Tuberculosis treatment during pregnancy is safe for both mother and child, study finds

According to a new study by the Curtin and Telethon Kids Institute, seven out of 10 pregnant women were cured of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and gave birth to healthy babies after taking a drug previously thought to be dangerous during pregnancy.

Published in Open the JAMA networkThe study examined the experiences of 275 pregnant women with MDR-TB living in South Africa, Peru, Brazil, Iran and Uganda.

Lead researcher Dr. Kefyalew Alene of the Curtin School of Population Health and the Telethon Kids Institute said the study found that a drug used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, linezolid, was associated with favorable pregnancies and high treatment success.

“This is the first comprehensive review of treatment outcomes for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in pregnant women, who remain one of the most vulnerable groups among the half million people living with the disease worldwide,” said Dr. everyone

“I was surprised to find that as many as 73.2% of pregnant women with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis gave birth to healthy babies and that 72.5% of women responded to treatment, meaning they were cured of the disease or have completed treatment. with success. »

dr Alene said the study answers a difficult global problem of when to treat pregnant patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

“Second-line anti-TB drugs used to treat MDR-TB are thought to be toxic to the fetus, and previous research has suggested waiting until treatment occurs after birth,” said Dr. alene

“TB can have a more devastating impact on mothers and babies than the side effects of the drug. If MDR-TB is left untreated, it can put the mother at risk of morbidity and death of both mother and child.

“This study shows that we need to start treatment as early as possible during pregnancy. However, more research is needed on the use of linezolid during pregnancy, as long-term use may increase the risk of gastrointestinal upset, ototoxicity, and psychiatric disorders. »

The remaining proportion of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth, miscarriage, low birth weight and stillbirth, were not caused by the drug but by the disease itself. The researchers concluded that the outcome would be worse if the drug was not taken.

This study was funded by a research grant from the Australian National Council for Health and Medical Research.

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Materials provided by Curtin University. Note: Content can be edited for style and length.

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