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August 1975

Maternal Phenytoin Ingestion and Congenital Abnormalities: Report of a Case

Author Affiliations

Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation 200 First St SW Rochester, MN 55901

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(8):984. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120450086021

The first reported association of congenital malformations and anticonvulsant drugs was published in 1968.1 Cleft lip and cleft palate were reported in six infants born to mothers who had been taking anticonvulsants during pregnancy. Monson et al2 compared the frequency of malformations in infants exposed in utero to antiepileptic medication with that in infants not so exposed. In their study, the malformation rate among children exposed to phenytoin (formerly diphenylhydantoin) sodium continuously during embryonic and early fetal development was 61 in 1,000 live births. This rate is higher than the 25 in 1,000 live births in children born to normal control women. The possibility of having a malformed child appears to be two to three times greater in epileptic women who received phenytoin continuously early in pregnancy than in normal women. This frequency of malformations has been confirmed by other studies.3,4

In most reports, cleft lip and

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