One of the major medical therapies used to treat chronic inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or psoriasis are anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents. These include, but are not limited to drugs like Remicade, Simponi, Humira and Cimzia. Women who are pregnant, and taking these medications are always concerned about the potential for birth defects. A study published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, compared the risk of any major birth defect for infants born to women with chronic inflammatory disease, with and without anti-TNF treatment. Dr. Sunanda Kane explains the results of the study, and reassures us that birth defects are not significantly more prevalent among women receiving anti-TNF agents during pregnancy.
Read the full study online here.
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Dr. Kane is a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic.