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Groundbreaking Study on Lupus Medication Taken During Pregnancy

Recruitment is underway for a groundbreaking study on the treatment of lupus medication during pregnancy. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, lupus is a chronic disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of the body. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that one’s immune system — the body system that usually fights infections — attacks healthy tissue instead.

The new observational research, led by world-renowned UC San Diego epidemiologist Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, is the first of its kind for the nonprofit MotherToBaby, an organization that provides evidence-based information on medications, diseases, vaccines, herbal supplements and more during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Which Lupus Medication Will Be Studied?

The study will recruit 400 pregnant people over a five-year period to evaluate use of a lupus drug treatment called Benlysta® (belimumab). Benlysta is used to treat the most common type of lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as well as lupus nephritis. Currently, there is limited information on the drug’s use in pregnancy.

blocks spelling out lupus with pills scattered about
(Shutterstock)

The study will be MotherToBaby’s first to focus on a treatment specifically for lupus, and participants will be enrolled into the MotherToBaby Pregnancy Studies research program. Chambers, who is the lead investigator for MotherToBaby Pregnancy Studies, Co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings, and Chief of the Environmental Science and Health Division in the UC San Diego Department of Pediatrics, noted that: “Lupus can raise the risk of pregnancy complications, so it’s important for both the mom and her developing baby that this condition be well-managed during pregnancy. So, when treatments for lupus like belimumab are available, we want to do our best to gather information about those pregnancies where this medication has been used.”

The study is enrolling pregnant and recently pregnant people with exposure to Benlysta® and will provide critical information on the use of this medication during pregnancy. Participants will not be asked to change any part of their health care routine, including medications, nor will they be asked to travel.

AmeriDisability will do its best to provide updated findings from this study when available. 

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