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Are new agents used to treat rheumatoid arthritis safe to take during pregnancy?

Christina Chambers PHD, Gideon Koren MD FRCPC, Zuhre N. Tutuncu MD, Diana Johnson MS, Kenneth L. Jones MD

March 2007



I have a patient planning pregnancy who has resistant rheumatoid arthritis that will require treatment with some of the “new” medications. Which ones are safe to use during pregnancy, and which ones do we know enough about to tell whether they are safe or not?


For most new disease-modifying biologic medications, we have few data on safety. More and more reassuring data are accumulating on azathioprine and cyclosporine. When you treat this patient, you can help in gathering such data by contacting the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists’ Autoimmune Disease in Pregnancy study through Motherisk at 877 311-8972.


Une de mes patientes planifie une grossesse mais elle souffre d’arthrite rhumatoïde résistante. Son problème exigera un traitement avec certains des «nouveaux» médicaments. Quels sont ceux qui sont sécuritaires à utiliser durant la grossesse et quels sont ceux qu’on connaît suffisamment pour établir leur innocuité?


Nous avons peu de données sur l’innocuité de la plupart des nouveaux médicaments biologiques modificateurs de la maladie. Les données rassurantes sur l’azathioprine et la cyclosporine se font de plus en plus nombreuses. Quand vous traitez cette patiente, vous pouvez aider à recueillir de telles données en communiquant avec les responsables de l’étude des spécialistes sur les maladies auto-immunitaires durant la grossesse de l’Organization of Teratology Information par l’intermédiaire de Motherisk, au 877-311-8972.

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