Telbivudine use during pregnancy safe, effective in HBsAG-positive mothers
Use of telbivudine (LdT) during the second trimester of pregnancy helps prevent mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus, reveals a study. In addition, treatment with LdT during pregnancy is safe in the long term for both mothers and infants.
A group of researchers enrolled hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive pregnant women and grouped them according to antiviral initiation time. Groups A (n=100) and B (n=100) were treated with LdT initiated in the second or third trimester, while group C (n=90) did not receive antiviral treatment.
The researchers compared the safety and efficacy of LdT treatment, and followed the infants at 1, 5, and 10 years. They also conducted Denver development screening test at 5 years.
The LdT-treated groups had lower viral loads before delivery than group C, while group A was lower compared to than in group B (p<0.001). Infants in LdT-treated groups were not infected, but eight (8.8 percent) in group C had positive HBsAg (χ2=23.20; p<0.001).
Treatment was well tolerated in all mothers, and no adverse events occurred among infants.
Notably, the physical growth index of infants was partly greater than Chinese standard values and exhibited marked differences. The developmental screening test qualified rate of 100 percent and 97.96 percent in groups A and B had no significant difference when compared with 92 percent in normal Chinese children (χ2=5.72; p=0.06).