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Date: 05.08.2010
From: Emma

Subject: Anti TNFs & pregnancy

I have recently transferred to a new rhemumatologist after I moved house, and my new doctor has recommended I try anti TNF treatment for my psoriatic arthritis. He made it sound like the perfect solution but I am of course wary! I had never heard of it before.

I am a 29 year old female, diagnosed with PA as an 11 year old and have felt that my symptoms have been worsening over the last couple of years, especially during the summer. I have tried Sulphasalazine which gave me sores around my mouth so I had to stop. I did not want to go on Methotrexate as I am wanting to try for a family soon. Currently I take Naproxen.

This new doctor was very positive that anti TNF would be the best option as it's safer when trying to conceive (he even hinted it might make it easier to conceive). However, the leaflets he gave me about the different options all said you should use contraception when having this treatment.

The leaflets were a bit old - has there been more recent evidence that it is safe? I'd be very interested to hear people's views, either those who have been on anti TNFs and also those who have had a family whilst having treatment for arthritis.

I will of course be raising these questions with the professionals but I'd really appreciate hearing from people who've been through it themselves.

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Date: 06.08.2010
From: louloubelle

Subject: Re: Anti TNFs & pregnancy

wow, emma - you sound just like me! I'm 30, have had PA since 9, been on a milion different drugs over the years with no success and started anti-tnf 8 years ago. It completely transformed my life.

The leaflets I was given then did make the side effects sound quite alarming. The main one that concerened me was the increase risk in cancers but research since then has shown it is only certain types of skin cancer (I looked into this in great depth as I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer).

The main thing to look out for is infections (such as bladder infections and chest infections etc) and see the doctor straight away for anti-biotics but I have to say that in the 8 years I've been on the drugs I have never had any major problems with illness.

I am now 29 weeks pregnant (I don't do things by half measures) and took anti-tnf right up until getting a positive pregnancy test. My rheumy would have happily kept me on the medication throughout pregnancy if it weren't for the lack of research - he tells me there is no medical reason for it to cause any problems to an unborn child but without the research to back this up it is not a chance worth taking. The pregnancy is progressing really well and my little baby boy is growing nice and big.

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions do not hesitate to ask.

All the best
Lou x
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Date: 11.08.2011
From: louloubelle

Subject: Re: Anti TNFs & pregnancy

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Date: 11.08.2011
From: charlotte

Subject: Re: Anti TNFs & pregnancy

I am so confused now. Last year my Rhumy put me on methetrexate even though just married and wanted children (am 31) and basically we agreed that needed to get me stabalised. Now i am being put forward for the anti-tnf but was told children not an option at all.

without meds the pain is unbearable and after 6 mths trying to concieve we gave in to meth.

so we made the decision to adopt which is a 2 year process. yesterday started the interegation of home visit to determine if we are able to be parents - it was emotionally draining

i am so down anyway and then i read that possibly there is some hope - i just don't know what to feel anymore or which way to turn
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