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Teratology. 2001 Oct;64(4):181-8.

Association of prenatal phenobarbital and phenytoin exposure with genital anomalies and menstrual disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Neonatology, Academic Medical Center, Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. arides@delta-pz.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Animal studies demonstrated that early exposure to phenobarbital decreases reproductive function. This study investigates whether prenatal exposure to these anticonvulsants affects human genital tract development.

METHODS:

Genital anomalies at birth were studied retrospectively in 90 phenobarbital-exposed, 108 phenobarbital plus phenytoin-exposed, and 198 matched control infants. Of this group, 72 drug-exposed males, 75 drug-exposed females, and 147 matched control subjects participated in a follow-up and were interviewed at age 19-35. Differences between groups were tested by chi-square and t-tests.

RESULTS:

A total of 15% of the phenobarbital-exposed boys versus 2.8% control boys had undescended testes at birth. More anticonvulsant-exposed (24%) than control males (11%) had received medical treatment for genital anomalies. Anticonvulsant-exposed females more often had irregularities in menstrual cycles (31% vs. 17%) and bleeding (15% vs. 3%) and reported more problems during pregnancy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Prenatal exposure to anticonvulsants seems to induce minor genital anomalies and may affect reproductive function.

PMID:
11598924
DOI:
10.1002/tera.1063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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