It has been shown that both streptomycin and penicillin are able to traverse the placental barrier and appear in the fetal circulation in therapeutic concentration. An experiment was carried out to determine whether chloramphenicol (chloromycetin®) similarly passes through the placenta. An oral dose of 1 Gm. of the drug was given to 8 patients and 2 Gm. was administered to 3 patients in active labor approximately one to five hours before delivery. Blood for chloramphenicol assays was obtained from the mother and cord at the time of delivery. In 1 instance, (case 11) the mother delivered twins and chloramphenicol assays were obtained on both infants. The serums were then tested for chloramphenicol content with a new chemical assay method developed in this laboratory by Bessman and Stevens.1 This method has proved to be more accurate than the bioassay method and considerably simpler to perform.
It will be noted in
ROSS S, BURKE FG, SITES J, RICE EC, WASHINGTON JA. PLACENTAL TRANSMISSION OF CHLORAMPHENICOL (CHLOROMYCETIN®). JAMA. 1950;142(17):1361. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.72910350005010a