Treating lupus

What do I need to know about CellCept® and fertility?

Dr. Hermine I. Brunner is a Pediatric Rheumatologist with a special clinical and research interest in Pediatric Lupus. She is involved in trial design and provides statistical support at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

See all of Hermine I. Brunner, MD, MSc's answers.

There is no study that can definitively answer the question about azathioprine (Imuran®) and infertility. Many women with lupus do get pregnant after taking azathioprine, and the ability to conceive is not thought to be a major issue with this drug. There seem to be no birth defects associated when women take Imuran during pregnancy.

CellCept® falls in a similar category; however CellCept should definitely be stopped at least 90 days before attempting to conceive.

Although most doctors are not enthusiastic about women with lupus continuing azathioprine during pregnancy if this can be avoided, it has been used safely in some women throughout pregnancy, and there are fewer worries if a woman becomes accidentally pregnant on azathioprine.

Medically reviewed on July 21, 2013