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Getting pregnant 3 months after Ribavirin??
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Getting pregnant 3 months after Ribavirin??

My husband finished his 1 year treatment with Ribavirin. After only the first 4 months of treatment the hep C was undetectable, but the treatment was still taken to full term. We would like to try to get pregnant and his doctor said to wait 3 months from the end of treatment date before we try to concieve (conceive). Is this correct? Everywhere else I keep reading to wait 6 months...
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Avatar_f_tn
Is this a doctor who treats people for HCV?  SIX months is the minimum you should wait.  I don't know where that doctor is getting his information from.  The drug company will tell you the same thing if you contact them.  That doctor is being seriously irresponsible in making that recommendation and I don't have any problem at all in saying you should ignore his recommendation and wait six months.  Ribavirin is considered very teratogenic.  

te·rat·o·gen   
[tuh-rat-uh-juhn, -jen, ter-uh-tuh-]  Show IPA
–noun Biology .
a drug or other substance capable of interfering with the development of a fetus, causing birth defects.

http://www.drugs.com/pro/ribavirin.html#Section_5.1

Significant teratogenic and/or embryocidal effects have been demonstrated in all animal species exposed to Ribavirin. In addition, Ribavirin has a multiple dose half-life of 12 days, and it may persist in non-plasma compartments for as long as 6 months. Therefore, Ribavirin, including Ribavirin tablets, is contraindicated in women who are pregnant and in the male partners of women who are pregnant. Extreme care must be taken to avoid pregnancy during therapy and for 6 months after completion of therapy in both female patients and in female partners of male patients who are taking Ribavirin therapy. At least two reliable forms of effective contraception must be utilized during treatment and during the 6 ­month post treatment follow-up period [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Personally, I'd wait longer than six months but that's just me.  I don't base it on any data, just that I'd want to have enough distance between myself and the drug to be sure so it would be a personal preference only.

Trish
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Avatar_f_tn
His doctor is a specialist and treats mostly HCV patients. We are actually past the 3 month waiting time but I've just not been comfortable with trying due to the waiting period discrepancy. We are just really antsy to concieve (conceive). My husband keeps telling me that his doctor knows best... but that's clearly not the case. I guess I really just wanted to see if anyone else had recieved the same advice. I mean this doctor even gave us a copy of his notes that stated he okay'd us trying after 3 months!!

We will just continue to wait, thanks for the help!!
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Avatar_f_tn
This doctor knows better than the results of clinical testing on this?  The drug company publishes this information.  If they could make their drug look better, they would.  So them publishing that double contraception should be used while on treatment and beyond so that no pregnancies can occur until six months post treatment is a pretty straightforward recommendation.  

http://www.merckfrosst.ca/assets/en/pdf/products/Pegetron-PM_E.pdf

Black box warning on Ribavirin saying the same as quoted above:

http://blackboxrx.com/app/display.php?id=420

It scares the cr@p out of me that this doctor is recommending to his patients that they only wait three months and frankly, he should be reported for this if he's telling other patients that they can proceed after three months.  He's putting the health of their pregnancies at serious risk, in my opinion.  

Furthermore, your husband won't know until six months after treatment if his HCV treatment has been successful.  I don't know if your doctor has told you otherwise on that also.  So if you're also waiting until you know if the treatment has been successful, even though an undetectable test at 12 weeks is practically home free, the six month post treatment test is the clincher.  Has his doctor been testing for presence of virus after treatment has ended?

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Antsy to get pregnant is one thing, having a baby with major birth defects is another.
Personally if they six months I would wait a year to be sure that it was completely out of his system.  

I echo Trish this doctor should be reported for telling patients this - there is a reason people are told to use two forms of birth control on treatment ribavirin is a dangerous, dangerous drug to a baby.

If you dont believe us find a different heptologist and ask and they will confirm.
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Avatar_m_tn
I hope you and your husband listen to the advise you are getting. Is your doctor a hepatologist? I would talk to another doctor about it and I agree about waiting a year just to make sure.

Knowingly increasing the risk of defects in your child because of a desire to have a child is not a good way to begin a life of parenting. How would you explain this to your child if they were effected because of impatience and it could have been prevented.

It's good that you had enough concern and sense to ask the question, now tell your husband you need to wait.

-Dave
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with nygirl...  Personally, even though 6 months is the minimum amount of time to wait to conceive after HCV treatment, I would wait no less than a year.  The treatment meds are nothing to mess with and I wouldn't want my baby affected by them.
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