Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2009 Jul;5(7):382-90. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2009.103. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Management of RA medications in pregnant patients.

Author information

Department of Rheumatology, Clinical Immunology and Allergology, University Hospital Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


A desire for children or the presence of pregnancy limits the drug therapy options for a woman with rheumatoid arthritis. Combination therapies that include methotrexate or new drugs that have not been studied or used in pregnant patients must be excluded, even though they might be highly efficacious. With few exceptions, the reason for this exclusion is not the proven teratogenicity of the drugs, but the absence of proven safety for the fetus. Whereas methotrexate, leflunomide, abatacept and rituximab must be withdrawn before a planned pregnancy, tumor necrosis factor inhibitors and bisphosphonates can be continued until conception. Antimalarial agents, sulfasalazine, azathioprine and ciclosporin are compatible with pregnancy, and so can be administered until birth. Corticosteroids and analgesics such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) can also be used throughout pregnancy. NSAIDs can be safely administered until gestational week 32. The most important consideration when managing rheumatoid arthritis medications during pregnancy is that therapy must be tailored for the individual patient according to disease activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center