The effect of vidarabine, a new antiviral agent, on the offspring of rats, rabbits, and monkeys was studied by varying routes of administration during several periods of gestation. Vidarabine demonstrated a dose-related teratogenic effect in rats when given parenterally at doses of 30 mg/kg and greater. The drug was also teratogenic in the rabbit at dosages of 5 mg/kg and greater by the parenteral route or when applied topically in 10% concentration to 5 or 10% of the body surface area. The pattern of malformation was similar in the two species, and consisted of multiple, severe abnormalities of the head, trunk, and limbs. The drug had no demonstrable teratogenic effect in a limited study in the rhesus monkey; nor were there adverse effects on the offspring when it was applied intravaginally to pregnant rats in the perinatal period.