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Does the drug Leflunomide affect the fetus?

Q: I have been suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis for the last four years. Recently I got married and my wife is now expecting a child. I want to know whether arthritis would affect the child? I had been taking Leflunomide and methotrexate previously but I had left taking the medicines for about five months before I fathered the would be child.

A:A gap of 5 months would NOT be considered safe for pregnancy in patients taking leflunomide. This medicine is highly teratogenic (causes serious birth defects in the foetus) and the patient is ALWAYS advised to practice contraception. Otherwise a gap of 2 years from the last dose of leflunomide could be considered safe for pregnancy. You must discuss the problem with your rheumatologist in detail.

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