Definition of Drugs during pregnancy, dangerous

Drugs during pregnancy, dangerous: A teratogen is an agent that can disturb the development of the embryo or fetus. Teratogens halt the pregnancy or produce a congenital malformation (a birth defect). Classes of teratogens include radiation, maternal infections, chemicals, and drugs.

Drugs that are capable of acting as teratogens include:

  • ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors such as:
  • Acne medication isotretinoin (ACCUTANE, RETIN-A).
  • Alcohol ingested chronically or in binges.
  • Androgens (male hormones).
  • Antibiotics tetracycline (ACHROMYCIN), and doxycycline (VIBRAMYCIN), and streptomycin.
  • Anticoagulant (blood-thinner) warfarin (COUMADIN).
  • Anticonvulsants (seizure medications) such as:
    • phenytoin (DILATIN),
    • valproic acid (DEPAKENE, VALPROTATE),
    • trimethadione (TRIDIONE),
    • paramethadione (PARADIONE), and
    • carbamazepine (TEGRETOL).
  • Anti-depressant drug lithium (ESKALITH, LITHOB).
  • Antimetabolite/anticancer drugs methotrexate (RHEUMATREX) and aminopterin.
  • Antirheumatic agent and metal-binder (chelator) penicillamine (CIPRIMENE, DEPEN).
  • Antithyroid drugs such as:
    • thiouracil/propylthiouracil and
    • carbimazole/methimazole.
  • Cocaine.
  • DES (diethylstilbestrol), a hormone.
  • Thalidomide (THALOMID) which was approved by the FDA for the treatment of a complication of leprosy (erythema nodosum leprosum).

Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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