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An Ongoing Epidemic of Birth Defects

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DOI: 10.4236/pp.2013.43045    4,414 Downloads   6,219 Views Citations


In the 1990s, misoprostol (synthetic prostaglandin E1 analogue) was found to be an effective abortive agent when taken orally and became widely used in Latin America as a means to terminate unwanted pregnancies. A variety of congenital anomalies have been observed among the children of women who ingested misoprostol, but failed to terminate their pregnancy. We report here eight years of experience in Panama with the detection and follow-up of the malformations seen in infants associated with the use of misoprostol prostaglandin during the first trimester of pregnancy. During the period between April 1995 and March 2003, we identified 63 infants at the Panama’s Children’s Hospital who were exposed to misoprostol while in the womb and who were born with malformations. These infants were evaluated by a team of neonatologists, geneticists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, and radiologists.

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G. Cossio, A. Bissot, M. Rivas, L. Morales, P. Gallardo, D. Ellis and J. Hal, "An Ongoing Epidemic of Birth Defects," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2013, pp. 312-317. doi: 10.4236/pp.2013.43045.

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