allergies, can curb the immune response and protect an unborn baby in the crucial early weeks of pregnancy.

The findings offer hope to around 9,000 women who have unexplained miscarriages each year in Britain.

In preliminary trials, around three-quarters of women who had a history of miscarriages had successful pregnancies after taking the steroid.

Dr Siobhan Quenby, who is carrying out the pioneering work at Liverpool University, is now beginning a larger trial to make sure the results are not simply down to the placebo effect."

Extract 2

"In a new trial which began last month, Dr Quenby plans to test these results by giving half of the women she recruits a dummy placebo and the rest a dose of the steroid.

Prednisolone’s side effects include mood swings and increased appetite.

However, most women would need to take it for just three months."

I suggest that it is important that any women who get prescribed for this problem be clearly informed that they need to cut out salt and salty food while taking this steroid drug, otherwise they are at great risk of fluid retention and consequent avoidable weight gain. - The fluid retention/weight gain is responsible for the mood swings and increased appetite and can be avoided by sticking to low salt intake. This would also lower the risk of developing many other health problems.

See Sodium in foods

and prescribed steroids and HRT

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