Certain Drug Therapies for Pregnant Women with IBD Can Have Impact on Newborns

Certain Drug Therapies for Pregnant Women with IBD Can Have Impact on Newborns
Infants born to women who were treated with antibodies against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) during pregnancy have detectable levels of antibodies until 12 months of age, according to the results of a recent study, “Concentrations of Adalimumab and Infliximab in Mothers and Newborns, and Effects on Infection,” published in the journal Gastroenterology. Treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) relies on antibodies against TNF alpha, such as the drugs adalimumab and infliximab. Pregnant women with IBD are often treated with anti-TNF alpha antibodies to prevent or reduce the chances for premature birth and low birth weight. However, the effects of utero exposure to, and clearance of, anti-TNF alpha agents after birth in newborn children is largely unknown. A team of international researchers performed a prospective study to investigate the concentrations of adalimumab and infliximab in umbilical cord blood of newborns and rates of clearance after birth. The team also determined how these levels correlated with those in mothers at birth, and how it affected the risk of infection during the first year of life. The authors analyzed 80 pregnant women with IBD from hospitals in Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand. Thirty-six women received adalimumab, 44 were given infliximab, and 39 received concomitant thiopurines (a class of drugs that are used to suppress the normal activity of the body's immune system) during pregnancy. Researchers analyzed medical records on disease activity and treatment before, during, and after pregnancy; and measured the concent
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