Interferon beta is an immunomodulating therapy used in people with multiple sclerosis.
Although highly limited and potentially confounded for certain specific outcomes, the available data do not suggest an increased risk of congenital malformation, miscarriage, low infant birth weight or impaired neurodevelopment following maternal interferon beta use in pregnancy. Due to a lack of any controlled data the risk of intrauterine death is currently unquantifiable.
Following confirmation of pregnancy, it is recommended that an individualised clinical review is carried out by a neurologist. In some cases, pregnancy is associated with spontaneous remission of multiple sclerosis and discontinuation of interferon beta therapy may therefore be an option for some women. In cases where continued treatment with interferon beta is required it should not be withheld on account of pregnancy.
Exposure to interferon beta at any stage of pregnancy would not usually be regarded as medical grounds for termination of pregnancy. However, other risk factors which independently increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome may be present in individual cases. Clinicians are reminded of the importance of consideration of such factors when performing case-specific risk assessments.
This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to NHS health care professionals who are logged in.
If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.
If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.