Drug treatment during pregnancy and isolated orofacial clefts in hungary

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2007 Mar;44(2):194-202. doi: 10.1597/05-208.1.


Objective: To evaluate the possible association between all kinds of drug treatments during pregnancy and isolated cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) and posterior cleft palate (PCP) in the offspring.

Setting: The dataset of the large population-based Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities, 1980-1996, was evaluated.

Participants: One thousand three hundred seventy-four cases with isolated CL/P and 601 with PCP, plus 38,151 population controls (without birth defects) and 20,868 malformed controls with other defects.

Intervention: In this observation case-control study the data collection was based on prospective medical records particularly prenatal logbook, retrospective maternal data via a self-reported questionnaire, and home visits of nonresponding mothers.

Main outcome measures: Isolated CL/P and PCP associated with drug treatments during pregnancy.

Results: An increased risk for isolated CL/P was found in cases born to mothers treated with amoxicillin, phenytoin, oxprenolol, and thiethylperazine during the second and third month of pregnancy, i.e., the critical period of isolated CL/P. Risk of isolated PCP was increased in mothers with oxytetracycline and carbamazepine treatment during the third and fourth month of pregnancy, i.e., the critical period of PCP.

Conclusions: This study confirmed the orofacial cleft (OFC) inducing effect of phenytoin, carbamazepine, oxytetracycline, and thiethylperazine and suggested a possible association between OFCs and oxprenolol and amoxicillin. However, drugs may have only a limited role in the origin of isolated OFCs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Amoxicillin / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Carbamazepine / adverse effects
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cleft Lip / chemically induced
  • Cleft Lip / epidemiology*
  • Cleft Palate / chemically induced
  • Cleft Palate / epidemiology*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Drug Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hungary
  • Oxprenolol / adverse effects
  • Oxytetracycline / adverse effects
  • Phenytoin / adverse effects
  • Population Surveillance
  • Pregnancy / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy Trimesters
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Thiethylperazine / adverse effects


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Carbamazepine
  • Oxprenolol
  • Phenytoin
  • Amoxicillin
  • Thiethylperazine
  • Oxytetracycline