Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Chrons Disease and Pregnancy

It was not long ago that women with chrons disease were encouraged against pregnancy, but advances in the knowledge of Chrons disease and it's treatments mean that it is now safer than ever for women with chrons to get pregnant.

Studies have shown that the severity of the Chrons symptoms that are present in the mother at the time conception often continue throughout pregnancy. So if you have Chrons disease and are planning on having a baby the advice is to get the Chron's disease under control and in remission before getting pregnant. This can also give you time to get your body ready for pregnancy as most women even without chrons should do: by increasing the intake of folic acid, quitting smoking, getting more exercise and eating healthier.

Chrons Disease Drugs and Pregnancy
Naturally there are some chrons medications that are best avoided during the pregnancy, but now through research and a history of use, others are considered safe.

What drugs are not safe to take during pregncncy?
Two immunosuppressive drugs that are often used by chrons patients: Methotrexate and thalidomide should not be used during pregnancy. Thalidomide is well known for causing limb defects as well as other major organ complications in an unborn child, whilst the use of Methotrexate should be discontinued at least three months before conception as it has been known to cause abortion and skeletal abnormalities.

What drugs have been deemed safe for use during pregnancy?

So far the research has shown drugs commonly used in the treatment of chrons appear to be safe to take during pregnancy, these include: infliximab (Remicade), azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), adalimumab (Humira) and certolizumab (Cimzia)

A few other drugs that are often used in Chrons disease flare-ups are also safe for pregnant women to use, these include: sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), forms of mesalamine (Asacol, Pentasa, Rowasa) and corticosteroids (Prednisone).

The best advice is to work very closely with your doctor that you are seeing for Crohn's disease as well as your obstetrician and your baby's pediatrician and don't be afraid to ask questions. As it is important point to remember that the biggest factor influencing a healthy pregnancy is the state of the chrons disease activity, so a well planned pregnancy when your chrons is in remission has the greatest chance for the best outcome.

Inflammatory bowel disease should be controlled prior to pregnancy: ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease. (Women's Health).: An article from: Family Practice News

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