One of the very very first things the doctor order is to not only use one form of contraception but TWO. The medications cause tremendous birth defects and we are told that from the get go. I would be shocked to find any doctor on this earth who could prescribe these medications without saying that loud and clear beforehand.
You need to get to an experienced specialist immediately.
Most of the concerns raised about ribavirin's teratogenicty is a result of experimental animal tests. Ribavirin has been found to be teratogenic and/or embryolethal in several species of animals: in hamsters, ribavirin was associated with defects of the limbs, eyes, and brain; in rats, defects of the brain and eyes predominated -- but these were experiments exposing bone marrow cells. Because of its frequent association with adverse effects on pregnancy in animal experiments, the marketing approval of ribavirin specified that it be avoided in women or girls who are pregnant or may become pregnant within four weeks after exposure to the drug.
In terms of real human exposures, there HAVE been case reports of NORMAL outcomes in pregnancy from exposed parents. The infants of nine women who were treated with ribavirin for severe measles during the second half of pregnancy did not have an increased incidence of anomalies (Clin Infect Dis 14:217-226, 1992.). Nevertheless, you should absolutely seek out prenatal care as soon as possible, and share with your OB your concerns about your husband's current treatment in relation to your pregnancy. A consultation with a geneticist/genetic counselor or knowledgeable perinatologist may also be helpful.
The manufacturer of products containing ribavirin (Schering Corp.) maintains a registry for pregnancy-related exposures in females and males. If pregnancy occurs in a patient or partner of a patient during treatment or the 6 months after treatment cessation, patients or their clinicians can call (800) ***-****. A separate Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry can be contacted at (800) ***-****, or online http://www.****.com.
I noticed MedHelp didn't allow the phone numbers and website I posted above.
The first number was 800, seven-two-seven seven-zero-six-four. The separate Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry is 800, five-nine-three two-two-one-four or on the Web using keyword ribavirinpregnancyregistry *******. Hope that helps
Because it is a nucleoside analogue, ribavirin interferes with DNA and RNA replication and hence may affect the embryo. Rodent studies have shown teratogenicity with relatively low doses (1–10 mg/kg) but not in nonhuman primates at doses of 60–120 mg/kg.13 Pharmacokinetic modelling has suggested that aerosolized ribavirin may pose a teratogenic risk to health care workers.14
Although the true risk for teratogenic effects in humans is unknown, an industry-based registry at Schering Plough Inc. did not record a higher-than-expected teratogenic rate among several hundred pregnant patients with hepatitis C who were treated orally during their pregnancies.15 There are no data on ribavirin exposure through breast-feeding. Clearly, the current experience with intravenous ribavirin in the treatment of SARS is likely to result in much higher fetal exposure, and current recommendations include avoidance of the drug during pregnancy and lactation. Given the prolonged intracellular half-life and the current lack of knowledge in this regard, effective contraception should be practised by women who receive ribavirin, during treatment and for at least 6 months after treatment is completed. There are some concerns, as yet unproven, about potential effects on sperm; however, Schering's registry of almost 1000 men showed no malformations after exposure to the drug. Because ribavirin has been shown to be teratogenic only during embryogenesis (i.e., first trimester in humans), use of the drug in later stages of pregnancy may not increase the teratogenic risk.”
While one certainly doesn't want to minimize the potential risk of birth defects, this article appears to suggest that direct or indirect exposure to ribavirin doesn’t *guarantee* that it will happen. The authors do go on to say, “effective contraception should be practised by women who receive ribavirin, during treatment and for at least 6 months after treatment is completed.”
Jeez; SARS patients receiving ribavirin IV? Anyone signing up for clinical trials :o)?
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