Glatiramer acetate during early pregnancy: A prospective cohort study

Mult Scler. 2016 May;22(6):810-6. doi: 10.1177/1352458515623366. Epub 2016 Jan 11.


Background: Only limited data are available on whether glatiramer acetate exposure during pregnancy has an effect on perinatal outcome.

Objective: To determine the effect of glatiramer acetate exposure during pregnancy on pregnancy outcomes in women with multiple sclerosis.

Methods: We compared the outcome of pregnancies of women with multiple sclerosis exposed to glatiramer acetate with pregnancies unexposed to disease-modifying therapies. Women were enrolled into the German Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy registry. A standardized questionnaire was administered during pregnancy and postpartum. Detailed information on course of multiple sclerosis and pregnancy, concomitant medications, labor, delivery, and outcome of pregnancy was obtained.

Results: We collected data on 246 multiple sclerosis pregnancies, 151 exposed to glatiramer acetate and 95 unexposed to disease-modifying therapies during pregnancy. Three (2.2%) congenital anomalies occurred in the exposed and 6 (6.7%) in the control group. We did not observe an increase in other adverse pregnancy or delivery outcomes including spontaneous abortions, preterm birth, Cesarean sections, or reduced birth weight in the exposed group.

Conclusion: Our data provide further evidence that glatiramer acetate exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy appears safe and without teratogenic effect. These findings provide important additive knowledge to better counsel women with multiple sclerosis in planning a pregnancy.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; disease-modifying therapies; glatiramer acetate; pregnancy; pregnancy outcomes; safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced* / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / chemically induced*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight / drug effects*
  • Cesarean Section* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Glatiramer Acetate / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Premature Birth / chemically induced*
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Glatiramer Acetate