New evidence suggests that folic acid, a B vitamin, may reduce the risk of other birth defects associated with common medications some women may have to take while pregnant. In a recent study researchers at Boston University, US, found that women who took one or more drugs that interfere with folic acid without also taking a folic acid supplement while pregnant had a much higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Nearly an eight times greater risk of having a baby born with a heart defect and a five times greater risk of having a baby born with a cleft lip or palate. Women who did take folic acid in a daily multivitamin in addition to the drugs had a significantly reduced risk that their babies would be born with any of these defects. Full findings are published in the November 30, 2000 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.