Teratogenic drugs: A teratogen is an agent that can disturb the development of the embryo or fetus. Teratogens halt the pregnancy or produce a congenital malformation (a birth defect). Classes of teratogens include radiation, maternal infections, chemicals, and drugs.
Drugs that are capable of acting as teratogens include:
- ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors such as:
- Acne medication isotretinoin (Accutane, Retin-A).
- Alcohol ingested chronically or in binges.
- Androgens (male hormones).
- Antibiotics tetracycline (Achromycin), and doxycycline (Vibramycin), and streptomycin.
- Anticoagulant (blood-thinner) warfarin (Coumadin).
- Anticonvulsants (seizure medications) such as:
- Anti-depressant drug lithium (Eskalith, Lithob).
- Antimetabolite/anticancer drugs methotrexate (Rheumatrex) and aminopterin.
- Antirheumatic agent and metal-binder (chelator) penicillamine (Ciprimene, Depen).
- Antithyroid drugs such as:
- DES (diethylstilbestrol), a hormone.
- Thalidomide (Thalomid) which was approved by the FDA for the treatment of a complication of leprosy (erythema nodosum leprosum).
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Last Editorial Review: 1/25/2017