Pregnancy outcomes after exposure to tocilizumab: A retrospective analysis of 61 patients in Japan

Ken Nakajima, Omi Watanabe, Mayumi Mochizuki, Ayako Nakasone, Nobuhiko Ishizuka, Atsuko Murashima

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess the effects of tocilizumab on pregnancy outcomes in Japanese patients with rheumatic disease. Methods: Data from Chugai’s tocilizumab safety database (April 2005 to October 2014) were retrospectively analyzed to identify pregnancy outcomes in patients exposed to tocilizumab. Results: Data were available for 61 pregnancies exposed to tocilizumab, and outcomes were reported for 50 of those pregnancies. In 36 births, no congenital anomalies were identified; however, six neonatal abnormalities were reported: five cases of low birth weight (<2500 g) and one case of neonatal asphyxia. Of 36 births, tocilizumab was resumed during lactation in two patients, with no subsequent adverse events reported in newborns. The spontaneous abortion rate was 18.0% (9 of 50 pregnancies), which is comparable to the rate in the general population. The five terminated pregnancies included one case of caudal regression syndrome. Conclusions: The present retrospective study of 61 pregnancies exposed to tocilizumab at conception indicated no increased rates of spontaneous abortion or congenital abnormalities in patients with rheumatic disease. However, further study is necessary to confirm the benefit-risk profile of tocilizumab treatment during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-671
Number of pages5
JournalModern rheumatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 2


  • Abortions
  • Pregnancy outcome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tocilizumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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