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It is important to control asthma during pregnancy. However, some studies indicate that women stop or change their asthma medications when they become pregnant. We used a population database to analyze changes in prescriptions for asthma medications to patients before, during, and after pregnancy. We collected information from a pregnancy database that is part of the population-based pharmacy prescription InterAction Database from the northern Netherlands. Our study cohort comprised 25,709 pregnancies for which prescription data were available. We collected data over a study period of 1 year before pregnancy until 6 months after birth and analyzed data from pregnant women who received at least 1 prescription for asthma medication during the study period (n = 2072), identifying all prescriptions for asthma medication and oral corticosteroids. Prescriptions for asthma medications did not change during pregnancies from 1994-2003. However, during the 2004-2009 period, there was a significant decrease (P = .017) in prescriptions for asthma medications during the first months of pregnancy compared with the months before pregnancy, especially prescriptions of long-acting bronchodilators. Although most asthma prescriptions continued throughout pregnancy, prescriptions for controller therapies were reduced by 30% during the first months of pregnancy. Many women stop or reduce their use of asthma medications when they become pregnant. Strategies to safely control asthma during pregnancy are needed. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


Priscilla A Zetstra-van der Woude, J Sebastiaan Vroegop, H Jens Bos, Lolkje T W de Jong-van den Berg. A population analysis of prescriptions for asthma medications during pregnancy. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 2013 Mar;131(3):711-7

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PMID: 23063582

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