Remicade and Pregnancy...what does the drug do to the baby?

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jl115
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/16/2009 7:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I am 27, had Crohn's since I was 16, and I've been on remicade every 8 weeks since November of 2006, with no side effects and it's been a great drug for me.  It's the only drug I've had to be on (aside from prednisone right after I was hospitalized Oct. 2006--hate that stuff!:) A month ago I found out that I was pregnant with my first.  It wasn't exactly planned, but none of my doctors are worried about me and me being on remicade while pregnant.  My GI, my ob/gyn, and the parinatal specialist all say that it's fine for me to continue on remicade while pregnant and I'll be having my first treatment while pregnant at 9 weeks.  The tests that I've found seem to give positive (but limited) info about tests done with pregnant women on remicade, but I can't seem to find info on what the drug will/could do to the fetus?  Does the baby get the medicine too??  I've found some helpful information about what the drug could do while breatfeeding, but I can't seem to find much info about what the drug will do now.  If anyone knows anything or has experience being pregnant on remicade, I'd love to hear it!
jen

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 3/16/2009 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jen and welcome to Healingwell. We have had a few mom's on here who have received Remicade while pregnant and all had successful pregnancies and healthy babies. The thought is a healthy mom, produces a healthy baby. I am sure they will be along soon. Congrats on your coming little one!

Hugs,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Beth
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 3/16/2009 8:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I wasn't on Remicade when pregnant, but I was on Humira when pregnant with my 2nd baby. I'm almost positive that Remicade doesn't cross the placenta until later in the third trimester so the baby isn't exposed to it.

Congrats on your pregnancy!  :-)


Beth
 
Dx in early 1999
Resection in June 2006
Currently on Humira
 


Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 3/16/2009 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Most of us mothers with CD have had to be on meds while preg. My advice to you is if you "can" go on a milder drug like prednisone or pentasa than do that, but if you cannot, then try not to worry about it. There have been quite a few moms who had healthy babies while on remicade.

No one can say for sure what the long term effects are of remicade while preggo. Pred. has been studied and used for over 50 years, so they know that it is safe. But you must weigh the positives and negatives very carefully.

Of course, if you have faith in God, pray for the health of your baby and chances are your baby will be just fine. Take good care of yourself and the precious little one growing inside!

I just had a healthy baby girl myself! I was on pred., pentasa, beta blockers, probiotics, tylenol, etc.

Roni

caroline_r
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 3/16/2009 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Roni said...
Most of us mothers with CD have had to be on meds while preg. My advice to you is if you "can" go on a milder drug like prednisone or pentasa than do that, but if you cannot, then try not to worry about it. There have been quite a few moms who had healthy babies while on remicade.

No one can say for sure what the long term effects are of remicade while preggo. Pred. has been studied and used for over 50 years, so they know that it is safe. But you must weigh the positives and negatives very carefully.

Of course, if you have faith in God, pray for the health of your baby and chances are your baby will be just fine. Take good care of yourself and the precious little one growing inside!

I just had a healthy baby girl myself! I was on pred., pentasa, beta blockers, probiotics, tylenol, etc.

Roni


Where did you hear that prednisone is safe during pregnancy??? That is so untrue! Those are steroids and steroids are dangerous for both you and especially for your baby when you're pregnant. Taking steroids while your pregnant leads to all sorts of deformations, etc. Steroids have always been the drugs that are dangerous especially when taken more than 3 months but necessary because sometimes there's just no other way. The latest studies here in Europe show that steroids shouldn't even be given to the people with CD because they cause damage in the inner layers of intestines (my vocabulary is probably wrong) but sometimes you just have to take them because there is no other solution. But pregnancy and steroids are a BIG NO-NO! I can't believe you took it while you were pregnant :-o I am truly in shock!

jl115:

about Remicade...in America doctors have no problem tellling their patients that it's ok to be on it while pregnant. In Europe the doctors are a bit more worried about it and most of them will say that you have to quit Remicade/Humira if you get pregnant. The thing is that in 30 years from now we will probably now all the consequences of taking Remicade while being pregnant. Right now, no one can really be certain about anything. That's all I can tell you about it. All I know. I would never stay on Remicade if I was pregnant, my doctor would be very much against staying on Remicade but even if that wasn't the case I still wouldn't be ok with continuing Remicade.

In the end this is your choice. It would be safer to be on Imuran while pregnant. I don't think Pentasa would help you all that much. Whatever you decide make sure you get all the info about it both from the US and Europe.

Good luck :)
21 yr. old with crohn colitis. Diagnosed in March 2004. No surgeries so far.


Stef17
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 3/16/2009 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
jl115, CONGRATS on your pregnancy! I have had 2 healthy remicade babies. Baby #3 started off with remicade and then I switched to Humira when I was about 13 weeks along. Back in 2006 my GI at the time, who is part of a large GI research team in Miami, informed me that the latest studies had shown that remicade doesn't even cross the placenta until somewhere between 30-32 weeks in the pregnancy. He suggested that I receive my last infusion around then and then wait the last 8 weeks with no infusion and get one right after delivery. So, that is what I did. But, that was baby #2, and that information wasn't known when I was preggo with #1 and getting infusions 10mg/kg every 5 weeks. I had an infusion with baby #1 at 35 or 36 weeks and she is 5 going on 25 if that helps you feel any better about the effects of it on the baby. :)

I have found that remicade has NO negative effects on the baby. They are all healthy, happy, intelligent kids and I wouldn't hesitate to take remicade while pregnant. I believe that remicade has been labeled Pregnancy Category B, which is better than Prednisone, which is Category C. Anyway, there are quite a few moms on here who have healthy remicade babies and I think they would tell you the same thing. Healthy mom= healthy baby. It would be wonderful if we didn't have to take our meds while pregnant, but some of us just don't have that luxury. I hope more of them come and post so you can get some more personal experiences. Feel free to email me if you want. I'm more than happy to answer any questions you might have. I breastfed while on remicade too.

want_2_be_well
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 181
   Posted 3/16/2009 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
 
Interesting that Caroline caught the steriods being dangerous for expectant mothers, but suggested Imuran.  Imuran is listed as a class D drug that could be harmful.  I have been told by my OB and GI that I will remain on Remicade (if I become pregnant).  Each dr. has a differing opionion on Imuran, one says during conception it is ok the other would want me off during conception.  Either way, studies now are leaning towards Remicade being safe.  The way my GI explained it to me is Crohns out of control during pregancy could cause more problems for the baby then the Remicade.
 
