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Pregnant women with asthma can be more confident about some medicines
Date:12/3/2008

Budesonide sprays can be regarded as safe for pregnancy - other asthma drugs have not been as well studied though

Women can usually keep using the same asthma drugs they were using before they got pregnant. Budesonide sprays are the best studied and can be regarded as safe. More trials of other essential medicines are necessary however. According to the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), more data from trials could reassure women who worry about the safety of their drugs during pregnancy. The Institute has reviewed the evidence on asthma in pregnancy and published information for pregnant women on its website, www.informedhealthonline.org.

More trials on medications in pregnancy are necessary

Pregnant women with asthma want to know whether it is possible for the medications they take to harm their baby - and they want to know what they can do to reduce the risks of their asthma for their unborn baby. "Regulations ensure that drug product information lists unanswered safety questions about use in pregnancy. That can be somewhat misleading and cause anxiety. Imprecise research results in medical journals sometimes lead to worrying media reports. Some recent reports in Germany even wrongly suggested that asthma drugs could cause a malformation rate of almost 10%," according to the Institute's Director, Professor Peter Sawicki.

Essential medicines are generally not researched enough in pregnancy, and so remain associated with a lot of uncertainty. This can be a big problem for pregnant women. Professor Sawicki said: "In some countries large birth registers provide information on medication use in pregnancy and malformations in babies. But that cannot replace the more precise assessment from trials. There need to more trials that pregnant women can participate in. We need more reliable knowledge about the effects of essential medici
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Contact: Hilda Bastian
information@iqwig.de
49-221-356-850
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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