The drug 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) is effective in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), however, data regarding toxicity during pregnancy are lacking. This raises the patients' and physicians' concerns, and may result in elective abortion.
In this study, published in the January issue of Gastroenterology, researchers evaluated the potential toxicity of 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP).
The research team reviewed the records of 485 patients who had received the drug.
|No differences in abortion secondary to a birth defect or major congenital malformations were found between 6-MP patients and controls.|
They contacted 462, and found that 155 had conceived at least 1 pregnancy after developing IBD.
The pregnancies were analyzed as to whether the patient had taken 6-MP either before, or at the time of, conception.
The team then compared these data with those from IBD patients who had their pregnancies before taking 6-MP.
They also collected data on live births, spontaneous abortions, prematurity, abortions secondary to birth defects, major and minor congenital birth defects, infections, and neoplasia.
The researchers then analyzed outcomes, comparing pregnancies from men and women who had taken or were currently taking 6-MP to controls.
The team found no statistical difference in conception failures (defined as a spontaneous abortion), abortion secondary to a birth defect, major congenital malformations, neoplasia, or increased infections among male or female patients taking 6-MP compared with controls.
Dr Andrew Francella's team concluded, "6-MP use before or at conception or during pregnancy appears to be safe".
"Discontinuation of the drug before and during pregnancy is not indicated."