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FDA determining if fen-phen is linked to birth defects

The federal government is studying whether fen-phen, the diet drug banned last month, is linked to birth defects in babies whose mothers took it, the Daily News reported Saturday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking into three cases of children born with defects to mothers who took some combination of diet drugs, including fenfluramine and phentermine, or dexfenfluramine, according to the report.One of the three women, of Long Island, N.Y., filed a $67 million lawsuit Friday against her diet center, the drugs' manufacturer and the local distributors, saying she was not told of the possible risks of fen-phen. She says the drugs caused heart damage to her infant.