MDNews - Greater Kansas

April/May 2012

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++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++ +++ Spotlight on 2- S ++++++++++++++++++++++++ WOMEN'S HEALTH + + FOR ASTHMA IN PREGNANCY Agonists PREGNANT WOMEN WHO ARE ASTHMATIC ARE AT INCREASED RISK FOR ADVERSE BIRTH OUTCOMES AND PERINATAL COMPLICATIONS, INCLUDING PREECLAMPSIA, PREMATURE DELIVERY AND REDUCED BIRTH WEIGHT, ACCORDING TO THE ASTHMA AND ALLERGY FOUNDATION OF AMERICA. OME SELECT STUDIES suggest that decreased oxygen content in the mother's blood due to uncontrolled asthma can potentially lead to spontaneous abortion or congenital anomalies. Christina D. Chambers, Ph.D., M.P.H., perinatal epidemiologist, professor of pediatrics and family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and the Director of the California Teratogen Information Service and Clinical Research Program, is involved in various research and collaborative study efforts concerning women and the effects of both short-term and long-term active beta-agonist use during pregnancy. She recently wrote a paper published in Internal Medicine News discussing beta2-agonists in asthmatic women during pregnancy. "The effects of asthma medication in pregnant women is a really important issue to look at, given that asthma continues to be one of the most common conditions complicating and potentially compromising pregnancy," Dr. Chambers says. "Untreated or poorly treated asthma can be life-threatening for the mother and also prove to have life consequences for the baby. It's imperative to observe the safety of various medications that control asthma symptoms and/or prevent exacerbations in pregnancy, but it's also a difficult task to separate the effects from a medication or combination of medications from the disease itself." A Closer Look In her paper, Dr. Chambers discusses two studies: one analyzing data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and the other focusing on a study derived from admin- istrative data collected in Quebec between 1990 and 2002. As Dr. Chambers affirms in her outline, both studies suggest that beta2-agonists may be associated with an increased risk of congenital anomalies, in particular orofacial clefts. However, due to the lack of published data on long-acting beta2-agonists and pregnancy outcomes, in addition to the studies being observational without knowing whether or not mothers are truly taking medications as prescribed, both studies proved that additional research and attention needs to be paid to studying asthma medication use during pregnancy as it relates to birth outcomes and perinatal complications. "It's necessary to pursue further research because clinicians need to know how to properly weigh the risks of either using a particular drug to control asthma symptoms, avoiding the specific drug altogether during pregnancy or considering another drug that reduces risks while still providing effective symptom control. Again, more data and research are needed to prove these points and provide the most effective treatment methods for both mom and baby," Dr. Chambers concludes. "I encourage physicians to put these and future studies into context when determining appropriate treatment for their pregnant, asthmatic patients and help these women understand the perspectives of risks." ■ A Trusted Provider of Home Infusion for Over 30 Years y Antibiotic services y TPN and tube feeding y Cardiac/inotropic therapies y Immunoglobulins y Pre-and post-transplant therapies y Alpha-1 therapies y Hemophilia services y Pain management y Ambulatory infusion suites y Clinical and compliance monitoring Toll-Free 866.660.5019 | Fax 316.630.4151 Contact our Wichita pharmacy today! 8201 E. 34th St. Circle N, Suite 905, Wichita, KS 67226 © 2012 Coram Specialty Infusion Services MDNEWS.COM ■ MD NEWS Greater Kansas | 13

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