November 10, 1962

Drugs Can Be Dangerous in Early Pregnancy, OB Warns

JAMA. 1962;182(6):25. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050450115041

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Pregnant women should not take any drug during the first three months of pregnancy unless it is essential to her health, a San Francisco obstetrician said at the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting which ended Nov. 1 in Chicago.

"We do not know and we may never learn how many drugs currently in use may affect embryonic development in a small percentage of cases," Dr. Ernest W. Page, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California School of Medicine, said.

He suggested that "Perhaps by eliminating the drugs temporarily, the current 3 to 4% of unfit progeny can be reduced to some extent." Among the harmful environmental factors in child development are radiation, antibodies, hormones, acute dietary deficiencies, physical birth injuries and infectious diseases as well as drugs, Page said.

Citing the thalidomide incident, Page said it is doubtful that "even our new and stringent

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