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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 90 percent of American women take some type of drug – either prescription or over the counter – during pregnancy. While some medications are safe to take during pregnancy, the full effects of many medications on your unborn baby are unknown. If you are a woman who is pregnant or is about to become pregnant, it is critical that you pay attention to the medications you take while you are pregnant. This is a list of some prescription drugs that have been known to cause serious or even life-threatening birth defects (click the links for more information):

Accutane (generic: isotretinoin): This medication, that is used to treat severe acne in women, has been known to cause serious birth defects including loss of hearing and vision, heart defects, mental retardation and other malformations.

Clomid (generic: clomiphene citrate): Babies who are exposed to fertility drug Clomid before birth face an increased risk of developing birth defects including neural tube defects (anencephaly), craniofacial defect (craniosynostosis), abdominal wall defect (omphaocele), brain defect (Dandy Walker malformation), autism, Down’s Syndrome, cleft palate and congenital heart defects.

Diflucan (generic: flucanozole): This anti-fungal medication, which is used to treat feminine yeast infections, can lead to birth defects including facial malformations, cleft lip, cleft palate, brachycephaly (head deformity), bent thigh bones, joint deformities and congenital heart disease.


Birth Defect Resource website contains articles and content developed by medical professionals and other writers. The content provided by is intended for educational purposes only. Such content is not intended to, and does not, constitute medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used for such purposes. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Reliance on such information provided by is at your own risk.

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