Certain birth defects have been shown to have an 8 fold increased risk of occurring when oral and nasal decongestants are used during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to a new case-controlled study by the Harvard School of Public Health. The findings support previous suspected associations between first trimester use of phenylephrine (such as found in Neo-Synephrine, Sudafed, Sudogest), and endocardial cushion defects, between first trimester use of phenylpropanolamine (such as found in Rhinocaps, Sinapils, Saleto-D, Coricidin D, Sinulin, Conex, Contus, Dextrim, Gentab) and ear defects, and between first trimester use of phenylpropanolamine and pyloric stenosis. In fact, the risk of pyloric stenosis in newborns was greater with the use of any intranasal decongestant.
Valproate is not safe to treat pregnant women with migraine headaches, according to a new warning from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is a potential for reduced IQ in the offspring of women who take the drug while pregnant. Valproate is found in various anti-migraine medications such as Depacon, Depakote, Depakene and Stavzor. The FDA has determined that this drug is properly classified as "Category X" for drugs whose risks clearly outweigh their benefits.