The researchers didn’t find any links between the use of disease-modifying drugs and relapses before, during, or after pregnancy.
Those who had relapses prior to pregnancy were more likely (P = 0.011) to have them afterward too. But researchers didn’t find a statistically significant link between relapses that occurred during and after pregnancy.
More than three-quarters of those who took disease-modifying drugs before pregnancy returned to using them afterward, in most cases within 3 months.
The study findings suggest that pregnancy is a helpful decision point when patients should take a closer look at the effects of their medications, Dr. Vaughn said. “In conjunction with a physician, they should decide if it’s a good one they should return to.”
Reflecting the findings of other research that suggests pregnancy is safe in women with MS, the study shows no sign that pregnancy – either before or after diagnosis of MS – boosts the risk that MS will get worse.
As for the possible effects of disease-modifying drugs on new mothers who breast-feed, the researchers found no evidence of adverse outcomes in 5 patients who took the medications while breast-feeding.
The study was funded by Teva. Dr. Vaughn reported no relevant disclosures. Several other study authors report various disclosures, including relationships with Teva.
SOURCE: Vaughn C. et al. Abstract FC04, 2018 annual meeting, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.