The Asthma Center

Will asthma affect my pregnancy?

Most women with asthma can complete pregnancy without any special problems affecting them or their infants. However about one third of these women will experience worsening of their asthmatic symptoms at some point during pregnancy. Your asthma specialists may have to alter medications and follow your asthma more frequently during this time. In spite of this, most pregnant women, even those with flares of asthmatic symptoms, usually have childbirths which are not complicated as a result of their asthma or asthma medications.

The following medications are relatively safe and have been used in pregnant asthmatic women:

  • theophylline
  • beta-agonists (e.g. Proventil®, Maxair™, Serevent®)
  • cromolyn sodium (Intal®)
  • nedocromil (Tilade®)
  • corticosteroids (e.g.Vanceril®, Azmacort®, Aerobid®, Flovent®, Advair®, Pulmicort Turbuhaler®, Asmanex® and a short burst of prednisone).

To most asthma specialists, the risks of using such medications far outweigh the risks of having untreated or undertreated asthma. The greatest risk to both mother and fetus is low oxygen from a severe asthmatic episode, usually resulting from not receiving adequate treatment. Check with your asthma specialists before using any asthma or allergy medication during pregnancy.