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Article
July 1989

Is Podophyllin Safe for Use in Pregnancy?

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology and Venereology Maulana Azad Medical College New Delhi 110001, India

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(7):1000-1001. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670190134022
Abstract

To the Editor.—  I read with interest Bargman's views in the November issue of the Archives1 regarding the safety of podophyllin. Podophyllin is used regularly the world over as a first-line treatment of venereal warts, with only a handful of reported cases of systemic toxic reaction. However, I am not in agreement with his statement "... it would seem unwarranted to say that podophyllin is contraindicated in pregnancy."Experiments in both mice2 and rats3 have demonstrated clearly that podophyllin is embryotoxic and also has a strong growth-retarding effect on developing fetuses. In animal studies, tests on mice and rats show maximum concordance with human teratogenicity data (80% to 85% concordance4). Further, it is generally accepted that all antimitotics (including podophyllotoxin, the main active compound in podophyllin) should be avoided in pregnancy.The edition of Rook's Textbook of Dermatology quoted by Bargman is the third (1979) edition, while,

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