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Date of last update: 10/16/2017.

Forum Name: Fertility

Question: Rhogam and Pregnancy

 baileykbr - Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:09 pm

I am just over 26 weeks pregnant and I am rh-, so I will need my rhogam shot in approx 2 weeks. I was just wondering on the mercury content in these? I have read conflicting information about this, some info says that rhogam is now mercury-free and others say that rhogam with mercury is still given to expectant mothers. I have read about the increased risk of autism of an unborn child with increased mercury in your system. Also, a couple of weeks before I fell pregnant I had a flu shot, this was a standard one given through work so I would assume that it has the mercury content - is this a cause for concern? I think I had the shot on the 8th April and I conceived on around the 24th April. Thank you very much for your help.

Additional Info:
Female, 23 years old
26w4d pregnant
No illnesses, or history of illness
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:52 pm

User avatar Hello,
I don't know where you live but here is the statement on the FDA website:

"The EPA has raised concerns regarding mercury exposure. These concerns have been in the context of chronic exposure to methyl mercury in milligram amounts. In contrast, blood plasma-derived products (except anti-venoms) containing ethyl mercury are usually given as one or two injections. Furthermore, the ethyl mercury content of these products is in the form of a preservative, thimerosal, which breaks down to form ethyl mercury in microgram amounts.

In the past, plasma-derived products made in multiple-use vials, e.g. Immune Globulin (Human), used for Hepatitis A prophylaxis, contained a preservative, such as ethyl mercury-containing thimerosal, to avoid contamination. This type of multi-dose presentation has been discontinued for all licensed plasma derivative products.

Rho (D) Immune Globulin (Human) products -
RhoGAM, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Inc
BayRho, Bayer Corporation
WinRho, Cangene Corporation
RhoGAM, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Inc [licensed 1968]

On April 16, 2001, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics was approved by FDA to produce RhoGAM without thimerosal, and at that time, Ortho agreed to distribute only thimerosal-free product to the US market. The product has a 2-year dating period, so there is no longer any RhoGAM that contains thimerosal that is still in-date."

So, it looks like, at least in the USA, thimerosal has been discontinued in the RhoGam. The flu shot may have contained some micro-levels of preservative such as thimerosal. The concern that has been raised is with repeated exposures that could have a cumulative effect and in conjunction with the baby shots that also contained preservatives in the past, there might be mercury-poisoning issues. Since the thimerosal has now been discontinued as they have also discontinued multi-dose vials in most cases, you don't have that same risk.

There has not been any conclusive evidence that this is the cause of autism. The problem is we don't know exactly what is causing the huge increase. Very likely it is a combination of exposures that our world now presents; not just one thing. We definitely assault our bodies with toxins that are everywhere - even in the plastics we use daily. You may want to read about Dr. Sears' alternative schedule for immunizing children if you are worried about this. Immunization is important but you can evaluate each vaccine on its own merits and decide whether or not you want your child to have the usual schedule or if you prefer to alter it a bit by spacing vaccinations over the course of a few years rather than getting multiple injections at one time. Perhaps not overloading the system with too many at once will result in improved outcomes.

Good luck.
 baileykbr - Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:49 pm

Thank you very much for your response. It did put me at ease about it. There are just so many bad things to read on the internet sometimes! Especially related to pregnancy!
 Debbie Miller, RN - Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:45 pm

User avatar You are welcome and you are so right about the internet! Thanks for posting.

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