Designing drug trials: considerations for pregnant women

Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Dec 15;59 Suppl 7(Suppl 7):S437-44. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu709.


Clinical pharmacology studies that describe the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs in pregnant women are critical for informing on the safe and effective use of drugs during pregnancy. That being said, multiple factors have hindered the ability to study drugs in pregnant patients. These include concerns for maternal and fetal safety, ethical considerations, the difficulty in designing appropriate trials to assess the study objectives, and funding limitations. This document summarizes the recommendations of a panel of experts convened by the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. These experts were charged with reviewing the issues related to the development of preclinical and clinical drug studies in pregnant women and to develop strategies for addressing these issues. These findings may also be utilized in the development of future drug studies involving pregnant women and their fetus/neonate.

Keywords: drug trials; pharmacokinetics; pregnancy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Placenta / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnant Women*
  • Research Design
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration