No Increased Risk of Congenital Abnormalities Found With Paternal Use of Immunosuppressant Therapies Interview with:

Alexander Egeberg, MD PhD National Allergy Research Centre, Departments of Dermato-Allergology and Cardiology Herlev and Gentofte University Hospital, University of Copenhagen Hellerup, Denmark

Dr. Alexander Egeberg

Alexander Egeberg, MD PhD
Gentofte Hospital
Department of Dermatology and Allergy
Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: An issue that frequently arise in clinical practice is the question from patients whether they should discontinue their therapy if they want to have children. Since immunosuppressant agents are frequently used for a number of conditions, and discontinuation could lead to disease flaring, assessment of the potential impact of such drugs on birth outcomes is important.

In our study, we examined birth outcomes in children whose father had received treatment with methotrexate, azathioprine, cyclosporine, and mycophenolate mofetil in the time leading up to conception.

Importantly, we found no increased risk of congenital abnormalities, low birth weight, or preterm birth associated with paternal treatment with these drugs. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: While some drugs were used quite infrequently (in particular mycophenolate mofetil) and may therefore be a bit more difficult to conclude on, the overall message is that these drugs do not appear to be associated with adverse birth outcomes following paternal treatment, and that their use is this population should not be a major cause for concern. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We examined adverse birth outcomes, but we did not look at the chance of successfully conceiving a child while on therapy. This questions remains unanswered, and future studies are warranted to examine this. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Birth outcomes in children fathered by men treated with immunosuppressant drugs before conception – a Danish population-based cohort study.

Egeberg A1, Gislason GH2, Nast A3.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on May 16, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD