Purpose: To analyse the drug use pattern in women with psoriasis before, during and after pregnancy.
Methods: All children born (2009-2016) in a central Italian region (Lazio) to mothers with a diagnosis of psoriasis were identified. Drug use patterns (biologicals, systemic, and topical), and discontinuation and switching of drug therapies before, during, and after pregnancy were studied. Findings were compared with data from a population exposed to similar drug therapies (eg, antirheumatic drugs).
Results: Among 3499 deliveries by women affected by psoriasis, 1876 (53.6%) were diagnosed with this condition before the Last Menstrual Period (LMP). Of these, 525 (27.9%) had at least one drug prescription for psoriasis therapy during 6 months before LMP. For each class of drugs considered, there was a general decrease in its use during pregnancy. Considering the two trimesters preceding LMP and the three trimesters of pregnancy, the following percentages of prescriptions were observed: from 10.5% to 0% for biologicals, 7.2% to 2.5% for the conventional systemic drugs, and 51.1% to 9.4% for the topical treatments. After delivery, previous treatments were resumed. Similar results were observed for rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic condition.
Conclusions: Majority of drugs come with warnings regarding potential embryo-fetotoxicity, which might play a role in the decision to continue treatments during pregnancy. According to our study pregnancy appears to have a significant influence on drug prescriptions of different pharmacological treatments for psoriasis.
Keywords: drug discontinuation; pharmacoepidemiology; pregnant women; psoriasis; rheumatoid arthritis.
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.