Fetal exposure to isotretinoin-An international problem

Facundo Garcia-Bournissen, Lilach Tsur, Lee H. Goldstein, Arthur Staroselsky, Marina Avner, Farhan Asrar, Matitiahu Berkovitch, Gianluca Straface, Gideon Koren, Marco De Santis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Isotretinoin is a known teratogen. Pregnancy prevention programs aimed at minimizing isotretinoin exposure in pregnancy have been implemented in North America with limited success. Objective: To compare the management of fetal risk of isotretinoin in three countries, including information given to women, implementation of contraceptive methods, and pregnancy outcomes. Methods: Pregnant women exposed to isotretinoin who called teratogen information services (TIS) in Israel, Italy and Canada between July 1998 and October 2006 were interviewed at the time of initial consultation and after the expected day of delivery. Results: Fifty-three pregnant women exposed to isotretinoin contacted the TIS. Only 41% reported using a birth control method. Just one patient reported using two different forms. Forty-five percent of exposed pregnancies were terminated before delivery and 22% delivered healthy babies. Two babies were born with malformations. Conclusions: Since isotretinoin-exposed pregnancies still occur, there is a need for more effective strategies, which should take into account the cultural differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-128
Number of pages5
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Isotretinoin
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevention programs
  • Teratogen information service


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