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Digestion. 2007;76(2):149-60. doi: 10.1159/000111030. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding in patients with Crohn's disease.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Crohn's disease commonly affects women of childbearing age. Available data on Crohn's disease and pregnancy show that women with Crohn's disease can expect to conceive successfully, carry to term and deliver a healthy baby. Control of disease activity before conception and during pregnancy is critical, to optimize both maternal and fetal health. Generally speaking, pharmacological therapy for Crohn's disease during pregnancy is similar to pharmacological therapy for nonpregnant patients. Patients maintained in remission by way of pharmacological therapy should continue it throughout their pregnancy. Sulfasalazine, mesalazine and corticosteroids are safe, azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine are reasonably safe with few discordant data, infliximab seems safe as well, whereas methotrexate is contraindicated during pregnancy. During breastfeeding, mesalazine and prednisone are considered safe, azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine, budesonide and infliximab probably safe and methotrexate is contraindicated.

Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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