Drug-Induced Serious Maternal and Fetal Complications in Pregnancy
Considering drug therapy for pregnant women, it is certain that almost all chemical compounds in use as therapeutic agents pass from the maternal to the fetal circulation through the placenta. These drugs can have a wide range of harmful effects on the fetus and neonate. The effects of some of the substances for which we have data reflecting a deleterious effect are listed.
It is now generally accepted that the developing fetus may be adversely affected by exposure to drugs and environmental chemicals. It is suggested that, in the future, more caution be exercised in using drugs during pregnancy and that any therapy given to the mother during gestation be recorded in detail in both obstetric and pediatric histories.
It is possible that the mother may not have a serious or long-lasting problem after using drugs. But the same is not always true for a fetus. Drug-using mothers often give birth to "drug babies," who go on to have a whole host of developmental problems.
Traditionally, the teratogenic effects of drugs have been noted as anatomical malformations. It is clear that these are related to dose and time and that the fetus is at a greater risk during the first 3 months of gestation. The purpose of this study is to raise the concept of a little known, but potentially serious, health hazard in children and adults. This refers to the ability of perinatally consumed drugs and food additives and nonprescription alternative agents to produce subtle biochemical defects that are undetectable or unrecognized in the neonate but that are expressed years, even decades, after birth.
KeywordsValproic Acid Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Infant Death Social Anxiety Disorder Trigeminal Neuralgia
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