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Does combination-therapy effect fertility and future pregnancies?
Nov 25, 2001

I'm 34 year old, married, mother of a 2-year old son and infected with chronic Hepatitis C, which I coincidently discovered after I volunteered to give blood. A liver punction showed fibrosis, stage 1.

My hepatologist advised me to start combination therapy (PEG-Intron + Ribavirine), and I want to follow his advise. I also want to volunteer for an Amantadine study against HCV, which means taking this medicine, or a placebo, during the Intron+Riba therapy.

My disease is off course the first thing that I focus on and I hope the therapy will cure me in the end. But I also feel my biological clock is ticking away and I would like to have another baby after the treatment(s). My docter said that it's safe to have a baby, six months after I will have stopped treatment(s). I asked him if there is a possible danger for my fertility or a future pregnancy after those six months. May PEG-Intron, Ribavirin and Amantadine cause problems in the long run? And have the long-term effects on fertility or pregnancies ever been studied?

I hope you can help me with more information.

Your's sincerely,

Susanne B.

Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres

AS you may imagine,there are no studies in pregnancy with RBV,and all the information we have is not from randomized studies.RBV is teratogenic,this is a fact,and its effects stay in the cells up to 6 months.This is because the drug will be around for that long.After that ,there are no reports to suggest further problems.IFN,will be out of your system much earlier. You need to understand that you will be then unable to conceive safely for 18 months or more.If you have so limited disease there is no urgency to have therapy at this point,and you may opt to have your baby first.There is no significant progression in the severity of the liver histology, in the majority of the cases for2-3 years.



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