Study Finds No Increased Risk of Neural Tube Defects in Infants Exposed to Dolutegravir

Study Finds No Increased Risk of Neural Tube Defects in Infants Exposed to Dolutegravir

A recent study has confirmed that infants exposed to the antiretroviral drug dolutegravir do not have an increased risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. The study, conducted by researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests that when dolutegravir is taken in a setting where food is supplemented with folic acid, there is no increased risk of neural tube defects in infants exposed to the drug around the time of conception or in early pregnancy.

The study also found a slightly increased risk of pregnancy loss in all women with HIV who were taking antiretroviral treatment around the time of conception. However, the risk of pregnancy loss was not significantly different between pregnancies exposed to dolutegravir and those exposed to other antiretroviral drugs.

Previously, concerns had been raised about the potential risk of neural tube defects associated with dolutegravir. However, subsequent studies in countries such as Botswana, Brazil, and Canada did not find an increased risk of neural tube defects with dolutegravir exposure.

The researchers conducted their study by analyzing over 18 million pregnancies recorded in two large healthcare databases in the United States. They looked at pregnancies in women with and without HIV, and compared the rates of neural tube defects and pregnancy loss between different antiretroviral treatments.

The study provides further evidence supporting the safety of dolutegravir in pregnancy. Both the World Health Organization and national guidelines in Europe and North America now recommend the use of dolutegravir in pregnancy or by women of childbearing potential.

In conclusion, this study adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests that infants exposed to dolutegravir do not have an increased risk of neural tube defects. It also highlights the importance of folic acid supplementation in reducing the risk of neural tube defects for women taking dolutegravir or any other antiretroviral drug during pregnancy.

Glossary:
– Medicaid: A health insurance program in the United States that provides coverage to low-income individuals.
– Multivariable analysis: A statistical technique used to examine the relationship between multiple variables and an outcome of interest.
– Prospective study: A type of longitudinal study that follows a group of participants over time to gather data.
– Comorbidity: The presence of additional health conditions alongside a primary condition, such as HIV.

Sources:
– [Source 1]
– [Source 2]

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