Bisphosphonate Exposure During Pregnancy Not Linked to Major Teratogenic Risks

pregnant woman
pregnant woman
Bisphosphonate exposure during pregnancy may not be linked to major teratogenic risks.

The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Rheumatology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for the latest news from ACR/ARHP 2018 .

CHICAGO — Bisphosphonate exposure during pregnancy may not be linked to major teratogenic risks, according to a study presented at the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting held October 19-24, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.

Utilizing PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Ovid, researchers from Drexel University in Philadelphia examined the impact of bisphosphonate exposure on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. The researchers included 15 case reports, 4 case series, and 4 cohort studies in which 120 preconception or pregnancy exposures to bisphosphonates were analyzed for impact on pregnancy or neonatal outcome.

After extensive evaluation, the authors concluded that the evidence for major teratogenic risk was low. There were 7 congenital malformations out of 120 exposures, including 2 cardiac valvular defects, 1 kidney malformation, and 2 bony malformative disorders.

In studies with a comparator group, congenital malformation and abortion rates were similar in those with bisphosphonates exposure compared with controls. Mean birth weight and gestational age were also only slightly lower in those with bisphosphonates exposure compared with the controls.

The researchers concluded, “preconception and pregnancy exposure to bisphosphonates does not pose major teratogenic risks.”

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However, they stressed the importance of further controlled studies to fully establish the safety of bisphosphonates in connection with pregnancy.

For more coverage of ACR/ARHP 2018, click here.


Kaur S, Khaamesi M, Jayatilleke A. Bisphosphonates during pregnancy: a systematic review. Presented at: 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting; October 19-24, 2018; Chicago, IL. Abstract 2424.

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