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Biological therapies and pregnancy

The biological therapies include:

They're all relatively new drugs so there’s less experience of their effects either during pregnancy or while breastfeeding than with other, older drugs. Increasing numbers of women, however, have successfully used adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

These drugs last for different lengths of time in the body and there is a concern that they may increase the risk of infection in new-born babies. BSR guidelines advise that these biological therapies are stopped at different times in pregnancy. Or, if they're given throughout pregnancy to control disease flares then new-born babies should not be given live vaccines until they are at least seven months old.

There's much less experience using anakinra, abatacept, rituximab and the newer biological therapies such as

Women of childbearing age are generally recommended to use contraception while taking these drugs. We recommend that you discuss it with your doctor if you’re planning a family, become pregnant or wish to breastfeed while taking any of these drugs.

If you're taking methotrexate along with a biological therapy, you should also follow the advice for methotrexate.

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