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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2006 Aug;25(8):447-52.

Meta-analysis finds use of inhaled corticosteroids during pregnancy safe: a systematic meta-analysis review.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Inhaled corticosteroids (ICs) are the drug of choice for asthmatic women during pregnancy, but the results on the effects of these medications on obstetrical and perinatal outcomes are not conclusive. Meta-analysis is the statistical analysis of a collection of analysis results from individual studies for the purpose of integrating the findings. Meta-analysis techniques are necessary because only summary statistics are available in the literature. In order to determine the risk of exposure to ICs, we pooled data from all clinical studies that evaluated the pregnancy and perinatal outcomes in women exposed to this group of drugs during pregnancy by the meta-analytic technique. PUBMED, OVID, EMBASE and SCOPUS databases were searched for studies that investigated birth outcome following exposure to ICs during pregnancy. Data were collected from 1997 to 2005 (up to 31 December). Types of outcome investigated were major malformations, preterm delivery, low birth weight and pregnancy-induced hypertension. The criteria for inclusion of studies in this meta-analysis were exposure of women to any therapeutic dosage of any ICs (fluticasone, beclomethasone, budesonide, triamcinolone and flunisolide) during pregnancy. The results showed that ICs do not increase the risk of major malformations, preterm delivery, low birth weight and pregnancy-induced hypertension. In conclusion, ICs do not increase the rates of any obstetrical outcomes investigated in the present study and interestingly improve the symptoms and are helpful in the management of asthma and thus can be used comfortably during pregnancy.

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