Systemic anti-inflammatory treatment of atopic dermatitis during conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding: Interdisciplinary expert consensus in Northern Europe

M Deleuran, B Dézfoulian, J Elberling, I Knutar, H Lapeere, A H Lossius, M L A Schuttelaar, A Stockman, E Wikström, M Bradley, M de Bruin-Weller, J Gutermuth, J M Mandelin, M C Schmidt, J P Thyssen, C Vestergaard

1 Citation (Scopus)


Treating atopic dermatitis (AD) in pregnant or breastfeeding women, and in women and men with AD aspiring to be parents is difficult and characterized by uncertainty, as evidence to inform decision-making on systemic anti-inflammatory treatment is limited. This project mapped consensus across dermatologists, obstetricians and patients in Northwestern Europe to build practical advice for managing AD with systemic anti-inflammatory treatment in men and women of reproductive age. Twenty-one individuals (sixteen dermatologists, two obstetricians and three patients) participated in a two-round Delphi process. Full consensus was reached on 32 statements, partial consensus on four statements and no consensus on four statements. Cyclosporine A was the first-choice long-term systemic AD treatment for women preconception, during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, with short-course prednisolone for flare management. No consensus was reached on second-choice systemics preconception or during pregnancy, although during breastfeeding dupilumab and azathioprine were deemed suitable. It may be appropriate to discuss continuing an existing systemic AD medication with a woman if it provides good disease control and its benefits in pregnancy outweigh its risks. Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, methotrexate and mycophenolate mofetil should be avoided by women during preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with medication-specific washout periods advised. For men preconception: cyclosporine A, azathioprine, dupilumab and corticosteroids are appropriate; a 3-month washout prior to conception is desirable for methotrexate and mycophenolate mofetil; there was no consensus on JAK inhibitors. Patient and clinician education on appropriate (and inappropriate) AD treatments for use in pregnancy is vital. A shared-care framework for interdisciplinary management of AD patients is advocated and outlined. This consensus provides interdisciplinary clinical guidance to clinicians who care for patients with AD before, during and after pregnancy. While systemic AD medications are used uncommonly in this patient group, considerations in this article may help patients with severe refractory AD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use
  • Azathioprine/therapeutic use
  • Breast Feeding
  • Consensus
  • Cyclosporine/therapeutic use
  • Dermatitis, Atopic/drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate/therapeutic use
  • Mycophenolic Acid/therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy


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