• Does interferon impact fertility?

    Asked by KRBaum on Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Does interferon impact fertility?

    I've just started Interferon this past week, and I'm single but have hopes to have children someday. My doctor didn't have any direct answers about Interferon impacting fertility, does anyone know whether or not you can still have children after going through Interferon treatments?

    2 Answers from the Community

    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Interferon typically affects your menstrual cycle. Lack of ovulation can be temporary or it can be permanent.

      over 5 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      KRBaum, I am an oncology nurse and to help answer that question I will copy and paste the info from the FDA assuming that you are on Interferon Alfa-2b (Intron-A) which is the Interferon indicated for Melanoma. I hope this helps answer your question:

      Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

      Studies with INTRON A have not been performed to determine carcinogenicity.

      Interferon may impair fertility. In studies of interferon administration in nonhuman primates, menstrual cycle abnormalities have been observed. Decreases in serum estradiol and progesterone concentrations have been reported in women treated with human leukocyte interferon.12 Therefore, fertile women should not receive INTRON A therapy unless they are using effective contraception during the therapy period. INTRON A therapy should be used with caution in fertile men.

      Mutagenicity studies have demonstrated that INTRON A is not mutagenic.

      Studies in mice (0.1, 1.0 million IU/day), rats (4, 20, 100 million IU/kg/day), and cynomolgus monkeys (1.1 million IU/kg/day; 0.25, 0.75, 2.5 million IU/kg/day) injected with INTRON A for up to 9 days, 3 months, and 1 month, respectively, have revealed no evidence of toxicity. However, in cynomolgus monkeys (4, 20, 100 million IU/kg/day) injected daily for 3 months with INTRON A, toxicity was observed at the mid and high doses and mortality was observed at the high dose.

      However, due to the known species-specificity of interferon, the effects in animals are unlikely to be predictive of those in man.

      INTRON A in combination with REBETOL should be used with caution in fertile men. See the REBETOL package insert for additional information.

      This information was provided by Merck Pharmaceutical House as a portion of the packaging insert. It is also available at the U. S. Library of Medicine.

      over 5 years ago

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