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Methimazole, Carbimazole, and Congenital Skin Defects

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Cornelis P. van Dijke, M.D., Ph.D.; Netherlands Centre for Monitoring of Adverse Reactions to Drugs, P.O. Box 439; 2260 AK Leidschendam, the Netherlands.

Netherlands Centre for Monitoring of Adverse Reactions to Drugs, Leidschendam; Carolus Hospital, 's-Hertogenbosch; and University Hospital of Amsterdam, Amsterdam; the Netherlands.

Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(1):60-61. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-106-1-60
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Hyperthyroidism during pregnancy generally is treated with antithyroid drugs. In their reviews of the literature, Burrow (1) and Cooper (2) have advised against the use of methimazole (thiamazole) in pregnant women with hyperthyroidism because two studies reported an association of the drug with congenital skin defects (aplasia cutis). In 1972, Milham and Elledge (3) briefly described the cases of 12 patients with congenital scalp defects and noted that in three cases, one of which included a pair of fraternal twins, the mother had taken methimazole during pregnancy. In 1975, Mujtaba and Burrow (4) reported data from their study on the


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