“MS is a pink-ribbon disease with the majority of MSers being woman with onset of the disease during the childbearing years. Therefore fertility, pregnancy and parenting issues are important to MSers. Data is emerging that the injectables interferon-beta and glatiramer acetate don’t appear to cause malformations in the developing baby (teratogenic). In addition babies from pregnancies that have gone to term, in particular with glatiramer acetate, are fine. Therefore, neurologists are becoming more confident with the emerging data on GA and pregnancy and some are now actively recommending GA for woman wanting to fall pregnant and are recommending that they continue the treatment throughout pregnancy. I have started to do the same in selected patients of mine. GA is a not a small or chemical molecule, it is a cocktail of small proteins or peptides, that do not appear to bind to a specific receptor and there is not data to suggest that would cause any problems in relation to fertility, pregnancy or the baby. Women who are anxious about being off DMTs whilst they are trying to fall pregnant, and about have a rebound in their disease activity postpartum, when they are breast feeding, find being on GA helps allay their concerns to some extent. Please note that TEVA the company that manufactures and markets GA (Copaxone), cannot promote GA as the drug of choice for pregnancy; the latter would be an off-label indication.”
Epub: Fragoso et al. Long-Term Effects of Exposure to Disease-Modifying Drugs in the Offspring of Mothers with Multiple Sclerosis: A Retrospective Chart Review. CNS Drugs. 2013 Oct.
INTRODUCTION: MS mainly affects women of fertile age. To date, the only recommendation for women with MS intending to become pregnant is to stop all treatment. This recommendation reflects the concerns about the effects of disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) on the offspring. The objective of the present study was to assess the potential long-term effects of maternal exposure to DMDs on the offspring.
METHOD: This was a retrospective study revising medical data on the offspring of women with MS. These women now have children aged at least 1 year and include a group of MSers that were not exposed to any DMDs for at least 3 months prior to pregnancy and during the whole gestation (control group). Another group of patients had at least 2 weeks of exposure to DMDs, mainly to interferon beta or glatiramer acetate.
RESULTS: The women with MS participating in this study have children currently aged, on average, 6.6 years (range 1-39 years). There was no pattern of drug-related adverse events or complications in the children whose mothers were exposed to DMDs. No specific long-term adverse events were observed in the offspring of women with MS who were exposed to drugs during pregnancy. The profile of relevant diagnoses in their children was similar to that of children whose mothers had not been exposed to DMDs.
CONCLUSIONS: The present retrospective study did not show a specific profile of long-term deleterious drug effects on children born from mothers who were exposed to drugs for MS treatment.