Claritin Cleared of Birth Defect Hypospadias
K. Hecht, Ph.D. and Frederick
Hypospadias is a relatively common congenital malformation (birth defect). It affects one boy in every one to two hundred born in the US. In hypospadias, the urethral opening is located along the underside of the penis, scrotum, or perineum. Hypospadias is classified in order of increasing severity as first, second, or third degree. The condition often requires surgery.
The Fear of a Birth Defect
The fear that Claritin might cause hypospadias dates to 2002. That year a Swedish
study reported that the prevalence of hypospadias was twice normal
among boys whose mothers had taken Claritin during pregnancy.
However, insufficient data were available to determine the severity of the
hypospadias, and the study did not control for confounding variables such as a
family history of hypospadias.