Pregnacy and Interferons

Thiel S, Langer-Gould A, Rockhoff M, Haghikia A, Queisser-Wahrendorf A, Gold R, Hellwig K. Interferon-beta exposure during first trimester is safe in women with multiple sclerosis-A prospective cohort study from the German Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy Registry.Mult Scler. 2016 Feb 26. pii: 1352458516634872. [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND:Available data suggest that pregnancy exposure to interferon-beta might result in lower mean birth weight and preterm birth.
OBJECTIVE:To determine the effect of interferon-beta exposure during pregnancy on pregnancy outcomes in multiple sclerosis patients.
METHODS:We compared the pregnancy outcomes of women exposed to interferon-beta with pregnancies unexposed to disease-modifying therapies. Women were enrolled into the German Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy Registry. A standardized questionnaire was administered during pregnancy and postpartum. Detailed information on course of multiple sclerosis and pregnancy, concomitant medications, delivery, and outcome of pregnancy was obtained.

RESULTS:We collected data on 251 pregnancies exposed to interferon-beta and 194 unexposed to disease-modifying therapies. In all, 246 (98.01%) women discontinued interferon-beta treatment during first trimester. No differences regarding mean birth weight (exposed: 3272.28 ± 563.61 g; unexposed: 3267.46 ± 609.81 g), mean birth length (exposed: 50.73 ± 3.30 cm; unexposed: 50.88 ± 3.45 cm), preterm birth (p = 0.187), spontaneous abortion (p = 0.304), and congenital anomalies (p = 0.197) were observed between the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS:Interferon-beta exposure during early pregnancy does not influence the mean birth weight, risk of preterm birth, or other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Our study provides further reassurance that interferon-beta treatment can be safely continued up until women become pregnant.

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