Navigation Links
Some prescription meds can harm fetus

Montreal, November 17, 2009 More than six percent of expectant mothers in Quebec consume prescription drugs that are known to be harmful to their fetuses, according to a Universit de Montral investigation published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Half these women will voluntarily terminate their pregnancy fearing congenital malformations, which means the abortion rate among these women is 11 percent higher than in the rest of the population.

"I never expected such results and I was extremely surprised," says senior author Anick Brard, a professor at the Universit de Montral's Faculty of Pharmacy and director of the Research Unit on Medications and Pregnancy of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center.

Dr. Brard examined data from the Quebec Pregnancy Registry on 109,344 women, aged 15 to 45, who were pregnant between 1998 and 2002. Her research team found that 6,871 pregnant women consumed one of 11 prescription drugs that are known to be harmful to fetuses through the first, second or third trimester. Of those women, 3,229 aborted; 6 percent had a miscarriage; and 8.2 percent gave birth to a child with major congenital malformations.

By comparison, the rate of fetal malformations in the general population in the province of Quebec is approximately seven percent. "If there are 80,000 births in Quebec per year, a one percent difference translates into an additional 800 children born with serious malformations," says Brard, who is currently a visiting professor at the Universit Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. "At the very best, those babies will die. In the worst case, they'll live with serious physical or psychological health problems their entire lives."

The study also examined the use of prescription drugs that are known to be feto-toxic or increase in-utero problems or premature births. The researchers found that 11,400 prescriptions for dangerous medicines such as isotretinoin (for the treatment of acne and rosacea), anxiolytic benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety treatment) and antiepileptics (epileptic seizure treatment) were used by pregnant women. Other drugs that were harmful to fetuses for hypertension, anticoagulation and infection were also widely used.

Brard was shocked to discover that one particular acne treatment is still available on the market in Canada without proper risk management programs, since the product increases the risk of malformations by 30 percent (baseline risk is estimated at 3 percent). Of the 73 pregnant women who used isotretinoin in Quebec, she found, 78 percent got an abortion.

Dr. Brard believes some drugs are overused, such as benzodiazepine to treat symptoms of anxiety, and should be avoided to reduce the odds of fetal malformations.

Other drugs are necessary however, such as antiepileptics. "In those cases, the pregnancy must be carefully planned and medication use must be at a strict minimum during the first trimester," she stresses. "And the expectant mother must meet with her physician regularly."


Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
University of Montreal

Related biology news :

1. MEDNET Launches MedSafe to Prevent Teenage Prescription Drug Abuse
2. MEDNET Launches MedSafe to Prevent Teenage Prescription Drug Abuse
3. Physical activity and health: Finding the right prescription
4. Trends in prescription medication sharing among reproductive-aged women
5. Heartburn drugs deemed safe for fetuses according to Ben-Gurion University researchers
6. Smoking during pregnancy may impair thyroid function of mom and fetus
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/27/2015)... YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 In ... major issues of concern for various industry verticals such ... is due to the growing demand for secure & ... in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, ... for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... October 26, 2015 ... adds Biometrics Market Shares, ... as well as Emerging Biometrics Technologies: ... to its collection of IT and ... . --> ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... 23, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Voice Recognition Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to their ... The global voice recognition biometrics market to grow ... --> --> The report, ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015  CardioCell LLC, a Stemedica Cell Technologies ... cardiovascular indications, intends to proceed with finalizing a ... from a Heart Failure Advisory Board comprising cardiology ... Board members . In a recent meeting members ... and efficacy data from CardioCell,s on-going chronic heart ...
(Date:12/1/2015)...  Symic, a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company developing multiple compounds ... announced that it has secured $25 million in a ... its lead candidates SB-030 and SB-061. The financing was ... all existing major investors, as well as several new ... by Symic to over $43 million since being founded ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Matthew ... his new post, VerMilyea will oversee all IVF lab procedures as well ... and fertility preservation. , “We traveled 7,305 miles to Auckland, New Zealand to bring ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Global Stem Cells Group ... the Santiago Marriott. The Global Stem Cells Group GMP facility is equipped with ... qualified medical researchers and practitioners, experienced in administering stem cell protocols using highly ...
Breaking Biology Technology: