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Polifka JE, Shepard TH. 
“Studies of the fetal effects of dextromethorphan in ovo”. 
Teratology. 1999 Aug 22;60(2):56-7 author reply 58.
The identification of new human teratogens is a priority of the members of the Teratology Society. One of our editorial goals is to use the original articles and the letters-to-the-editor to reflect the discussion of the merits of each proposal. In the January 1998 issue of Pediatric Research, Andaloro, Monaghan, and Rosenquist suggested that exposure of the human pregnancy to dextromethorphan!, an ingredient in cough medicines, could be a human teratogen. This article had a wider impact than the usual article in a basic science journal because the findings were reported in a press conference at the University of Nebraska where the related research studies had been carried out. The headlines developed from this event included 'cough syrup linked to birth defects.' Many concerned women and their doctors called counselors for advice. Unfortunately, the published information available was limited.
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