View Full Version : Cell cept
11-09-2006, 12:14 AM
After a recent flare up I have been put on cell cept. I am concerned about the lack of research done on women who would like to have children. I have so many questions - will I be able to stop taking this medication to have children?? will my kidenys survive that?? will the child be effected if i am off the drug but have taken it for a long period of time beofre getting pregnant???
so many questions!! LIz
11-14-2006, 04:21 PM
Most doctors will adivse you to take an effective contraception before beginning CellCept therapy, during therapy, and for 6 weeks after CellCept therapy has been stopped. Since CellCept can cause birth defects in animals, it is believed that it may also harm the fetus of a pregnant woman. The effect of CellCept on pregnant women and their fetuses has not been thoroughly studied and the exact ramifications are not known. Therefore, doctors advise that CellCept should not be taken by pregnant women unless the potential benefit justifies the risk to the fetus. Further, it is suggested that two reliable forms of contraception be used together if you choose to have sexual relations while taking Cellcept.
It is highly suggested that you do not try to become pregnant for at least six weeks AFTER discontinuing Cellcept!
Peace and Blessings
11-14-2006, 05:03 PM
Lizzy, there have been a number of instances where women who have received organ transplants have gone on to have successful pregnancies even after being on immunosuppressive drugs like Imuran and cellcept for long periods. So, unlike some of the chemotherapy drugs such as cytoxan, cellcept doesn't appear to affect your fertility, if that was a concern. As Saysusie mentioned, you should use two reliable forms of contraception to avoid getting pregnant while on cellcept, since it has caused birth defects in animal studies. But there are some cases, again involving organ transplant patients, where women have stayed on cellcept throughout their pregnancy. No serious birth defects were reported, but the drug did appear to increase the risk of low birth weight and premature birth.
Hope this reassures you a little bit! :)
11-16-2006, 02:46 PM
thank you both for your response.
I do want to have children one day and I just wanted to know that the meds i am currently on wil not interfere with that wish, i want to have children at a young age but with 2 lupus flare ups in the span of 8 months i think it will be a long road, do i have to wait until i get to remission before trying to have kids? wot if i am not in remission and the lupus is active but i don't have a flare up?? can pregnancy cause a flare up??
sorry about the questions, i just want some answers
11-16-2006, 02:58 PM
Hi, Lizzy - this is one of the issues where a lot depends on your condition and your meds. If you do not have any organ involvement, then your doctor may be willing to switch you to other meds so you can try to get pregnant. Before you think about pregnancy - make sure you are tested for antiphospholipid antibodies (a blood test is all that's needed). These antibodies are present in many women with lupus, and increase the risk of miscarriage or fetal loss, so these need to be detected early - many women with APS will need to be on aspirin therapy while pregnant to prevent miscarriage. There are a couple of women on the forum now who are pregnant and doing great. For some women pregancy can cause a flare - others feel better during pregnancy and have flare ups afterward. So this is something that's really imposible to predict, and can even vary from pregnancy to pregnancy in the same person.
11-18-2006, 08:21 PM
Hi, I have kidney involvement and use Cellcept and have decided not to become pregnant due to Lupus. I feel it's too big a risk to my health.
It's a tough decision to make, but I'm looking forward to adopting someday. An OB/Gyn told me that Lupus can be ok during 1st and 2nd trimesters, but almost always gets worse in the 3rd. Anyway, for me the decision came down to how long it has taken me to get my Lupus under control and how damaged my kidneys are.
I use an IUD for birth control - LOVE it! And you only have to use one form that way.
11-18-2006, 09:51 PM
Hi, Missy. I'm really glad you like the IUD and it's a good option for you. But generally, the copper IUD isn't a good birth control option for many women with lupus, because the immuno-suppressive drugs increase the risk of developing a serious infection, And our strange immune systems also increase the risk of developing an allergy to the copper. Just one more of those strange things we have to be extra careful about! :)
11-20-2006, 03:06 AM
I have never heard of that contraceptive, but maybe that because I live in Australia. Is it a pill or injection?? I was on the IMPLANON which is a tiny rod in your arm but it was having bad effects with my lupus, now I am just on the pill which is not really safe being on all the anti-biotics I am on as well!
11-20-2006, 03:08 AM
Does anyone know if you can be on cellcept without being on steriods??
11-20-2006, 07:21 AM
An IUD is an intrauterine device - they are a common method of birth control in the US - I don't know about Australia, you guys might call it something different there. And yes, most doctors actually prefer to use cellcept or other drugs such as plaquenil or Imuran, instead of steroids whenever possible, because of the many side effects of long term steroids. A short term course of steroids may be necessary to control a bad flare or treat organ involvement, but for long term therapy, they are not recommended unless absolutely necessary. Hope this answers your question!
11-29-2006, 10:02 PM
I use the Mirena IUD - it is not copper and is good for 5 years. I get a new one in February. IUDs are actually the most common form of birth control in the world. It's not as common in the US as in Europe due to some problems with the old copper ones in the 70s. Usually doctors suggest an IUD after a first live birth because the uterus has been stretched and it is more comfortable to insert. IUD stands for Intra Uterine Device - it is a little device that is in the shape of a T that is inserted into the uterus through your vagina. The Mirena I use also releases a small amount of Progesterone. I'm sure there is a lot of info on the internet if you are interested.
11-29-2006, 10:04 PM
Ooops! Also forgot to mention that I've been on Cellcept with out being on steroids, too. You can use steroids to manage smaller flare issues while the Cellcept manages the larger problem.