Malaria in early pregnancy significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, but taking antimalarial drugs is relatively safe and reduces this risk.
That’s the finding of the largest ever study to assess the effects of malaria and its treatment in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Despite the risks of malaria for pregnant women, there is very little published evidence on the effects of malaria and taking antimalarial drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy.
This is in part because antenatal clinic services are often unavailable in the rural tropics, and also because pregnant women are usually excluded from clinical trials of new drugs due to the risks of side-effects. No randomised controlled trial has ever been carried out on how best to treat malaria in the first trimester.