azathioprine (imuran0 and flu shots

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 11/13/2007 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Is it ok to have a flu shot whilst on this?
My pharmacist says no which I think is contrary to what a lot of GP's think.
Anyone had conflicting opinions on this matter?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 11/13/2007 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I have gotten one the last two years while on Imuran. My GI said it was a-ok.
Tabitha (Tab)

100mg Azathioprine, 2 Fibercon, Colazal-6 a day, Acidopholis Pearls, Prilosec OTC
Co-Moderator UC Forum

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/13/2007 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
You definately SHOULD get the flu shot while on an immune suppresor. The flu shot does not contain a live virus so there is not much chance of getting the flu. I have had a flu shot for the past 5 years, one of those years while on 6mp and I had no trouble at all.
Left sided Uc -'92 - Colazal, 6mp, Prilosec, Biotin, Forvia, Pro-Bio 
Allergies - Singulair, Astelin(got the script - just haven't tried it yet!)
Secondary Reynauds Syndrome - '04 - Norvasc
Fibromyalgia - '06 
@--->--Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC--<---@


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 157
   Posted 11/13/2007 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I can understand the pharmacist's logic, but you should be fine.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2844
   Posted 11/13/2007 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I had one last year and was fine.

Take care.

Dansky Co-moderator UC forum
Azathioprine, Beloc-Zok, Calcichew, Citalopram Hydrobromide, Dihydrocodeine, Mydocalm, Paracetamol, Pariet, Prednisolone, Sulfasalazine, Zopiclone.



Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 11/13/2007 5:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the help.  As it turns out my GP wouldn't give me the shot.
Strangely enough, a different pharmacist said it would be ok!
The doc said something about two of the 'strains' have been and gone and the third one in this year's batch is questionable.
I guess the Canadian government have already bought the stuff so they are gonna use it.   It has to be of help in curtailing an epidemic I suppose...
My wife had hers regardless.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 11/13/2007 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I know the flu vaccines here in the States are all made from killed virus, so can't give you the flu no matter how immunosuppressed you are. The only reasoning I can think of is that if your immune system is too suppressed you might not get immunity from the vaccine, but it shouldn't hurt you.
Left-sided UC diagnosed 2001.  Taking Colazal and Imuran, Remicade infusions and moving into remission. Finally off steroids after four years! 
Now in remission for almost two years. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
"If you spend your time second-guessing your past decisions, you'll never have time to enjoy today."

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 346
   Posted 11/13/2007 7:51 PM (GMT -6)   
You just can't get LIVE vaccines, but the flu shot should be ok. Didn't the do away with the live nose thing? Anyway, my GI strongly suggested it. I wasn't making it out of the office without a serious guilt trip. I am seriously against them, but I guess I'm seriously against a lot of things I have to do now.
dx 4/05 with pancolitis UC after birth of my second child...
18 months of vit e enema and scd remission
Flare since 7/07...almost to surgery, now almost well through mostly natural stuff
Trying to make up the difference with...
Lialda 4/day
Remicade 10/26, 11/09, next 12/3
Imuran 50mg at night 11/11
Been there, tried that....

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 11/13/2007 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
My GI told me to definately to get a flu shot, for my whole family to get them.  Since the virus is not live it would be okay.  But I thought I heard that the ones they give via nasel spray is a live virus and not to get that one.
Diagnosed with UP in Feb 2005 Developed into UC by Jan 2006
Rowasa, Asacol, Colazal, Entorcort
Hospitalized July-Aug 2007 Pancolitis
Contracted C Diff.
Salumedrol, Flagyl, Remicade, Demerol, Prednisone, Antibiotics
Prednisone tapering currently down to 5mg
Imuran 100mg
Remicade every 8 wks next treatment the week of Thanksgiving:(
Zoloft 100mg
Phenergen as needed
Mama to Katie and Jack

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 11/13/2007 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Both my kid's doctor's recommended they get the shot since they are both on Imuran/6mp.

My daughter did have a bad reaction, but not sure why. This is her 3rd year to get the vaccine. She ended up with a headache, fainted, pale, shakes, etc. but by 24 hours later she was fine. Not sure what we'll do next year - watch her real close.
Julie - Mom of Son 16 UC dx 07/02, Sulfasalazine, Imuran, folic acid, L. Reuteri, Zyrtec, Iron, Biotin, Vit/Min
& Daughter 8 UC dx 08/07 Colazal, Prednisone, 6MP, Iron, Vit/Min.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 11/14/2007 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   

This will be my 5th year getting the flu shot and I have not gotten the flu since I started getting them.  Previously I would get the flu every year.  My only side effect has ever been a sore arm for a day or two from where the shot went in.  I still get a cold every year, sniffles, sore throat, cough, for about a week or two but not the full blown flu where I would be delirious w/fever for a couple of days and feeling like a dumptruck is rolling back and forth over me.

Due to get my shot Nov 29th.

Beth, 32
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 150mg 1xday nightly;Hydrocortisone enemas 1xday;Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Potassium 600mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 80mg 2xday. Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.

schrek-chewbacca hunk
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2666
   Posted 11/14/2007 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   

My doc was insistent on getting a flu shot both for me and my wife.  He is strongly urging anone who is in the home or dear friends/caregivers get the shot.  Therefor my minister friend and next door neighbor make sure they get theirs.

Good Luck


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