Can certolizumab pegol affect fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding?
If you're planning to try for a baby, if you become pregnant, or if you're thinking of breastfeeding we suggest you discuss your medications with your rheumatologist.
Current guidelines state that certolizumab pegol can be used throughout pregnancy to help prevent a flare-up of your arthritis.
With other anti-TNF drugs, if taken in the later stages of pregnancy, it's recommended that your baby shouldn't have any live vaccines until they're seven months old in case their immune system is affected. It's not clear if the same applies to certolizumab pegol as it appears that less of this drug reaches the unborn baby than with other anti-TNFs. We suggest you discuss this with your rheumatologist.
Women who are also on methotrexate should stop this drug at least three months before trying for a baby.
There's no evidence certolizumab pegol is harmful in men trying to father a child, and other anti-TNF drugs can be used in this situation. The guidelines now state there's no need for men to stop methotrexate when trying to father a baby.
There's only limited information about the use of certolizumab pegol by women who are breastfeeding, but research suggests it doesn't pass into the breast milk so it's unlikely to be harmful. If you were also taking methotrexate before your pregnancy you should not re-start this until you stop breastfeeding.