Exposure to IOP-lowering medications during the first trimester of pregnancy doesn’t appear to have a strong link to adverse neonatal outcomes, including congenital anomalies, preterm birth and low birth weight, a new study published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology reports.

A team of Japanese researchers analyzed information on pregnant woman with glaucoma from the JMDC Claims Database from 2005 to 2018. The study looked at whether the pregnant women took any IOP-lowering medications, prostaglandin analogues alone or beta-blockers alone, during their first trimester. The investigators compared frequency of congenital anomalies, preterm birth, low birth weight and the composite outcome of these three measures between the women who took IOP-lowering medications and those who didn’t.

They identified 826 eligible women, 11% of whom had taken any IOP-lowering medication. When comparing the pregnant women who took any IOP-lowering medications to those who did not, the researchers noted a low rate of adverse outcomes: congenital anomalies, 9.9% and 6.4%; preterm birth, 2.2% and 4.5%; and low birth weight, 9.9% and 6.0%, respectively. Additionally, the composite outcome of any adverse event was 17.6% and 13.3%, respectively. After adjusting for propensity scores, IOP-lowering medications were not significantly associated with more frequent congenital anomalies, preterm birth, low birth weight or composite outcome.

The results were similar in the prostaglandins-only and beta-blockers-only groups.

Hashimoto Y, Michihata N, Ymana H, et al. Intraocular pressure–lowering medications during pregnancy and risk of neonatal adverse outcomes: a propensity score analysis using a large database. Br J Ophthalmol. September 9, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].