Lack of risk of adverse birth outcomes after deworming in pregnant women

Theresa W. Gyorkos, Renee Larocque, Martin Casapia, Eduardo Gotuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pregnant women who live in hookworm-endemic areas may benefit from deworming during their pregnancy. The benefit derives from reducing anemia, primarily iron-deficiency anemia caused by hookworm infection-attributable blood loss. Where the prevalence of hookworm is more than 20% to 30%, the World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women receive anthelminthic treatment (mebendazole, albendazole, levamisole or pyrantel) after their first trimester. The objective of this study is to report, describe and compare the occurrence of adverse birth outcomes in a large randomized, controlled trial of antenatal mebendazole (500 mg single dose) plus iron supplements versus placebo plus iron supplements conducted between April 2003 and June 2004 in the Amazon region of Peru. METHODS: Physician-recorded data on adverse birth outcomes occurring during the trial (N = 1042) were obtained. Proportions were compared using χ analysis. RESULTS: No statistically significant difference (P = 0.664) was found between the mebendazole group and the placebo group in terms of numbers of miscarriages, malformations, stillbirths, early neonatal deaths and premature babies (28 versus 31, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The evidence provided by this large randomized, controlled trial of mebendazole administered during pregnancy indicates that deworming with mebendazole can be safely included in antenatal care programs in hookworm-endemic areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-794
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse birth outcomes
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Hookworm
  • Mebendazole
  • Pregnancy


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