Systemic Corticosteroids; Corticotropin (ACTH)/Live Vaccines Interactions

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.

Medical warning:

Serious. These medicines may interact and cause very harmful effects. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.

How the interaction occurs:

Corticosteroids or corticotropin may prevent your body's immune system from responding correctly to the vaccine.

What might happen:

If you are taking large doses of corticosteroids or corticotropin, or have taken them in the previous three months, you may not develop disease immunity from the vaccine and/or the vaccine may cause you to develop the illness it was supposed to prevent.

What you should do about this interaction:

Let your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) know if you are taking corticosteroids or corticotropin or if you have taken them in the previous month before you receive 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. Available at: January 28, 2011; 60(RR No.
  • 2):1-64.
  • 3.Acthar Gel (repository corticotropin injection). Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals March, 2019.
  • 4.Aristospan (triamcinolone hexacetonide) US prescribing information. Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc. June, 2014.
  • 5.Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection Australian prescribing information. Mayne Pharma October 30, 2003.
  • 6.Emflaza (deflazacort) US prescribing information. Marathon Pharmaceuticals, LLC July, 2020.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.