Objective: To estimate isotretinoin exposure in Dutch pregnant women despite the implemented pregnancy prevention programme (PPP) and second, to analyse the occurrence of adverse fetal or neonatal outcomes in these isotretinoin exposed pregnancies.
Design: Population-based study.
Setting: The Netherlands.
Participants: A cohort of 203,962 pregnancies with onset between 1 January 1999 and 1 September 2007 consisting of 208,161 fetuses or neonates.
Main outcome measures: Isotretinoin exposure in the 30 days before or during pregnancy. Proportions of adverse fetal or neonatal outcomes, defined as intrauterine deaths ≥16 week of gestation and neonates with major congenital anomalies. ORs with 95% CIs adjusted for maternal age were calculated to estimate the risk of adverse fetal or neonatal outcome after maternal isotretinoin exposure.
Results: 51 pregnancies, 2.5 (95% CI 1.9 to 3.3) per 10,000 pregnancies, were exposed to isotretinoin despite the pregnancy prevention programme. Forty-five of these pregnancies, 2.2 (95% CI 1.6 to 2.9) per 10,000 pregnancies, were exposed to isotretinoin during pregnancy and six additional women became pregnant within 30 days after isotretinoin discontinuation. In 60% of isotretinoin exposed pregnancies, women started isotretinoin while already pregnant. In five out of the 51 isotretinoin exposed pregnancies (53 fetuses), 9.4% (95% CI 1.3% to 17.6%), had an adverse fetal or neonatal outcome. The OR for adverse fetal or neonatal outcomes after isotretinoin exposure in 30 days before or during pregnancy was 2.3 (95% CI 0.9 to 5.7) after adjustment for maternal age.
Conclusions: Although a PPP was already implemented in 1988, we showed that isotretinoin exposed pregnancies and adverse fetal and neonatal events potentially related to the exposure still occur. These findings from the Netherlands add to the evidence that there is no full compliance to the isotretinoin PPP in many Western countries. Given the limited success of iPLEDGE, the question is which further measures are able to improve compliance.
Keywords: EPIDEMIOLOGY; isotretinoin; pregnancy prevention programme.
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