No Higher Pregnancy Risks in Women with MS Getting Glatiramer Acetate

SEPTEMBER 14, 2016
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
neurology, multiple sclerosis, MS, ECTRIMS 2016, pharmacy, disease-modifying treatment, DMT, glatiramer acetate, Copaxone, women’s health, OBGYN, pregnant, pregnancy

Multiple sclerosis in itself has not shown to increase spontaneous abortions, stillbirth, cesarean delivery, premature birth, or birth defects – but what about the treatments?

Presented the 32nd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS 2016) in London, England, researchers based in Israel examined pregnancy outcomes in women with multiple sclerosis taking glatiramer acetate (GA).

GA is a immunomodulator drug injection that was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1996. Over the years, the drug has been modified and adjusted but continues to show positive results. Country music star, Clay Walker, even told MD Magazine that he started taking the branded version, Copaxone, 18 years ago and hasn’t had a relapse since. Multiple sclerosis affects a fair amount of women during their childbearing years; so the purpose of this study was to examine if GA impacts pregnancy. The findings were pulled from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ safety data which consisted of more than 8,000 pregnancy cases which were exposed to GA 20 mg through 2015.

The researchers reviewed a total of 2,068 cases where the pregnant women were exposed to GA 20 mg per day. Pregnancy outcomes included:
  • 1,760 live births (85%)
  • 227 pregnancy losses (11%)
  • 63 elective pregnancy terminations (3%)
  • 15 ectopic pregnancies (0.7%)
  • 3 molar pregnancies (0.15%)
Looking at the 227 pregnancy losses, 208 of them were abortions, 11 fetal deaths, and eight stillbirths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 17% of pregnancies end in pregnancy losses. Therefore, GA does not appear to impact pregnancy outcomes.

“This provides further support to the growing notion that GA is the drug of choice for women of childbearing age who consider pregnancy,” the researchers concluded.

Also on MD Magazine >>> More News from ECTRIMS 2016 in London

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