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Definition A neologism for a drug used during pregnancy that is not known to be teratogenic, but which nevertheless triggers a lawsuit for alleged teratogenesis.

Any litigation-generating agent can become a litogen, regardless of its actual teratogenic, carcinogenic, or toxic potential.

The term was coined by the editor of the journal Teratology in response to Wells v Ortho, in which the plaintiff was awarded $5 million for alleged teratogenesis caused by spermicides, which have not been inculpated in congenital malformation. 

Reference NEJM 1986; 315:1234


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