Pregnant Strep B antibiotics?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 6/11/2009 11:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I am 38 weeks pregnant and just found out I tested positive for strep b. This means my doctor wants me to take IV antibiotics to protect the baby when i start labor. I may only need 2 rounds (I hope) but I'm allergic to penicillin and I believe they want to use clindamycin. I've read that it can cause colitis like effects - which of course I have UC currently in remission and I'd like to keep it there. Anyone go through this already I'd appreciate your thoughts or if anyone, man or woman has had to take IV antibiotics for a bacterial infection - what did you take that did not kick off a flare? Last thing I want besides a baby with pneumonia or meningitis but I don't need a flare up when I'll be trying to breast feed and care for an infant either. Thanks.

D.F. 37 yrs
UC diagnosed 1992
Currently on Pentasa
Last flare treated with Pred 1 yr ago.

Diagnosed Sept 1992
Pentasa 4 grams p/day, vitamins, excercise and prayer!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 6/11/2009 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Your kind of in a tough spot. I tested strep B when preg, too, but I don't have UC (turns out the baby I delivered would though). When I showed up at the hospital I was already 9 cm so there was concern about being able to get the antibiotics in me in time. It ended up that my baby had to be treated "just in case" so the poor thing had to stay longer and get antibiotic shots in the thighs. We even had to go in for shots after she was released.

I think C.Diff is the big worry for anyone who takes antibiotics, but especially IBDers. My son w/UC recently had to take antibios. for strep throat and I came across this list while researching from

Safe and Unsafe Antibiotics
All other cephalosporins

Levoflex (also Levaquin)

Macrodantin (Macrobid)
Flagyl (metronidiazole)
Oral and IV Vancomycin

My son took a z-pack (zithromax - middle of the road) with no problems. I upped his probios for awhile during and after treatment. The web site I mentioned above also list the best probiotics to take if you do have to take antibios. As far as I know probiotics would be safe to take while pregnant/nursing, but check with your doctor.

I googled which antibios are effective for strep b and erythromycin was one that was from the "middle of the road" catagory above. You might research a bit, talk to your OB, GI, a pharmacist, etc.

I wish you the very best with your delivery, a very healthy baby, and long term continued remission!! You will be in my prayers!!

Mom of Son 17 UC dx 07/02, Lailda 2 per day, Azasan 75mg, Cortafoam (when flaring), folic acid, L. Reuteri, Culturelle, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 10 UC dx 08/07 Colazal 750mg x 3, 6MP 12.5mg, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 6/11/2009 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I tested positive for strep b as well, so had IV antibiotics during labor. My son was born three weeks early (my water broke at home, I wasn't induced). I did not have UC prior to having my son and my symptoms started about 4 weeks after giving birth. I don't think it had to do with the antibiotics, though, but rather the hormonal wackiness that happens after birth.

At any rate, I hope you find something that will protect the baby yet be as easy as possible on your gut.

Does anyone know if it's better, in terms of gut health, to have an IV antibiotic versus and oral one? I mean, it seems that since the antibiotic isn't going in your GI tract it might not kill off as many of those bacteria.
Status: Remission since late May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son.
Eased for ~3 weeks in December, possibly b/c of probiotic use?
Returned in January 2009 (with a vengeance), diagnosed with pancolitis on January 30.
Currently taking Asacol (400mg 4 pills 3x daily), Rowasa twice weekly, Culturelle probiotic, and Zoloft (25 mg).

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30213
   Posted 6/12/2009 12:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't think you have a choice in this matter!

Regarding a flare afterward...I would suggest you start rectal 5ASA retention enemas asap before you give birth and then use them afterward and taper to a lower dosage.

Pentasa is available in 2g dosages I believe.....

Are you still on the oral Pentasa?

*Heather* Status: maintenance Asacol 6 daily + Salofalk enemas every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Mamas Boys
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1460
   Posted 6/12/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   

The IV drip is no big deal.  They give you two rounds of it while you are in labor and that is it.  I took amoxil (pre UC diagnosis) and had terrible diarhea from it afterwards.  By my second, he was born so quickly - they didn't have time to give me the second round so he had to get those shots that keylime mentioned.  He didn't have to stay extra though because I did receive one round before he was born.  I would make sure to have your OB speak to your GI about which antibiotic is most UC friendly so that you will be able to minimize the symptoms after. 

As for the reason it is IV - because it is faster acting.  They can't put you on a round of oral antibiotics before because strep B is something that hangs around in your system.  Just because you take a week or 10 days worth of antibiotics before you have the baby is no guarrantee the strep b won't return before the baby is born.  So they just give the IV while in labor to guarrantee that the strep b is not there when the baby is born.  Antibiotics go straight to the blood stream and go straight to work.

Hope you have an easy labor! :)

Mamas Boys
Colazal, Azathioprine, Remicade
Culturelle, MultiVitamin, Folic Acid, Viactiv
Status: Remission!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 6/12/2009 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
fruitgirl said...
I tested positive for strep b as well, so had IV antibiotics during labor. My son was born three weeks early (my water broke at home, I wasn't induced). I did not have UC prior to having my son and my symptoms started about 4 weeks after giving birth. I don't think it had to do with the antibiotics, though, but rather the hormonal wackiness that happens after birth.

If I was a betting man(woman), I would say that the antibiotics were a major contributor to your UC symptoms. I had strep b, as well, with my first pregnancy. My symptoms started within a month of my delivery. I then discovered on my own (8 years after the initial symptoms started) that for me, my UC symptoms were fungal related (antibiotics are fungal poisons), and after following an antifungal diet and getting well, I am now symptom/drug free. I believe for me it was more than that one isolated incident (I had also taken antibiotics as a teenager), but it only takes one round of antibiotics to have fungus introduced into your system, and can then continue to grow and spread throughout your body over the years.
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