Humira and Pregnancy: What should I know?
Limited research suggests that taking Humira may be safe during pregnancy. However, deciding whether or not to take Humira during pregnancy is a decision that should be made between you and your doctor, who will balance the risks and benefits.
In pregnant women, Humira will cross the placenta, causing the baby to be exposed to the drug, particularly later on during the pregnancy. When a baby is born to a woman who took Humira during the pregnancy, the baby will likely have some level of the drug in their blood. These factors have led to concerns about how Humira may affect birth outcomes and infant health.
While there has not been extensive research on pregnancy and Humira, current evidence has not established a link between in-utero exposure and significant adverse outcomes, such as major birth defects. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concluded that based on limited evidence, Humira and other, similar medications appear to be low-risk for use during pregnancy. 2020 Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology recommend continuing Humira before and during pregnancy on a conditional basis or depending on the circumstances.
Humira is indicated for the treatment of several inflammatory conditions. These conditions can pose risks to a pregnancy when left untreated. For example, flare-ups or increased disease activity in pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel is associated with a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth and low birth weight. Patients with these conditions who do not initiate treatment or discontinue treatment prior to or during pregnancy are more likely to have uncontrolled disease activity.
Your doctor will be able to help you weigh the risks of uncontrolled disease against the risk of Humira exposure during pregnancy.
- National Health Service (UK). Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility while taking adalimumab. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/adalimumab/pregnancy-breastfeeding-and-fertility-while-taking-adalimumab/. [Accessed June 16, 2022].
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HUMIRA (adalimumab) injection, for subcutaneous use. August 2018. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/125057s406lbl.pdf. [Accessed June 16, 2022].
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Immune Modulating Therapies in Pregnancy and Lactation. April 2019. Available at: https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2019/04/immune-modulating-therapies-in-pregnancy-and-lactation. [Accessed June 16, 2022].
- American College of Rheumatology. 2020 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Management of Reproductive Health in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Available at: https://www.rheumatology.org/Portals/0/Files/Reproductive-Health-Guideline-Appendix12-Justification-Medication-Use-Conception-Pregnancy-Lactation-2020.pdf. [Accessed June 16, 2022].
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