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Therapie. 2014 Jan-Feb;69(1):13-24. doi: 10.2515/therapie/2014003. Epub 2014 Apr 4.

Teratogenic mechanisms associated with prenatal medication exposure.

Author information

  • 1Department for Health EvidenceRadboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
  • 2Department of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomy, SHAREUniversity of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
  • 3Department for Health EvidenceRadboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands - Department of PediatricsRadboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Birth defects may originate through multiple mechanisms and may be caused by a variety of possible exposures, including medications in early pregnancy. In this review, we describe six principal teratogenic mechanisms suspected to be associated with medication use: folate antagonism, neural crest cell disruption, endocrine disruption, oxidative stress, vascular disruption, and specific receptor- or enzyme-mediated teratogenesis. Knowledge about these mechanisms, for some of which evidence is mainly derived from animal models, may not only be relevant for etiologic and post-marketing research, but may also have implications for prescribing behavior for women of reproductive age. Since combinations of seemingly unrelated medications may have effects through similar teratogenic mechanisms, the risk of birth defects may be strongly increased in multi-therapy.

© 2014 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.

PMID:
24698184
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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