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Does leflunomide affect fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding?

If you’re thinking of having a baby, you should discuss your medications with your rheumatology team beforehand.

From the limited evidence available, leflunomide doesn't appear to be harmful in human pregnancy. But because the evidence is so limited, both men and women who are taking leflunomide are advised to use contraception.

Women who want to have a baby are usually advised to stop taking leflunomide and have a special wash-out treatment before trying to become pregnant. If you prefer not to have the wash-out treatment your doctor may advise you to continue using contraception for up to two years after stopping leflunomide.

If you become pregnant while taking leflunomide, stop the drug and speak to your doctor as soon as possible about having the wash-out treatment. As long as you stop the drug and have the wash-out treatment it's very unlikely that leflunomide will have caused any harm to your baby. 

As a precaution, men taking leflunomide may also be advised to have the wash-out treatment before trying to father a child.

Breastfeeding isn’t recommended if you’re on leflunomide because it may pass into your breast milk and could affect your baby.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
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