Antirheumatic medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: As active rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease during pregnancy increases the risk for pregnancy loss, preterm birth, and maternal illness, ongoing management with pregnancy-compatible medications can improve these outcomes. Selecting and taking these medications can be challenging for rheumatologists and patients due to limited knowledge about potential risks and benefits. RECENT FINDINGS: Fortunately, the American College of Rheumatology, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, British Rheumatology Society, and the European League Against Rheumatism have each published recommendations to guide the use of antirheumatic medications in pregnancy and lactation. Each of these groups endorsed the use of hydroxychloroquine, azathioprine, sulfasalazine, corticosteroids, NSAIDs, and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors in pregnancy. They also agreed that methotrexate, mycophenolate, cyclophosphamide, and leflunomide should be avoided in pregnancy. New medications, including small-molecules and biologics, have limited data to support safety in pregnancy and are not currently recommended during this period. Most antirheumatic medications are compatible with lactation. SUMMARY: Because many patients are hesitant to use antirheumatic medications during pregnancy, honest and accurate discussions about pregnancy planning and management are important to help women make decisions that are in their and their offspring's best interest.
Birru Talabi, M; Clowse, MEB
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