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.: Home > International Journal of Medical Sciences > 2005 > Volume 2 Number 3 > Ferenc Bلnhidy1, R.Brian Lowry2 and Andrew E. Czeizel3

Risk and Benefit of Drug Use During Pregnancy

Ferenc Bلnhidy1, R.Brian Lowry2 and Andrew E. Czeizel3
1 Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Semmelweis University, School of Medicine, Budapest, Hungary 2 Department of Medical Genetics, University of Calgary and Alberta, Children’s Hospital Calgary, Canada 3 Foundation for the Community Control of Hereditary Diseases, Budapest, Hungary
Abstract :

Environmental teratogenic factors (e.g. alcohol) are preventable. We focus our analysis on  human teratogenic drugs which are not used frequently during pregnancy. The previous human teratogenic studies had serious methodological problems, e.g. the first trimester concept is outdated because environmental teratogens cannot induce congenital abnormalities in the first month of gestation. In addition, teratogens usually cause specific congenital abnormalities or
syndromes. Finally, the importance of chemical structures, administrative routes and reasons for treatment at the evaluation of medicinal products was not considered. On the other hand, in the so-called case-control epidemiological studies in general recall bias was not limited. These biases explain that the teratogenic risk of drugs is exaggerated, while the benefit of medicine use during pregnancy is underestimated. Thus, a better balance is needed between the risk and benefit of drug treatments during pregnancy. Of course, we have to do our best to reduce the risk of teratogenic drugs as much as possible, however, it is worth stressing the preventive effect of drugs for maternal diseases (e.g. diabetes mellitus and hyperthermia) related congenital abnormalities.

Keywords :
human teratogenic drugs, congenital abnormalities, critical period, recall bias, congenital abnormality, preventive effect of drugs.

Date Deposited : 03 Aug 2011 10:34

Last Modified : 03 Aug 2011 10:34

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Volume 2, Number 3, - 2005 , ISSN 1449-1907

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