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Results of a recent study link the use of ACE inhibitors in the first trimester of pregnancy to an increased risk of heart and brain birth defects in babies. The FDA provided some funding for the study, which is discussed in the New England Journal of Medicine. ACE inhibitors are a certain type of drug used to treat high blood pressure. The labels of ACE inhibitors contain an FDA “black box” warning about the dangerous effects of the drugs in the later stages of pregnancy.

However, not much information was known about the effects of the drugs in the early stages of pregnancy. Though the FDA is not going to immediately change the warning labels of ACE inhibitors, it’s Web site contains information about the drugs’ dangers:

Doctors said expectant mothers should not stop treatment, because uncontrolled high blood pressure can harm them and the fetus, but should immediately switch to other drugs. Women contemplating pregnancy were advised to ask their doctors about their options.

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