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Review

Human pregnancy safety for agents used to treat rheumatoid arthritis: adequacy of available information and strategies for developing post-marketing data

Christina D Chambers12*, Zuhre N Tutuncu3, Diana Johnson1 and Kenneth L Jones1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

2 Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

3 Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:215  doi:10.1186/ar1977

Published: 14 June 2006

Abstract

For female patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the availability of a host of new disease modifying antirheumatic drugs has raised important questions about fetal safety if a woman becomes pregnant while she is being treated. In addition, there is limited safety information regarding many of the older medications commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in women of reproductive age. Current summary pregnancy risk information for selected medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis is reviewed in the context of the pregnancy label category. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses of post-marketing strategies for developing new pregnancy safety information are described.