NMOSD is an autoimmune disease, which means your body’s immune system is attacking healthy cells in your central nervous system. The condition is caused by inflammation in the central nervous system, which is made up of the optic nerve, brain stem, and spinal cord. Without treatment, continued inflammation can lead to severe attacks that may result in blindness and paralysis.
Little is known about pregnancy and NMOSD, but some studies indicate that:1
This means that NMOSD can pose unique challenges in addition to the usual pregnancy symptoms and potential adverse pregnancy outcomes. If you are a woman of childbearing potential with NMOSD, please make sure that your healthcare provider is aware that you are currently pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.
Studies have shown that pregnancy can worsen NMOSD symptoms and might contribute to a relapse of the disease.1 Some studies have suggested that women with NMOSD more commonly experience miscarriages and pre-eclampsia than other pregnant women.1,2 Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication that causes high blood pressure and, if it is left untreated, can cause serious outcomes, such as slowing the growth of the baby.3
However, women living with NMOSD can have healthy pregnancies and healthy children. Managing pregnancy with NMOSD is a collaborative effort between the woman and her doctor.
All pregnant women are advised to think carefully about any substances (for example, foods, drinks, and medications) they put into their body. This is because some substances can move from the mother’s bloodstream directly into the baby’s bloodstream (through the placenta). It is important to discuss all medications that you are taking with your healthcare provider when you are pregnant, including herbal medications and supplements. Your healthcare provider will weigh the risks and benefits of any medications or treatment that you are currently taking to help you decide what to take during your pregnancy.
In many cases, when a woman takes a medication, the effect of that medication on the health of her baby is not known. This is because pregnant women are often not allowed to participate in studies that evaluate potential new medications. Therefore, pregnancy registries are studies conducted to learn more about medications and their effects on pregnant women and their babies. The aim is to provide women and their healthcare providers with information to help them make informed decisions about their treatment before, during, and after pregnancy in the future.
It is not known at this time if inebilizumab could harm your unborn baby. Inebilizumab should be used during pregnancy only if the benefits outweigh the risks. Women with NMOSD are advised that if they use inebilizumab while they are pregnant, they should make sure any doctor caring for their new baby knows that they used this medication during pregnancy.
For this registry, we would like to ask you to share your pregnancy information if you have taken inebilizumab in the 6 months before getting pregnant or at any time during your pregnancy. Sharing your pregnancy information with this registry could help give healthcare providers information about whether taking inebilizumab could have an effect on pregnancy or the health and growth of babies.
Your healthcare provider should be the first source of information about your pregnancy and NMOSD. In addition, there are NMOSD patient advocacy groups where you can seek information from people who may have experience with NMOSD and pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may be able to help you contact a group that is active in your local area.