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Generic: Clomiphene citrate
Approved to treat: Infertility
Drug category: Fertility drug
Year approved: 1967
Manufacturer: Sanofi-Aventis US

Babies who are prenatally (before birth) exposed to Clomid have an increased risk of developing birth defects, including:

  • Anencephaly (fatal neural tube defect) – Involves an open cranium where all or part of the brain is absent
  • Craniosynostosis (craniofacial defect) – Refers to the premature fusion of the skull bones
  • Omphalocele (abdominal wall defect) – This is a birth defect where the intestines protrude through the abdominal wall
  • Dandy Walker Malformation (brain defect) – This is a birth defect involving several abnormalities in brain development
  • Penoscrotal Hypospadias – Missing urethra
  • Autism
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
  • Congenital Heart Defects

Studies Find Link Between Drug Exposure and Birth Defects

Considerable research, including a study published in November 2010 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show links between Clomid and serious or life threatening birth defects. Research done by the CDC between 1997 and 2005 showed several associations between the use of Clomid and birth defects.

A May 2010 study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that the use of fertility drugs such as Clomid by pregnant women could put unborn children at risk for autism. Another study by the University of California, San Francisco in October 2006, linked Clomid to an increased risk of spinal neural tube defects in newborns and indicated a 50 percent increased risk of penoscrotal hypospadias or missing urethra. While the risk varies for each defect, one thing is clear: women should be warned of these dangerous and potentially fatal side effects before becoming pregnant.

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