Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Available data suggest that pregnancy exposure to interferon-beta might result in lower mean birth weight and preterm birth.

OBJECTIVE:
To determine the effect of interferon-beta exposure during pregnancy on pregnancy outcomes in multiple sclerosis patients.

METHODS:
We compared the pregnancy outcomes of women exposed to interferon-beta with pregnancies unexposed to disease-modifying therapies. Women were enrolled into the German Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy Registry. A standardized questionnaire was administered during pregnancy and postpartum. Detailed information on course of multiple sclerosis and pregnancy, concomitant medications, delivery, and outcome of pregnancy was obtained.

RESULTS:
We collected data on 251 pregnancies exposed to interferon-beta and 194 unexposed to disease-modifying therapies. In all, 246 (98.01%) women discontinued interferon-beta treatment during first trimester. No differences regarding mean birth weight (exposed: 3272.28 ± 563.61 g; unexposed: 3267.46 ± 609.81 g), mean birth length (exposed: 50.73 ± 3.30 cm; unexposed: 50.88 ± 3.45 cm), preterm birth (p = 0.187), spontaneous abortion (p = 0.304), and congenital anomalies (p = 0.197) were observed between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS:
Interferon-beta exposure during early pregnancy does not influence the mean birth weight, risk of preterm birth, or other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Our study provides further reassurance that interferon-beta treatment can be safely continued up until women become pregnant.

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