Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Crohn's Disease and Pregnacy - Great Article for Women with Crohn's Disease

Ladies - Found this article that contains freat info for women as it relates to Crohn's Disease and pregnacy. Good info on what meds to avoid while pregnant with Crohn's as well as other potential risks.

CHROHN'S AND PREGNANCY: In the past, women with Crohn's were counseled against pregnancy. However, current medical management strategies have made childbearing safer for both mother and baby. Some medications are best avoided during pregnancy, but others are considered safe because of their long history of safe use by patients.

Resarch studies have shown that some drugs commonly used for both maintenance therapy and acute flare-ups of Crohn's are safe for pregnant women to use. They include sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), forms of mesalamine (Asacol, Pentasa, Rowasa) and corticosteroids (Prednisone). Other drugs like azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab (Cimzia) and infliximab (Remicade) appear to be safe to take during pregnancy.

Methotrexate and thalidomide are two immunosuppressive drugs that should not be used during pregnancy as they have an effect on an unborn child. Methotrexate can cause abortion and skeletal abnormalities, and it should be discontinued at least three months before conception. Thalidomide is well known for causing limb defects as well as other major organ complications in a fetus.

The severity of Crohn's symptoms that are present at conception often continue throughout pregnancy. Women are encouraged to get their disease under control and in remission before conception. They can also get their bodies prepared for a pregnancy by increasing intake of folic acid, quitting smoking, getting more exercise and eating healthier.

For women with Crohn's, the biggest factor influencing a healthy pregnancy is the state of disease activity. A planned pregnancy when Crohn's is in remission has the greatest chance for a favorable outcome. To best manage all aspects of your care during and after pregnancy, work carefully with the doctor you're seeing for Crohn's disease as well as your obstetrician and your baby's pediatrician.
BACKGROUND: Crohn's disease is a chronic, long-term illness in which the intestine, or bowel, becomes inflamed. It is part of a group of diseases known as inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD.
Chrones disease can affect any area of the GI tract, but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum.
The swelling extends deep into the lining of the affected organ and can cause pain, fever and diarrhea.

The disease can surface at any age, but it is most common between the ages of 15 and 30. People with Chron's disease experience periods of severe symptoms, followed by weeks or years of remission.

Treatment may include drugs, nutrition supplements, surgery or a combination of these options. The goal is to control inflammation and relieve the symptoms. Treatment can help control the disease by lowering the number of times a person experiences a recurrence, but there is no cure.

For More Information, Contact:Dana Wirth Sparks
Department of Public Affairs
The Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN(507) 538-0844


BrightSide said...

Hi Scott!

Great article! I really appreciate all the info you post on your blog, heh- I get more Crohn's news from your blog than anywhere else!

Anyway, I wanted to invite you to a chat I've organized between a few other Crohn's bloggers. It's Monday, 7:30pm EDT. If you're interested, or any of your readers with Crohn's are, please contact me at my blog (via email) and I'll email you details (

~Bright Side

Brittany and Tyler Kiser said...

I am enjoying your blog, Thanks!

Beth said...

This is an important topic. I just wanted to let everyone know that there are experts available to answer your questions about the safety of Crohn’s medicines during pregnancy by calling OTIS at 877-311-8972 (toll free in the US and Canada). You will speak with a phone counselor who is a trained in teratology (the study of birth defects caused by exposures during pregnancy). This service is free and confidential. OTIS counselors have a variety of backgrounds in the health care field and include doctors, genetic counselors, nurses, and researchers. You can also check out their website at Under resources, you will find information on Crohn’s disease during pregnancy and even fact sheets in English and Spanish on a variety of common pregnancy questions like topical acne creams, caffeine, nausea and vomiting, and depression, as well as some prescription and non-prescription medications.

In addition to providing updated and accurate information on medicines during pregnancy, OTIS conducts telephone interviews with willing participants to learn more about health conditions and medicines during pregnancy. This increased knowledge should benefit women and their doctors in the future by aiding in treatment decisions and ideally providing reassurance. One project, the OTIS Autoimmune Diseases Pregnancy Project is researching the effects of autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis, as well as the medications used to treat these conditions during pregnancy. Participants will not be asked to take or stop taking any medication as part of this study. We are also enrolling a comparison group for this study (women who don’t have an autoimmune disease, but who are pregnant). If you are interested in learning more about this study, please call 1-877-311-8972 (Toll Free in Canada and the US), email or check out the website at

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