 
Best of luck to you and Congratulations!
 
 
want_2_be_well
33 year old Female
Diagnosed with CD 2006, had suffered long before 2006.
CD Meds: Remicade every 7 weeks & Imuran 50 mg,
Also have seasonal allergies, milk allergy, and asthma.
  
 


caroline_r
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 3/16/2009 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
want_2_be_well said...
Interesting that Caroline caught the steriods being dangerous for expectant mothers, but suggested Imuran. Imuran is listed as a class D drug that could be harmful. I have been told by my OB and GI that I will remain on Remicade (if I become pregnant). Each dr. has a differing opionion on Imuran, one says during conception it is ok the other would want me off during conception. Either way, studies now are leaning towards Remicade being safe. The way my GI explained it to me is Crohns out of control during pregancy could cause more problems for the baby then the Remicade.





Best of luck to you and Congratulations!


The person above said she should maybe switch to Prednisone. I just said that Imuran is safer than Prednisone and in Europe they do let women stay on it while pregnant, and that if she starts thinking about switching to another drug while pregnant it shouldn't be prednisone. With Remicade/Humira it's still a no-no - that's how it is in Europe. Because Remicade is still a new drug and there needs to pass another 30 years for us to know what are the real good sides and the real bad sides.

You can read the ECCO consensus. I'm not saying anything out of my head. I'm just saying that the US and Europe have different approaches and when talking about European approach there's a consensus on it and there's no harm in checking it out.

Of course that it would be best not to be on any meds. My personal opinion is that I wouldn't stay on Remicade if I was pregnant. Since most women here feel differently, I just thought it would be ok to hear from someone who doesn't.
21 yr. old with crohn colitis. Diagnosed in March 2004. No surgeries so far.


Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 3/16/2009 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Caroline, my information about pred. comes from one of the top Obstetricians in Canada, two GIs, and my cardiologist. For my last pregnancy, I was seen at one of the top 6 hospitals for women and infant health IN THE WORLD.

I have NEVER heard a doctor suggest that predninsone was "dangerous" for a pregnant woman or her baby. Untrue.

I also spoke with motherisk.org at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital (again a world famous hospital for children's health), and they assured me according to all the studies that prednisone is considered fairly safe during pregnancy.

Prednisone has been studied for over 50 YEARS in pregnant women, so the effects are well noted. The most noted effect from my memory is that it might (and very rarely) cause a cleft lip.


Jen, you can always contact motherisk.org for the most up to date information about nearly every drug for pregnancy and breastfeeding concerns.
Here's what the website says about Remicade: http://www.motherisk.org/prof/updatesDetail.jsp?content_id=726

Again, mother risk has thorough and up-to-date information.
 
I wish you the best for your pregnancy!
 
Roni

Kriss
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 357
   Posted 3/16/2009 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm staring Remicade in a couple of weeks... when my doc was telling me about the side effects, etc. while we were making the decision she told me that they don't give it to pregnant women in her office. She said that it is classified as a category B (I believe), so that means that it can be given, but they prefer not to. They err on the side of caution when it comes to treatment for pregnant women.
32 year old female... diagnosed with Crohn's/Colitis at age 16, then with Proctitis in 2005... right hemi-coloctomy April 2001 (removed 12 inches)... currently taking 100mg 6MP, Canasa, acidolpholus, Protonix, B12 injections once a month, tapering dose of 40mg Prednisone, Bentil and Percoset as needed... considering Remicade


crohn's pt mom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 3/17/2009 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Back in October I asked my daughter's GI about Remicade.  He said he really didn't want to start it now when she is in her childbearing years.
 
However, last week in the hospital she had a young GI fellow who told her the whole history of remicade and how wonderful it is - no mention of her "childbearing" years. 
 
Definitely a personal decision.  Good luck! 
 
 

Chasity102304
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 3/20/2009 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
You can do a search about remicade and pregnancy on this site and finds several posts with different opinions and thoughts. I took remicade while pregnant with my daughter who is now 6 1/2 months old. She is perfectly healthy with no issues what so ever. According to a study done by a GI at Cleveland Clinic it is not known to have any higher % of risk than a "normal" pregnancy with no meds. My GI was all for me staying on it considering I almost died while pregnant with my first daughter and on no meds. Healthy mom=healhty baby in 90% of the cases I have ever heard of. Even if you do find info about miscarriages or babies being born with abnormalities, there is no proof or evidence that they are caused from remicade.

Go with your heart and trust your doctors. It's an individual decision for every person. For me, without remicade I wouldn't have had the option to have another baby so I'm grateful to the med for what it's done for me.

GOODLUCK and Congrats on the joyous occasion!
Fibromyalgia DX March 2003
Crohn's DX Jan 2006 (Symptoms since 96-Misdiagnosed as "female" problems-Major flare during pregnancy in 05 which lead to DX)
1st resection July 2007
Currently on Remicade/8 weeks

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