• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Imuran and birth defects?


Hey guys, I'm getting some conflicting answers so I've turned to you guys. I need to know if Imuran can cause birth defects if the MALE is on it. I've looked at some old threads but they are just that...old. My GI says he gives it to pregnant women with no problems and some other online sources says its okay but others say it can cause birth defects even if the male is the one on it.

I don't know why I'm even thinking about children but my fiancee and I don't wear a condom because she's on birth control and we've been together for so long that as much as it would suck right now at this point in our lives, we would deal with it and make the changes we need too.

Does Remicade and Humira cause birth defects?

Thanks for the help guys
My brother has been on Imuran 50mg for the past 6 years. During that time period he had two beautiful little girls. He hasn't had any experience with birth defects while on it.


Just 50mg? How is he doing on that low of a dose? I would feel so much more comfortable on that dose over 150mg
My husband takes 150mg and one of our sons was born while on it. No problems other than lactose intolerance but that comes from me. Our older son who was born while he was on pentasa or asacol can't remember which is the one with Crohn's
Just 50mg? How is he doing on that low of a dose? I would feel so much more comfortable on that dose over 150mg
That was the dose I was on the first time. Last winter the new GI put me on 150 mgs, and it messed with my blood work terribly. 50 mg worked fast and very well on me years ago.


Staff member
KWalker, I was on about 75mg when my wife had our little guy and everything was fine. There is not a lot of info on this and the information that was out there seems to be conflicting (at least based on past posts on the forum - almost a differing of opinions between doctors and pharmacists).

Our local CCFC chapter had an information night a year ago and one of the topics for the night was IBD and pregnancy, (although focused on females he did give a good overview of medication/pregnancy interaction) from what the GI said Imuran is not an issue with respect to birth defects at the dosages used for IBD medication. The bad one was methorrexate for both men and women. Not sure about men and Humira and Remicade, but from what I can remember from the presentation they will keep a pregnant female on it for the first 2 trimesters and then evaluate things.

Hope this helps - maybe your pharmacist or GI can give you more info.


Super Moderator
Hey KW. No experience myself here but this is an extract from a booklet my daughter received from the GI...

Also controversial is the use of azathioprine or 6-MP by the male partner in couples planning a pregnancy. Here, too, extensive experience from transplantation medicine and in patients with rheumatic disorders and inflammatory bowel diseases who were treated with azathioprine or 6-MP prior to or during the period of conception does not reveal any increased risk for pregnancy complications or birth defects. As with women, however, there are also individual case reports in the scientific literature that suggest possible negative effects on pregnancy secondary to azathioprine or 6-MP. Here, too, data is based on a very small number of cases, which precludes statistical evaluation. European and American pharmaceutical regulatory agencies do not cur- rently recommend that males being treated with azathioprine or 6-MP should discontinue therapy prior to a planned conception. Patients desiring maximum safety, however, can be advised to dis- continue azathioprine three months prior to a planned conception. In the intervening period, males will produce sperm whose genetic material is not damaged by azathioprine. Over the past years, we have followed a large number of women and men who have been treated with azathioprine before and during conception and pregnancy. There have been no reported instances of birth defects or pregnancy complications that could be associated with this therapy.

Dusty. xxx