Because of clinical observations regarding birth defects in children born to mothers who receive anticonvulsant therapy during pregnancy, several antiseizure agents have been implicated as human teratogens. This in turn has raised questions about the possible teratogenicity of other antiseizure agents.
At the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (Research Triangle, Raleigh, NC), some members of the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology have been evaluating the embryopathic potential of three classes of anticonvulsants: oxazolidones, hydantoins, and succinimides.
To date, according to John Kao, PhD, Gary Shill, PhD, and Sergio Fabro, MD, PhD, 20 compounds have been tested in 4,000 different mice of one strain. Embryopathic effects have been detected for all three classes of agents.
In the first of a series of reports expected on this research project, the investigators said that oxazolidone, hydantoin, and succinimide anticonvulsants were given to the mice between the eighth and tenth days of pregnancy. Estimated