Rheumatoid arthritis drugs (TNFs) potentially safe for expectant mothers
Pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis may be able to use tumour necrosis factors inhibitors (TNFs) without possible increased health risks to their unborn babies, a research group reveals in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
The team studied nearly 3,000 children from mothers with rheumatoid arthritis (of whom 380 were exposed to TNFs) and compared them to 15,000 children from mothers without rheumatoid arthritis. They found that 3.2% of the children who had been exposed to TNFs had serious infections, compared to 2% of those with rheumatoid arthritis and no TNFs and 1.9% in the control group.
So while TNFs cross the placenta, the drug does not seem to increase immunosuppression nor compromise the child’s ability to fight infections.
“Knowing there is not necessarily an association between infections and these rheumatoid arthritis drugs will be very reassuring to expectant mothers,” explains study author Dr Évelyne Vinet. “It is important to highlight these findings so would-be mothers understand they can enjoy a normal pregnancy without being burdened by unnecessary stress.
“However, until further studies are conducted to address this issue it is important to follow current recommendations when treating women with rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy.”
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