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This is the third part in a series of columns on anti-infective drugs.
* Sulfonamides. Drugs in this class--rated C during most of pregnancy and D near term--readily cross the placenta throughout pregnancy; significant levels may persist in newborns for several days after birth. Although not teratogenic, sulfonamides can cause toxicity in the newborn, including jaundice, hemolytic anemia, and (theoretically) kernicterus. Premature infants are at greatest risk, so a sulfonamide should not be used during premature labor. Sulfonamides can be taken during breast-feeding, but should be avoided if the baby is jaundiced, has glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency or is ill, stressed, or premature.
* Aztreonam (Azactam). …