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Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Dec;8(6):403-11.

Adverse consequences of prenatal illicit drug exposure.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York 14642, USA.


Our appreciation of the impact on health of illicit drug use is growing. Once considered a maternal risk, prenatal drug exposure may target fetal neurobehavior, affecting attention and learning as the child grows into adulthood. Cocaine, opiates, marijuana, and amphetamines have each been scrutinized for adverse actions on placental transport, fetal behavior states, newborn withdrawal, and childhood learning and attentive skills. Neurotransmitter analysis in the animal model after prenatal drug exposure now provides biological support for these clinical findings. The increasing prevalence of drug use by pregnant women, the effect of illicit drug use on transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus, and the maternal and fetal consequences of illicit drug exposure make illicit drug use in pregnancy a central challenge in maternal-fetal medicine and a need-to-know field in general obstetrics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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