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Synthetic marijuana use during pregnancy can lead to symptoms similar to those caused by dangerous conditions known as preeclampsia and eclampsia, California doctors report. Preeclampsia is marked by high blood pressure and a high level of protein in the urine. It can lead to eclampsia, which can cause a pregnant woman to develop seizures or coma, and in rare cases is fatal.

At the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists annual meeting, the doctors this week described the case of a woman who said she was about 35 weeks pregnant, who suffered a seizure and appeared agitated. She had high blood pressure and protein in her urine, so the doctors treated her for eclampsia, HealthDay reports. They performed an emergency cesarean section because the baby was in distress.

The woman screened negative for drugs, but an anonymous caller reported the woman regularly smoked Spice Gold, a type of synthetic marijuana. Spice Gold cannot be detected with a standard urine test.

The baby tested negative for drugs. The woman required psychiatric care for psychotic behavior the day after delivery. “This was not a pregnancy problem but a drug problem,” Dr. Cindy Lee said in a news release. “Eclampsia is cured with delivery of the baby, but she did not get better after delivery.”

The doctors noted obstetricians and gynecologists should be aware of emerging drugs, and consider the possibility patients may be taking them when making a diagnosis.

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