PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

Do I need to stop taking my medications for ulcerative colitis if I want to get pregnant?

ANSWER

Two drugs for ulcerative colitis are known to cause birth defects: methotrexate and thalidomide. Ask your doctor to switch you to other drugs at least 3 months before you plan to start trying to get pregnant.

Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking steroids or take a very low dose. They can be risky during pregnancy, including a slightly higher chance that a baby will be born with a cleft palate.

Other medications for ulcerative colitis may be OK to take.

From: Pregnancy With Ulcerative Colitis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

Dubinsky, M.  , December 2008. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Maconochie, N.  , February 2007. BJOG

Fukushima, T.  , 2005. Toxicological Sciences

Cornish, J.  , June 2007. Gut

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America: "IBD and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know," "Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's Clinical Alliance Presents Findings Related to Pregnancy Outcomes in Patients Being Treated for Inflammatory Bowel Disease."

Alan C. Moss, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; director of translational research, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.

American Pregnancy Association: "Eating for Two When Over/ or Under Weight."

Uma Mahadevan, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of clinical research, Center for Colitis and Crohn's Disease, University of California, San Francisco.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on November 14, 2017

SOURCES: 

Dubinsky, M.  , December 2008. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Maconochie, N.  , February 2007. BJOG

Fukushima, T.  , 2005. Toxicological Sciences

Cornish, J.  , June 2007. Gut

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America: "IBD and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know," "Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's Clinical Alliance Presents Findings Related to Pregnancy Outcomes in Patients Being Treated for Inflammatory Bowel Disease."

Alan C. Moss, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; director of translational research, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.

American Pregnancy Association: "Eating for Two When Over/ or Under Weight."

Uma Mahadevan, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of clinical research, Center for Colitis and Crohn's Disease, University of California, San Francisco.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on November 14, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Can I have a healthy baby if I have ulcerative colitis?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.