Should you take Copaxone when you are pregnant? I had a reader say she was going against her doctor’s advice and continuing on Copaxone during her pregnancy. Concerned, I called the company to find out what they had to say about the matter. Here is what I was told: Copaxone is a class B drug for pregnant women. Drugs are classified by their safety for pregnant women. B means that in animal studies no effects were seen in the fetus. There has been no research on the matter due to the ethics of testing medication on pregnant women. Copaxone’s advice is to speak to the doctor who will give advice based on specific cases.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “Pregnancy reduces the number of MS relapses, especially in the second and third trimesters.” They go on to say that relapse rate in the postpartum 3-6 months is 20-40%. It could be that the natural corticosteroids and circulating proteins may be the reason for the decrease in relapses. “None of the disease modifying medications… are approved for use during pregnancy.” John Hopkins Medicine Health Library states, “MS symptoms decrease in pregnancy and increase during postpartum.” I can’t help but wonder if lack of sleep and stress of an infant causes the relapses and if a mother has additional help at night and day nap times if those relapse numbers would go down.
Classes for Drugs & Pregnant Women Summarized from Wiki
Class A – study was completed on humans and showed no harm to fetus
Class B – study was completed on animals and showed no harm to fetus or animal studies did show adverse effects but with humans there were none
Class C – animal studies showed adverse effect
Class D – human fetus is at risk but possible benefits outweigh that risk
Class X – human fetus is at risk and risk outweighs the benefit
Class N – drug does not have a pregnancy risk rating
I am not a medical specialist and never give advice, only my story and what I find in research.
Learn more about this topic at:
Copaxone – 800-887-8100
Wiki Pregnancy Category – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_category
National Multiple Sclerosis Society – http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Living-Well-With-MS/Family-and-Relationships/Pregnancy
John Hopkins Medicine Health Library – http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/physical_medicine_and_rehabilitation/multiple_sclerosis_and_pregnancy_85,P01160/
Jama Neurology – http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=590203
Image from: www.brighamandwomens.org.