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Pregnancy registries are a valuable resource.

Pregnancy registries are valuable sources of information. For many drugs, they are the primary source of the human pregnancy experience. However, although most of the registries use the word "pregnancy," it is important to note that many also enroll women who took the target drug shortly before conception.

The strengths of these registries are their prospective nature (enrolled before the outcome is known) and enrollment over a wide geographical area. Typically, two types of pregnancy outcomes are obtained: those with birth defects and those without known birth defects (classified as live births, fetal deaths, and spontaneous abortions). Registries can identify early signals of teratogenicity, but they have several limitations: selection bias that results from voluntary reporting; target populations that are not representative; lost-to-follow-up pregnancies that may have had different outcomes than those with documented outcomes; elective terminations and fetal deaths without birth defects and spontaneous abortions, all of which may lack details; the lack of control groups (with some exceptions); and the publication of results that may be delayed or not be in a peer-reviewed journal.

Because the total number of exposed pregnancies is unknown, the data cannot be used to calculate prevalences, but they can be used to estimate the proportion of birth defects. Some registries also collect data on retrospective reports (reported after outcome is known). Such reports are less representative of the target population because they can be biased toward the reporting of more unusual and severe outcomes. But they may be helpful in detecting unusual patterns of birth defects.

For the following drugs, web addresses can be obtained from the Food and Drug Administration website, List of Pregnancy Exposure Registries.


A large registry, the MotherToBaby Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) (877-311-8972), involves patients in several different categories and the effects of the drugs on the embryo-fetus: autoimmune diseases (ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis); asthma at less than 20 weeks' gestation; vaccines; and heterozygous or homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

For the autoimmune diseases, the drugs and trade names are abatacept (Orencia), adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (Remicade), leflunomide (Arava), otezla (Apremilast), teriflunomide (Aubagio), tocilizumab (Actemra), tofacitinib (Xeljanz), and ustekinumab (Stelara).

For the asthma group, the drug being investigated is mepolizumab (Nucala).

Two vaccines--for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y and W-135 (Menveo)--are being studied.

The last category is heterozygous or homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. The two agents in this category are alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha).

Other registries

Breast cancer

The Mother Pregnancy Registry, INC Research (800-690-6720), is enrolling breast cancer patients who have been treated during pregnancy with ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla), pertuzumab (Perjeta), or trastuzumab (Herceptin).


The Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy registry (888-233-2334) is studying eslicarbazepine (Aptiom) and pregabalin (Lyrica).

Fabry disease

The Fabry Registry, Genzyme (617-591-5500), is studying the use in pregnancy of agalsidase beta (Fabrazyme) for Fabry disease.


The Savella Pregnancy Registry (877-643-3010) is looking for patients with fibromyalgia who are being treated with milnacipran (Savella).

Hepatitis B

The Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry, INC Research (800-593-2214), is looking for subjects with hepatitis C who have been treated with ribavirin (Copegus).


Lomitapide (Juxtapid) is being studied by the Global Lomitapide Pregnancy Exposure Registry managed by Aegerion (877-902-4099). The drug is used for homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

Multiple sclerosis

Novartis is conducting the Gilenya Pregnancy Registry (877-598-7237) for patients with multiple sclerosis who are taking fingolimod (Gilenya).

Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada), also indicated for multiple sclerosis, is the target agent for the LEMTRADA Pregnancy Exposure Registry (866-758-2990).

Narcolepsy and other sleep disorders

Armodafinil (Nuvigil), used for excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, is being studied in the Nuvigil Pregnancy Registry (866-404-4106). A second drug with the same indication and telephone number, modafinil (Provigil), is in the Provigil Pregnancy Registry.


Amgen's Pregnancy Surveillance Program (800-772-6436) is enrolling preg. nant subjects with osteoporosis who are being treated with denosumab (Prolia).


Two Merck pregnancy registries (800-986-8999) cover the following conditions: type 2 diabetes sitagliptin+metformin (Janumet) or sitagliptin (Januvia); and migraine headaches rizatriptan (Maxalt).

GlaxoSmithKline is conducting two registries: the Belimumab Pregnancy Registry for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus treated with belimumab (Benlysta) (877-681-6296); and Promacta Pregnancy Registry for women treated for thrombocytopenia with eltrombopag (Promacta) (888-825-5249).

Psychiatric Drugs

The National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics (866-961-2388) is studying 10 drugs: aripiprazole (Abilify), asenapine (Saphris), clozapine (Clozaril), iloperidone (Fanapt), lurasidone (Latuda), olanzapine (Zyprexa), paliperidone (Invega), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), and ziprasidone (Geodon).

The National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants (844-405-6185) is studying amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), bupropion (Forfivo XL and Wellbutrin), Citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), desvenlafaxine (Prisiq), doxepin (Sinequan), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluvoxamine (Luvox), fluoxetine (Prozac), imipramine (Tofranil), isocarboxazid (Marplan), levomilnacipran (Fetzima), maprotiline (Ludiomil), mirtazapine (Remeron), nefazodone (Serzone), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), phenelzine (Nardill), protriptyline (Vivactil), selegiline (Emsam), sertraline (Zoloft), tranylcypromine (Parnate), trazodone (Desyrel), trimipramine (Surmontil), venlafaxine (Effexor), and vilazodone (Viibryd).

The National Pregnancy Registry of Psychostimulants (866-961-2388) is studying amphetamine (Adderall), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and Focalin), lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), methylphenidate (Concerta, Daytrana, Desoxyn, Ritalin), and modafinil (Provigil). The antidepressant duloxetine (Cymbalta) is being studied by the Cymbalta Pregnancy Registry (866-814-6975).

Transplant patients

Renal transplant patients exposed to mycophenolate (CellCept) can be enrolled in the Transplantation Pregnancy Registry International (877-955-6877) or the Mycophenolate Pregnancy Registry (800-617-8191). The Transplantation Pregnancy Registry International also is enrolling renal transplant patients exposed to belatacept (Nulojix).


A quadrivalent influenza vaccine (Afluria) is being studied by the Seqirus Influenza Vaccine Pregnancy Registry (855-358-8972). A second vaccine for meningococcal disease meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y, and W-135 (Menactra) is under study by the Menactra Vaccine Pregnancy Registry (800-822-2463). The Bexsero Pregnancy Registry (877-413-4759) is open to patients who have received the meningococcal group B vaccine (Bexsero). The Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant) Adjuvanted Pregnancy Registry, also listed as HEPLISAV-B, is enrolling patients who have received that vaccine (844-443-7734); it is supported by Dynavax Technologies.

Because the strength of a registry is based on numbers, health care professionals are encouraged to enroll potential subjects or have their patients call to enroll themselves.


Mr. Briggs is clinical professor of pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco, and adjunct professor of pharmacy at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, as well as at Washington State University, Spokane. Mr. Briggs said he had no relevant financial disclosures. Email him at

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Title Annotation:Drugs, Pregnancy, & Lactation
Author:Briggs, Gerald G.
Publication:OB GYN News
Date:Oct 1, 2018
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