In recent years methamphetamine (MA) use has become more prevalent, and of particular concern is its growing popularity of MA among women of childbearing age. However, to date, studies examining MA effects on the developing offspring in laboratory animals are limited. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine if in utero MA exposure in rats at pharmacological doses can have a negative impact on neonatal neurodevelopment and behaviour. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley dams (n=10 dams/group) received MA (0, 0.625, 1.25, 2.5 mg/kg) once daily via oral gavage from gestational day 7 to 21. Maternal body weight, food and water consumption were recorded daily. A range of standard neurodevelopment parameters was examined in the offspring during the neonatal period. There were no neurodevelopmental deficits observed with offspring exposed to 0.625 mg/kg MA, in fact, there were enhancements of neurodevelopment in some parameters at this low dose. However, exposure to the 1.25 mg/kg MA dose resulted in significant impairments in surface righting reflex and forelimb grip in both sexes. Exposure to the 2.5 mg/kg MA dose resulted in a significant reduction in ano-genital distance in males, and in both sexes resulted in delayed fur appearance and eye opening, impairments in surface righting reflex and negative geotaxis, and a reduction in body length. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that pharmacologically relevant doses of MA can have profound dose-related effects on neonatal outcome. If extrapolated to the clinical scenario this will give cause for concern regarding the risks associated with this drug of abuse at relatively low doses. (C) 2014 ISDN. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.