Amy Orciari Herman, Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

When clinicians prescribe adolescents and young women potentially teratogenic medications, they rarely provide counseling about contraception, finds a retrospective study in Pediatrics.

Researchers examined the records of nearly 1700 females aged 14–25 who received prescriptions for teratogenic medications (FDA category D or X) during 4200 clinic visits at a Midwestern academic pediatric medical center. The most commonly prescribed teratogens were topiramate, methotrexate, diazepam, isotretinoin, and enalapril.

Overall, contraceptive provision — defined as a prescription for contraception, or patient counseling or referral — was documented in just 29% of visits.


A commentator writes: “Even if a provider does not think it is within his or her scope of care to provide a contraceptive method, asking the questions to assess whether a contraceptive method might be needed from another provider is essential. In addition, all providers should be aware of the newer recommendation that all adolescents should be offered the option of a long-acting reversible contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy.”


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