Fexofenadine is an antihistamine drug used to relieve allergy symptoms, like runny nose, watery eyes, itching, hives, and sneezing. During pregnancy, the use of fexofenadine is recommended only when absolutely necessary, but the effect of the drug on the fetus is not well documented. This study aims to evaluate the association between the use of fexofenadine during pregnancy and the risk of adverse fetal outcomes.
This is a nationwide registry-based cohort study that included a cohort of 1,287,668 pregnancies. The use of fexofenadine was compared with cetirizine hydrochloride during pregnancy, matched in a 1:1 ratio on propensity scores. The primary outcome of the study was adverse fetal outcomes, including major birth defects and spontaneous abortion.
A total of 2,962 and 4,901 pregnancies of fexofenadine were included and matched with the exact number of pregnancies with cetirizine use. The findings suggested that major birth defects occurred in 118 infants (4.0%) with fexofenadine use, compared with 112 infants (3.8%) with cetirizine use. Spontaneous abortion occurred in 413 pregnancies (8.4%) with fexofenadine use compared with 439 pregnancies (9.0%) with cetirizine use.
The research concluded that the use of fexofenadine during pregnancy was not associated with a higher risk of adverse fetal outcomes when compared with the use of cetirizine.