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Transplant Drug May Cause Birth Defects, Miscarriages, FDA Warns

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CellCept -- an immune system-suppressing drug used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients -- may cause birth defects and miscarriages, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Monday. The drug is also prescribed to some lupus patients who can't tolerate chemotherapy.

The FDA also said CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil), made by Roche Holding of Switzerland, may also lower blood levels of hormones in birth control, which may reduce their effectiveness at preventing pregnancy, the Associated Press reported.

Women of childbearing age should have a negative pregnancy test within a week of starting to take CellCept, and must use effective contraception and receive birth control counseling, the FDA said.

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