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The Use of Dangerous Drugs During Pregnancy: Congenital Abnormalities

HARRY C. SHIRKEY, M.D.
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The Children's Hospital
Birmingham, Alabama


Ann Intern Med. 1964;61(1):162-165. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-61-1-162
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Potentially dangerous yet "life-saving drugs cannot be withheld from the pregnant woman. In such cases, valuable information can be obtained concerning teratogenicy (or its absence) of potent drugs" (1).

Cancer chemotherapeutic agents "exert their maximal damaging effects on rapidly dividing tissues . . . Since a high rate of cell division characterizes the fetus, it would be expected that the fetus would be sensitive to the action of cancer therapeutic agents and that fetal damage would be the rule when effective doses were administered. Such damage should lead to spontaneous abortion, if it were severe enough to make further development

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