Live Vaccines/Selected Immunosuppressive Agents
This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any drug or commencing any course of treatment.
Severe. These medicines may interact and cause very harmful effects and are usually not taken together. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.
How the interaction occurs:
Medication which suppresses the immune system may prevent your body from responding correctly to the vaccine.
What might happen:
If you are receiving immunosuppressant medicine, you may not develop disease immunity from the vaccination.Taking a live vaccine may cause you to develop the illness it was supposed to prevent. However, an inactive vaccine cannot cause you to develop the illness it was supposed to prevent, even if you receive immunosuppressant medicine.
What you should do about this interaction:
Before receiving a vaccination with a live vaccine, let your doctor know all of the other medicines you are taking, especially if your medications work by suppressing the immune system (e.g. transplant medicines)or if you have recently received radiation or chemotherapy for cancer. Your doctor may decide to give you an inactive vaccine, or may want to change the timing of your vaccination.Your healthcare professionals may already be aware of this interaction and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
1.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. General Recommendations on Immunization. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR January 28, 2011;60(RR No.2):1-64.
2.Stelara (ustekinumab) US prescribing information. Janssen Biotech, Inc. January, 2013.