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RMD Open. 2015 Aug 15;1(Suppl 1):e000048. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2015-000048. eCollection 2015.

Antirheumatic drugs and reproduction in women and men with chronic arthritis.

Author information

1
Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Unit , Spedali Civili di Brescia , Brescia , Italy.
2
Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Unit , Spedali Civili di Brescia , Brescia , Italy ; Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences , University of Brescia , Brescia , Italy.
3
Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences , University of Brescia , Brescia , Italy.

Abstract

The impact of rheumatic disease on fertility and reproduction can be remarkable. Many disease-related factors can influence patients' sexual functioning, perturb fertility and limit family planning. Antirheumatic pharmacological treatment can also have a crucial role in this field. Proper counselling, preferably provided by a multidisciplinary team of rheumatologists, obstetricians, gynaecologists and neonatologists, is recommended for patients taking antirheumatic drugs, not only at the beginning, but also during the course of treatment. Paternal exposure to antirheumatic drugs was not found to be specifically associated with congenital malformation and adverse pregnancy outcome, therefore discontinuation of these drugs while planning for conception should be weighed against the risk of disease flare. Drugs in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) category 'X' should be withdrawn in a timely manner in women who desire a pregnancy. Meanwhile, disease control can be achieved with anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α agents, which are not teratogenic drugs. If maternal disease control is permissive, they can be stopped as soon as the pregnancy test turns positive and be resumed during pregnancy in case of a flare.

KEYWORDS:

Arthritis; DMARDs (biologic); DMARDs (synthetic)

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