Cessation of asthma medication in early pregnancy

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jul;195(1):149-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2006.01.065. Epub 2006 May 2.


Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether women alter their use of asthma medications during pregnancy.

Study design: Weekly asthma medication use was determined from prescription claims data in a cohort of 112,171 pregnant women aged 15 to 44 years who were continuously enrolled in the Tennessee Medicaid program prior to their singleton pregnancy and who delivered a singleton birth during 1995 to 2001. Change in asthma medication use was evaluated using generalized estimating equation analyses.

Results: Women with asthma significantly (P < or = 0.0005) decreased their asthma medication use from 5 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. During the first trimester, there was a 23% decline in inhaled corticosteroid prescriptions, a 13% decline in short-acting beta-agonist prescriptions, and a 54% decline in rescue corticosteroid prescriptions.

Conclusions: Utilization of all categories of asthma medications decreased in early pregnancy, with the largest declines occurring for inhaled and rescue corticosteroids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Tennessee


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents