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ChrisRenee79 11-26-2012 07:34 PM

Conflicting Opinions On Rebif and Pregnancy
 
I haven't posted in a while because there has been so much going on for me in the past year. I have been feeling relatively well save for a few changes in my nerve pain and my vision lately, but now I feel like I have a bit of a dilema...
My husband and I want to start trying for a baby soon and although I have been talking to my Neuro about what I should do about staying on or going off of Rebif before we start really trying I wanted to hear from others about what they have experienced... He says that if I am testing regularly that I can stay on Rebif until I have a positive pregnancy test and then to immediately stop taking it but I have also heard that you should be off of Rebif for at least a month before even trying to get pregnant. I would love to hear from anyone that has gone through this process, I'm a bit afraid to get pregnant while on Rebif, but I'm a bit afraid to go off of it and risk a relapse if it takes 6 months or so for us to get pregnant.

MSJayhawk 11-26-2012 10:55 PM

Re: Conflicting Opinions On Rebif and Pregnancy
 
The manufacturer as well as the FDA only state that you should stop using Rebif immediately if you find yourself pregnant. I would probably ask how long it takes Rebif to clear your system before you try to have a baby as this would be above all the safest choice.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but that do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. It is an ethical dilemma because it would be tragic if pregnant women were subjected to medical trial as they and their child could both suffer.

Among these Category C meds are:

Based on the meds noted in your signature:

1. Animal studies on Baclofen (Lioresal, Gablofen) and pregnancy have shown that this medication may increase the risk of a certain birth defect in the wall of the stomach. Although this is a pregnancy Category C medication, a healthcare provider may still prescribe it if the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.

2. Neurontin (Gabapentin) should only be given in pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk. It should not be used if you plan to breastfeed as it will pass to the baby at maximum dosage.

3. Rebif may be harmful to an unborn baby, or may cause a miscarriage. Do not use Rebif if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether interferon beta-1a passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Rebif without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

I would discuss all of your meds with your neuro and your OB/Gyn or Family Doctor. You can still have a healthy baby. I hope my info can help. :angel:

MSNik 11-27-2012 04:19 PM

Re: Conflicting Opinions On Rebif and Pregnancy
 
Hi. It takes 6 full months for Rebif to completely get out of your body. Do NOT get pregnant on Rebif. Statistically, the manufacturer will tell you that it increases risk of a miscarriage and birth defects substantially.
Go off it for 3-6 months minimum before you attempt conception...the good news is, during the months you are off it, some of it is still in your system, and you are protected to a certain extent.
Best to you..
Nikki

ChrisRenee79 12-09-2012 07:24 AM

Re: Conflicting Opinions On Rebif and Pregnancy
 
Thank you both for your insight! This is one of those hard MS subjects for me to think about and deal with, especially when the MD's recommendation is different from what I've been hearing from those who have been through it and/or have more experience with how the DMDs work and affect your body. I was talking to my mother about this the other day and telling her how much I wished getting pregnant could be a "happy surprise" for my husband and I rather than such a planned out event. The more planning we have to put into when we actually get pregnant, i.e. go off meds for x number of months and then try to get pregnant for x number of months and if we don't get pregnant in that time, having to go back on Rebif, feels like a so much pressure and then gets me thinking about everything it will take to care for a baby - hence the "fear" of so much planning... I'm not really afraid of having a baby, I think I just get overwhelmed when I think of everything that will go into caring for one with me having MS and also being the main breadwinner for our family, even though my husband is WONDERFUL when I'm having a rough day. Can you tell I'm a major "Type A" personality worrying about all of this before it even happens??!! :)

MSNik 12-10-2012 03:20 AM

Re: Conflicting Opinions On Rebif and Pregnancy
 
Chris,
I commend you. If there is ever a time to be a major type A and worrying ahead of time, this would be it. Bringing a baby into the world is not something to take lightly.

I think its awful that you are having to do this the way you are, and I really hate that you feel the way you do, like its all so "planned out", but in the end, I think its the right and responsible thing to do.

I know youll be a wonderful mother and because you ARE thinking this through so extensively, youll make all the right decisions.

Congrats. its a huge step even getting this far. Please keep us posted!
Nikki

Chicago Woman 04-28-2013 02:14 PM

Re: Conflicting Opinions On Rebif and Pregnancy
 
Hi ChrisRenee79, I am new to this group. I found this message board through a google search because I am concerned about the same exact thing you describe in your post.

I am 31 years old, have pretty much had trouble with MS since late in 2009. Been on Rebif since March 2012. Got married May 2012 and my DH and I are trying to conceive our first child.

Little bit of hx:
I had MRI scans back in January 2012 to confirm dx of MS before I was put on Rebif. The scans showed 2 new lesions and one was 'active' (prior to this new activity I only has 1 lesion back in 2010). Was then prescribed the Rebif, March 2012. been on it a year with no huge issues. Had my yearly MRI scans done this past February (2013) and the results showed 2 'new' lesions. All this while I had been on Rebif for almost a full year.
Having these results, my neuro recommended me to stay on my Rebif while trying to conceive.

Every other source out there contradicts this method. MS Lifelines, my MS nurse, the box label on Rebif and other MDs say to be off at least one month before TTC.
Soooo.... I am in this quandary as you are.

I actually compromised with my neuro cause I was so concerned with this method being on Rebif while TTC. So currently, I take my Rebif MWF 2 weeks out of the month. When I get a positive 'LH surge' from my ovulation kits, I stop Rebif for that week and the following week before my next period. This way, IF i DON'T get my next period and confirm a pregnancy, I just stop all future injections. If my period arrives, I just continue my Rebif like normal.

So the plan behind this is to try and conceive when the Rebif levels are lower as you are not injecting the week of ovulation and implantation. My neuro and my Rebif nurse said the Rebif will still be in your system for at least 3 weeks after your last injection.

I get that but for me, not taking the shots while trying to conceive makes me feel a little better. Still confusing and scary anyway you slice it for me though.....

Hang in there and hopefully, you are pg!!!
xo



[QUOTE=ChrisRenee79;5095134]I haven't posted in a while because there has been so much going on for me in the past year. I have been feeling relatively well save for a few changes in my nerve pain and my vision lately, but now I feel like I have a bit of a dilema...
My husband and I want to start trying for a baby soon and although I have been talking to my Neuro about what I should do about staying on or going off of Rebif before we start really trying I wanted to hear from others about what they have experienced... He says that if I am testing regularly that I can stay on Rebif until I have a positive pregnancy test and then to immediately stop taking it but I have also heard that you should be off of Rebif for at least a month before even trying to get pregnant. I would love to hear from anyone that has gone through this process, I'm a bit afraid to get pregnant while on Rebif, but I'm a bit afraid to go off of it and risk a relapse if it takes 6 months or so for us to get pregnant.[/QUOTE]


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