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Pregnancy and Peg treatment
Aug 20, 2001

My husband and I are trying to conceive a child. He has hep C. The doctor said there really isn't a risk of transmission, so this wouldn't be a problem. He is due to start interferon treatment soon, I am trying to get pregnant prior to him starting instead of waiting until after he is done with treatment. (Age and health related on my part). If we want to have another child, we must do it within one year or not do it at all. My question is, I know these drugs can cause birth defects. If I am already pregnant when he starts interferon, do I have to take any precautions? Can the interferon be excreted through sweat or saliva and cause harm to the baby?

Response from Dr. Dieterich

It is not the interferon that is the problem it is the ribavirin. It can be terribly teratogenic, that is causing birth defects. When you get pregnant if your husband is taking ribavirin with the peg(as he should be) then you still have to use condoms to keep any ribavirin that might be in semen away from the fetus. If you don't get pregnant before he starts, I would recommend storing some semen in a sperm bank which your MD might use later on to help you get pregnant. Good luck! DTD

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