Safety of azathioprine in pregnancy in inflammatory bowel disease

Gastroenterology. 1990 Aug;99(2):443-6. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(90)91027-4.


Although azathioprine has been reported to be safe during pregnancy in renal transplant recipients and patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, opinions vary whether it should be continued in pregnancy in inflammatory bowel disease. A retrospective analysis of the outcome of 16 pregnancies in 14 women receiving azathioprine for inflammatory bowel disease was performed. There was one infective complication of pregnancy (hepatitis B virus infection), but there were no congenital abnormalities or subsequent health problems in the children. This preliminary study suggests that azathioprine is safe in pregnancy in inflammatory bowel disease patients and that termination of pregnancy is not mandatory for those who conceive while taking the drug.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use*
  • Azathioprine / toxicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Azathioprine