There have been instances of women, fearful of fetal deformities, who sought curettage or abortion because they took cold medicine early in their pregnancy. Because so many drugs can be taken without consulting a doctor-anti-emetics (control nausea and vomiting), antacids, antihistamines, analgesics, antibacterial agents, anti-hypertension drugs, diuretics, and even neuropsychiatric drugs-it is not uncommon for women to unwittingly take medications early in a pregnancy. Luckily, most medicines do not affect babies seriously. Pregnancy can be divided into the ovular stage (from fertilization to implantation), the embryonal stage (2nd week to 8th week), and the fetal period (7th week to term). Of these stages, the embryonal stage is considered to be the most sensitive and dangerous because this is when organogenesis (organ formation) takes place. Only a few drugs are known to cause fetal deformation, and usually these drugs do not cause fetal deformities when administered during the embryonal stage or other periods.
Medication known to cause deformation
ACE inhibitor: ingredient of high blood pressure medication
Alcohol: well known
Androgen: A male hormone; women rarely take it, but it is sometimes used, like Danazol, to treat endometriosis, and breast cancer, and to prevent mastodynia.
Carbamazepine: used to treat epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders
Coumarin: an anticoagulant
Cyclophosphamide: an anticancer drug
Danazol: contains androgen
Diethylstilbesterol: a female hormone used in the past, but no longer used because it causes fatal deformations and cancer
Etretinate: a synthetic vitamin A used to treat acne
Isotretinate: acne treatment
Lithium: neuropsychiatric drug used to treat manic-depression
Methimazole: used to improve thyroid gland function
Methtrexate: an anticancer drug
Phenytoin: neurological and neuropsychiatric drug
Tetracycline: A type of antibiotic, when taken during pregnancy, causes coloration of the baby's teeth.
Trimethadione: epilepsy medicine
Valproic acid: epilepsy medication
Also, Aminopterine, Chlorbiphenyls