The potential for penequine hydrochloride to induce maternal and embryo-fetal developmental toxicity was evaluated in Wistar rats. The drug was administered intramuscularly (i.m.) at dose levels of 0, 10, 30 or 50 mg/kg/day to groups of pregnant rats from day 6 to 15 of gestation. All dams were observed for maternal body weights, food consumption and any abnormal change, and subjected to caesarean-section on gestation day (GD) 20; all fetuses obtained from caesarean-section were assessed by external inspection, visceral and skeletal examinations. In the 50 mg/kg/day group, maternal toxicity included an increase in the incidence of abnormal clinical signs, and decrease in the body weight and body weight gain. Developmental toxicity included an increase in the postimplantation loss, a decrease in the litter size, and a reduction in the gravid uterus weight. In addition, a statistically non-significant increase in the incidence of fetal external, visceral, and skeletal alterations including malformations and variations were seen in high-dose group. There were no treatment-related findings in maternal clinical and intrauterine observations, and fetal morphological examinations in mid-, low-dose and control groups. Thus, under the conditions of this study, the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) of penequine hydrochloride for both maternal and embryo-fetal toxicity in the Wistar rats were considered to be 30 mg/kg/day and 50 mg/kg/day, which are approximately 900 and 1500 above the therapeutic dosage, respectively. © 2006.
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