Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Femara - Fertility Drug - increase in birth defects?

A drug used to increase a woman's chances of becoming pregnant may cause birth defects and miscarriages, according to Canadian health regulators.

Femara is approved to treat breast cancer in women who've undergone menopause. It is frequent prescribed "off-label" to prompt ovulation as part of fertility treatments.

Health Canada and Novartis have sent letters to Canadian doctors warning them about the off-label use of the drug.

Novartis will send a similar letter to U.S. fertility specialists to remind them that Femara is approved only as a breast cancer treatment.

Sources: Reuters, AP, Knight Ridder