The Effect on the Fetus of Medications Used to Treat Pregnant Inflammatory Bowel-Disease Patients

David Norman Moskovitz, Carol Bodian, Mark L. Chapman, James F. Marion, Peter H. Rubin, Ellen Scherl, Daniel H. Present

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We reviewed data to investigate the effect of 5-ASA drugs, metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, prednisone, 6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine, and cyclosporine on pregnancy outcomes in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). METHODS: One hundred and thirteen female patients with a total of 207 documented conceptions were studied. Treatment information included: smoking history (patient and spouse), dates of conception and termination, and outcome of pregnancy (spontaneous abortion, therapeutic abortion, maternal or fetal illness resulting in abortion, premature birth, healthy full-term birth, multiple births, ectopic pregnancy, congenital defects), weight of baby, type of delivery (cesarian section, vaginal), medication history during each trimester (mean dose, maximum dose, frequency). We analyzed the effect on pregnancy outcome of medication use during the first trimester or at any time during the pregnancy. RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients (34.5%) had ulcerative colitis (UC), 73 (64.5%) had crohn's disease (CD), and 1 patient (1%) had indeterminate colitis. For 100 of the 207 conceptions, the patients were on 5-ASA drugs at some time during the pregnancy, 49 on prednisone, 101 on an immunomodulator (6-MP/azathioprine), 27 on metronidazole, 18 on ciprofloxacin, and 2 on cyclosporine. In 85 (31%) of the conceptions, patients were on none of these medications. No significant differences were found among the groups in each pregnancy with respect to outcome (p values 0.091 to 0.9). In multivariate analyses controlling for age of mother, there was no evidence that 5-ASA type drugs or any type of drug influenced pregnancy outcome. CONCLUSIONS: In 113 female patients with 207 conceptions none of the drugs used to treat IBD is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-661
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


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