Updated Asthma Guidelines Released for Pregnancies
The US National Asthma Education and PreventionProgram (NAEPP) recently updated its asthmaguidelines for pregnant women. "The NAEPP expertpanel's review of the evidence concludes that it issafer for pregnant women with asthma to be treatedwith asthma medications than for them to have asthmasymptoms and exacerbations,"said BarbaraAlving, MD, acting director of the US National Heart,Lung, and Blood Institute.
She explained that "the guidelines also recommendobstetric care providers become part of thepatient's asthma management team to help ensurethat the patient's asthma is evaluated frequently andher care plan is adjusted as needed to help herhave a healthy pregnancy."
The new guidelines include suggestions for astep-by-step approach for treatment based on asthmaseverity and a synopsis of gestational safetydata for specific asthma drugs. Furthermore, recommendationsinclude monitoring asthma controlduring pregnancy so that necessary treatment modificationscan be made to maintain the mother's lungfunction and make sure the fetus has a sufficientoxygen supply. (The updated guidelines werereported in the Journal of Allergy & ClinicalImmunology, January 2005.)