Background: Obstetricians usually prescribe supplements during pregnancy without actual indication. The use of selenium during pregnancy has increased, due to its function in several antioxidant mechanisms. Case: A pregnant woman received 200,000 micrograms (μg) per day of a selenium galenic formulation, since gestational week (g.w.) 7 to 12, due to a prescription error. The patient experienced nausea, vomiting, hand and foot paresthesia, followed by fatigue, loss of fingernails and hair. The woman was referred to our Fetal and Maternal Medicine Unit for surveillance. The mother's blood selenium levels went back to normal 13 weeks after arrest and the baby was born at term, without complications. Clinical evaluation and imaging studies were normal at one month of age. Conclusion: This is the first case of severe chronic selenium intoxication during the first trimester of pregnancy. In the present case, no consequences of congenital defects or pregnancy complications occurred. However, since vitamins, minerals, and food supplements may be harmful and prescription errors occur, obstetricians should avoid prescribing supplements in the absence of maternal deficiency.
- prescription errors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Biology
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis