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Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1998 Mar;25(1):119-38.

Prenatal exposure to amphetamines. Risks and adverse outcomes in pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York, USA.

Abstract

Based on findings in humans and the confirmation of prenatal exposures in animals, amphetamines and methamphetamines increase the risk of an adverse outcome when abused during pregnancy. Clefting, cardiac anomalies, and fetal growth reduction deficits that have been seen in infants exposed to amphetamines during pregnancy have all been reproduced in animal studies involving prenatal exposures to amphetamines. The differential effects of amphetamines between genetic strains of mice and between species demonstrate that pharmacokinetics and the genetic disposition of the mother and developing embryo can have an enormous influence on enhancing or reducing these potential risks. The effects of prenatal exposure to amphetamines in producing altered behavior in humans appear less compelling when one considers other confounding variables of human environment, genetics, and polydrug abuse. In view of the animal data concerning altered behavior and learning tasks in comparison with learning deficits observed in humans, the influence of the confounding variables in humans may serve to increase the sensitivity of the developing embryo/fetus to prenatal exposure to amphetamines. These factors and others may predispose the developing conceptus to the damaging effects of amphetamines by actually lowering the threshold of susceptibility at the sites where damage occurs. Knowledge of the effects of prenatal exposure of the fetus and the mother to designer amphetamines is lacking. Based on the few studies in which designer drugs have been examined in animal models, more questions are raised than answered. Possible reasons why no malformations or significant fetal effects were found in the study by St. Omer include the genetic strain of rat used, the conservative exposure profile, or the fact that the placenta metabolized MDMA before reaching the embryo. These questions underscore the need for further investigations concerning the prenatal exposure effects of designer compounds and the effects of amphetamine and methamphetamine in general.

PMID:
9547763
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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