Researchers Find A Possible Correlation Between Antiretroviral Drugs And Cleft Palate Birth Defects

30-Jun-2012 | News-Press Release

BEVERLY HILLS, CA (JUN 2012)— Although not yet approved as Category A or “safe for pregnancy” by the Food and Drug Administration, doctors have been prescribing antiretroviral drug therapies to pregnant women with HIV in order to combat the transmission of the virus from mother to child. A new study finds that there may be a link between cleft and lip palate defects in newborns and mothers who were on antiretroviral drug therapies. Though procedures to fix cleft and lip palate deformities can be invasive and expensive, the success of those drug therapies in preventing HIV transmission may outweigh the risk. Mothers who begin an antiretroviral drug treatment reduce the danger of transmission from 15 to 25 percent down to less than 1 percent.

The study, published in a recent issue of the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, looks specifically at a population of mothers who were on antiretroviral drug programs and the occurrences of cleft and lip palate birth defects in their newborns. Researchers used “reporting odds ratios” to estimate the specific risk. These ratios examine the risk of a particular outcome given certain factors in context. Using public data from the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System or AERS over a five-year period, the authors of the study found 26 cases of cleft and lip palate linked to seven antiretroviral medications. This finding may pave the way for more advanced research to study the full effects of those drug therapies and the health of newborns. Beverly Hills Periondontist Dr. Alex Farnoosh comments,  “As a cosmetic and periodontal surgeon, I have seen many cases of cleft and lip palate defects from mild to severe. The procedure to fix the problem is complex and can be quite invasive. Even so, the surgery is necessary in maintaining oral health and diminishing the stigmas associated with facial deformities. The stigmas and complications associated with HIV infection are also severe, which would lead to me believe the benefits of antiretroviral drug therapies outweigh the risk. “

Having no known cure, HIV weakens a person’s immune system and can develop into AIDS eventually leading to death. Though the risk of transmission from mother to child is relatively low, doctors recommend that pregnant women with HIV still seek antiretroviral drug therapies. This research is an important find and can only assist health professionals in prescribing the right medications to better serve their patients.

Dr. Alex Farnoosh is sought after for his expertise in advanced surgical and cosmetic procedures. He has developed revolutionary methods to fix a gummy smile and a one of a kind same day gum bleaching procedure. In addition to his expertise in this field, he is a top choice for the care and treatment of mild to severe periodontal issues. Findings this extraordinary become powerful allies for Dr. Farnoosh allowing him to advance his own work with oral health concerns.  To learn more about Dr. Farnoosh and how to achieve The Total Smile, visit: .


About The Total Smile:

The Total Smile was founded by Beverly Hills Periodontist Dr. Alex Farnoosh. Serving patients from around the globe at his Beverly Hills office for over 25 years, Dr. Farnoosh has proven expertise in the field of dentistry and offers many unique cosmetic and surgical services. Dr. Farnoosh specializes in dental implants, laser periodontal surgery, gum and bone grafting and his novel gum bleaching approach for treatment of dark and discolored gums and his lip-lowering treatment for a gummy smile. Dr. Farnoosh has been recognized by the Consumers’ Research Council of America (CRC) as one of America’s top dentists in their annual report since 2008. To learn more about Dr. Farnoosh and how to achieve The Total Smile, visit: .

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