New Evidence Links Birth Defects to Fluconazole Use

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Study shows increased odds of cleft lip with cleft palate, d-transposition of the great arteries
Study shows increased odds of cleft lip with cleft palate, d-transposition of the great arteries

HealthDay News — Prenatal use of low-dose fluconazole is associated with cleft lip with cleft palate and d-transposition of the great arteries, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Meredith M. Howley, from the New York State Department of Health in Albany, and colleagues used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study to examine the correlation between low-dose fluconazole and the risk of major birth defects. Pregnancies with estimated delivery dated from 1997 to 2011 were included in the study. Information on use of fluconazole in early pregnancy was self-reported for 43,257 mothers (31,645 mothers of birth defect cases and 11,612 mothers of unaffected controls).

The researchers found that 44 case mothers and 6 control mothers reported using fluconazole. Cleft lip with cleft palate was reported for 6 exposed infants; atrial septal defects for 4 infants; and hypospadias, tetralogy of Fallot, d-transposition of the great arteries, and pulmonary vale stenosis for 3 infants each. Correlations were seen for fluconazole use with cleft lip with cleft palate (odds ratio, 5.53) and d-transposition of the great arteries (odds ratio, 7.56).

"The associations between fluconazole and both cleft lip with cleft palate and d-transposition of the great arteries are consistent with earlier published case reports but not recent epidemiologic studies," the authors write.

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