Reproductive pharmacoepidemiology

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As recognized by the World Health Organization, the health of women and of children are of particular concern because they are disadvantaged for many reasons. Women should have the right of access to appropriate health care services during their entire life. The society must ensure that women can go safely through pregnancy and childbirth, and it must also preserve women’s well-being during the menopausal transition. Newborns should not only survive – they must be given the best possibilities for good health, growth and development during childhood. Knowledge considering drug use during pregnancy and in childhood is limited. Some medications may not be safe to use during pregnancy and several drugs, which are used to treat children have not been approved for such use. In addition, many diseases are increasing in frequency or occur in connection with menopause. Accordingly, further steps to assess consequences of drug use in relation to human reproduction is needed.

Reproductive pharmacoepidemiology includes research in all areas of human reproduction, such as drugs during pregnancy and the neonatal period, drugs for infertility, hormonal contraception and drugs related to the menopause.

Researchers at CPE are involved in several studies focusing on consequences to the mother and the infant of drugs used during pregnancy and infancy. In particular we have studied drugs used for treatment of depression and other psychiatric diseases and anti-inflammatory treatment. Other important areas in which CPE researchers are involved include venous thromboembolism in connection with hormonal contraception, post-menopausal osteoporosis, and occurrence of psychiatric and cardiovascular diseases in connection with menopausal hormone therapy.

Considering that adverse effects of drug use are rare events, very large sample sizes are necessary to assure detection of these events. Accordingly, and to ensure generalizability, many of our studies on consequences of drug use during pregnancy are done in collaboration with research partners around the world and including data from various databases.


The research area is led by Helle Kieler (Publications on PubMed)