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Anticlotting Drugs and Pregnancy

The previously reported high frequency of adverse effects of heparin is explained by maternal comorbid conditions (pre-eclampsia, glomerulonephritis, placental insufficiency) that independently are associated with adverse effects. Heparin is considered to be safe during pregnancy for either the prevention or treatment of thromboembolic disease.

The administration of Low molecular weight heparins during pregnancy is safe for both the mother and the foetus. The absence of teratogenic effects, a predictable anticoagulation, easy administration and lack of need for laboratory monitoring make them preferable for thromboembolism during pregnancy.

Oral anticoagulants (coumarin) cross the placenta and can enter the foetal circulation.The following problems are associated with the use of coumarin during pregnancy: embryopathy, central nervous system defects, stillbirth , spontaneous abortions , prematurity and haemorrhage.
The characteristics of foetal warfarin syndrome associated with first trimester exposure to coumarin are nasal hypoplasia due to maldevelopment of the nasal septum and stippled epiphyses, depression of the nasal bridge with a flattened upturned appearance. Eye defects, seizures, deafness, congenital heart disease, and hypoplasia of the extremities have all been reported.

Exposure to warfarin during any trimester has resulted in central nervous system abnormalities.

For further, more detailed information, consult the reference source for this page.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. Motherisk, The Hospital for Sick Children:

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