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August 1966

Malformations Caused by Drugs in Pregnancy

Am J Dis Child. 1966;112(2):99-106. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090110043001

UP TO 1961, only a few cases of malformations in man have been attributed to drugs, notably aminopterin (Thiersch, 1952;1 and 1960;2 Meltzer, 1956;3 and Warkany et al, 19594), busulfan (Diamond et al 19605), androgens and progestogens (Wilkins, 19606), cortisone (Bongiovanni and McPadden, 19607), quinine (Grebe, 1952,8 Uhlig, 1957;9 and Windorfer, 195310), insulin (Wickes, 195411), and tolbutamide (Larsson and Sterky, 196012).

A causal relationship has been well established only for aminopterin and for the androgenic and gestagenic hormones. A few cases of cleft palate following high doses of cortisone administered in early pregnancy are suggestive of a causative effect in view of similar results in animal experiments.

A connection between quinine intake for artificial abortion and malformations has been assumed in selected cases. However, no unbiased study is available. The malformations attributed to quinine have not shown any