pregnancy and amiodarone
Prescription Drug
Exposure During Pregnancy

Links to Learning Disabilities, ADD and Behavior Disorders

The following is one chapter from a 1997 Graduate Student Research Project conducted at the University of South Florida.  The project involved locating published peer reviewed medical journal articles which have shown various environmental and chemical exposure factors can cause learning disabilities, hyperactivity and other disorders by damaging the delicate brain growth process in the unborn child during pregnancy.

Author: Richard W. Pressinger (M.Ed.)
Project Supervisor:
Kofi Marfo (Ph.D.) University of South Florida, Special Education Department
email correspondence:
[email protected]
Learning Disability Research Web Site:


Prescription Heart Medication
Suspected of Causing Language & Reading Disorders

Source: Neurotoxicology and Teratology: 21(3):261-265, 1999

New warnings should be given to pregnant women taking the heart arrhythmia drug "Amiodarone" (AMD).  Researchers at the Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada have found when this drug was taken during pregnancy that there was an observed increase in language disorders at a later age for children exposed to the drug during pregnancy.  In the research project, the offspring of 12 mothers were followed after giving birth while taking the drug.

A sophisticated battery of tests were given to determine neurological function of the offspring.  Tests included - Bayley Behavior Scales - Reynell Developmental Language Test - Toddler Temperament Test - WISC-R - WRAT-R and Gilmore Oral Reading Test.

While there were no deficits detected in IQ scores, there was an observed significant delay in speech acquistition and lower scores on tests of reading comprehension, written language, arithmetic skills and/or attention.

The researchers went on to say,

"Early speech delay and difficulties with written language and arithmentic are part of the Nonverbal Learning Disability Sndrome.  An association between AMD exposure and such a syndrome is plausible,  Firstly, language skills may be more sensitive to neurotoxic damage than measure of global cognitive function.  Secondly, another antenatal  exposure, congenital hypothyroidism has also been associated with this syndorme.  Thirdly, AMD may have a direct neurotoxic effect on the developing fetal brain."

More information on neurotoxic chemicals in pregnancy - click here