Objective: To study potential teratogenic effects of quinolone exposure during pregnancy.
Study design: Prospective follow-up study. Subjects are pregnant women who contacted a teratology information center for risk information on quinolone treatment. A total of 549 pregnancies was collected by the European Network of Teratology Information Services between 1986 and 1994. In addition 116 prospectively documented pregnancies and 25 retrospective case reports on malformed children from other databases were analyzed.
Results: The malformation rate among the live-born babies in the prospective ENTIS cohort was approximately 4.8%. No specific patterns of congenital abnormalities were found. The results do not suggest an elevated risk for spontaneous abortion, prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation and postnatal disorders.
Conclusion: The present study does not reveal any clear adverse reactions (fetal and neonatal toxicity, including birth defects) due to the in utero exposure to quinolones. Hence, termination of pregnancy because of such exposure is not indicated. However, considering the limitations of this study and the fact that diseases urgently requiring quinolone treatment are rare, it appears advisable to prefer penicillin, cephalosporins and erythromycin as antibiotics of choice.