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31-05-2018 | Rheumatoid arthritis | News

TNF inhibitor use during pregnancy may not be linked to serious infection risk in infants

medwireNews: Babies born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are treated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors during pregnancy have no “marked excess risk” for serious infections, researchers report.

In an analysis of US claims data, Évelyne Vinet (McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Québec, Canada) and study co-authors found that 3.2% of 380 infants exposed to TNF inhibitors during pregnancy experienced at least one infection resulting in hospitalization during the first year of life, compared with 2.0% of 2476 babies born to women with RA who were not treated with TNF inhibitors, and 1.9% of 14,596 control infants whose mothers did not have RA. There was no significant difference in infection risk among the three groups on multivariable analysis.

“Our data are potentially reassuring, however, we could not exclude a differential risk according to specific TNF [inhibitor] characteristics, with infliximab potentially resulting in a 3-fold increase in the risk of serious infections compared with other TNF [inhibitors],” said Vinet in a press release.

Indeed, 8.1% of 37 infants exposed to infliximab during gestation experienced serious infections, compared with 3.6% of 195 exposed to etanercept and 1.9% of 108 exposed to adalimumab, but the differences were not statistically significant.

Further research should “evaluate if the risk of serious infections in exposed offspring is influenced by individual TNF [inhibitor] characteristics,” conclude the researchers in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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