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Clinical Notes
April 13, 1964

Transplacental Effect of Tetracyclines on Teeth

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pediatrics, Baylor University College of Medicine (Drs. Kline and Blattner), and the Department of Pathology, University of Texas Dental Branch (Dr. Lunin).

JAMA. 1964;188(2):178-180. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060280080021

PHYSICIANS are becoming increasingly aware that certain therapeutic agents (reserpine, cortisone acetate, vitamin K, sulfamethoxypyridazine, central nervous system stimulants, progesterone, propylthiouracil, busulfan, and thalidomide1 ), while relatively safe for administration to pregnant women, may have adverse effects on the fetus.

Recently the tetracycline group of drugs has been added to this list. Because of their broad antimicrobial spectrum and low toxicity, tetracyclines have been demonstrated to be of great value clinically. In pregnancy, they have been found to be valuable in the treatment of a variety of disorders and have been well tolerated.

The placental transmission of tetracycline, oxytetracycline, and chlortetracycline from maternal to fetal tissues was reported by Charles in 1954.2 In this report no specific reference to adverse effects on the fetus is made. In 1960, Gibbons et al3 reported placental transmission of demethylchlortetracycline hydrochloride. In their report a definite statement is made that no harmful