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Perinatal Use and Discontinuation of Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs: Outcomes of Patients Seen at a Pregnancy and Rheumatic Diseases Clinic.

BACKGROUND: Managing rheumatic disease activity using pregnancy-compatible medications is essential for reducing adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. We characterized medication use and discontinuation before, during, and after pregnancy, among female patients with rheumatic diseases attending a targeted pregnancy and rheumatic diseases clinic.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional medical record review of female patients with rheumatic diseases at a Canadian clinic between January 2017 and July 2020. Patients were categorized by pregnancy stage at their latest clinic visit: (1) preconception; (2) pregnant; (3) postpartum. We assessed use of conventional, biologic, and targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), prednisone, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs across 6 perinatal windows: 24 and 12 months preconception, each pregnancy trimester, and 3 months postpartum. We reported adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for medication discontinuation in the first trimester and subsequent disease flare.

RESULTS: Of 230 included patients, 85 (37.0%), 12 (5.2%), and 133 (57.8%) were preconception, pregnant, and postpartum, respectively. Approximately half experienced at least 1 disease flare during each pregnancy stage (56.4% preconception, 58.1% during pregnancy, and 53.7% postpartum). Most used at least 1 DMARD throughout the perinatal period (82.6% preconception, 55.6% during pregnancy, and 45.1% postpartum). Overall, 25.5% discontinued at least 1 DMARD in the first trimester. DMARD discontinuation was associated with disease flare during pregnancy (aOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 0.55-4.03; p = 0.87) and postpartum (aOR, 3.09; 95% CI, 0.83-11.47; p = 0.09).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients receiving care at a pregnancy and rheumatic disease clinic show perinatal medication use patterns consistent with recent recommendations and clinical guidelines.

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