First line DMT doesn’t affect fathering

Lu E, Zhu F, Zhao Y, van der Kop M, Synnes A, Dahlgren L, Sadovnick AD, Traboulsee A, Tremlett H.
Birth Outcomes in Newborns Fathered by Men with Multiple Sclerosis Exposed to Disease-Modifying Drugs. CNS DRUGS. 2014 MAR 19. [EPUB AHEAD OF PRINT]

#MSresearch. Interferons and Glaterimer acetate don’t affect your fathering ability

OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of births fathered by men with multiple sclerosis (MS) exposed to a disease-modifying drug (DMD) around the time of conception, and investigate the association between DMD exposure and birth outcomes in newborns of exposed and unexposed MS fathers.
METHODS:Population-based databases in British Columbia (BC), Canada, (the BCMS database, Vital Statistics Birth Registry, Population Data BC Consolidation File/Census GeoData, BC PharmaNet and the BC Perinatal Database Registry) were linked in this retrospective cohort study (1996 to 2010). Multivariate models were used to examine the association between interferon-beta (IFNβ) or glatiramer acetate (GA) exposure (within 64 days prior to or at conception; i.e., the duration of spermatogenesis) with birth weight and gestational age of newborns.
RESULTS: Of 195 births fathered by men with relapsing-onset MS, 80 births (41 %) were to fathers treated with a DMD before their child was born, with 53/195 (27 %) exposed within 64 days prior to or at the time of conception. Of the 53 exposed births, 37 were to IFNβ and 16 to GA. Mean birth weight of IFNβ-exposed and GA-exposed newborns was similar to that of unexposed newborns (adjusted difference: -107 g for both, p > 0.3). IFNβ-exposed and GA-exposed newborns also had comparable mean gestational ages relative to unexposed newborns (adjusted difference: -0.5 and -0.3 weeks, respectively, p > 0.2).
CONCLUSIONS: About one in three would-be fathers with MS were exposed to IFNβ or GA around the time of conception; there was no compelling evidence to suggest that exposure was associated with either lower birth weight or gestational age.

This study looks at male MSers on DMT and finds no evidence that it affects your fertility or any affect on the unborn fathered by the MSer.  This is not surprising as neither beta interferons or glaterimer acetate are associated with destroying DNA,which is where the risk could come if it affected sperm production.

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  • As I understand it, current practice is to do a washout period if considering trying for a baby. Would this still be the advice after these results? What about advice under the NHS in the UK?

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