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July 4, 1966

Possible Adverse Drug Reaction

JAMA. 1966;197(1):62-63. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110010114039

To the Editor:—  With more frequent reports of the effects of drugs on the fetus, it becomes imperative for the clinician to obtain a detailed drug history during the pregnancy when examining infants and children for developmental disorders, congenital malformations, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. Excellent reviews have appeared by Cohlan,1 Lucey,2 Apgar,3 and Sutherland and Light.4 This brief note reports two microcephalic and mentally retarded children with motor dysfunction, from two separate pregnancies in the same mother, who took an appetite depressant drug during the first and second trimesters which contained methamphetamine hydrochloride and phenobarbital. The fourth pregnancy in the same mother during which no drugs were taken produced a normal child. While this cannot be considered conclusive evidence, the possibility of a drug effect exists. Powell and Johnstone reported a mother who took phenmetrazine hydrochloride (Preludin) during the first trimester of the first

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