Useful information


We would always recommend that you have a yearly flu vaccination if you are taking immunosuppressive therapy.  We would also advise that you have the Pneumococcal vaccination which you can obtain from your GP.  Neither of these vaccines are live.

We would recommend that if offered you accept the coronavirus vaccination, however in this instance please contact the department as some medications need to be put on hold as it can reduce the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccination.  Please discuss with your nurse/consultant.  As there are new vaccines being approved it is also useful just to confirm with the immuniser (the person that gives you the vaccine) that the vaccine is not live.  We know that the Pfizer-BioNtec is inactive, as is the AstraZeneca, but we cannot confirm others will be inactive at this moment in time.

With regards to the Shingles vaccination, depending on the treatment you are on, this can be given, but in some cases not.  If you are offered this vaccination, please discuss with your nurse/consultant beforehand.

Bacterial/Viral Infections

In the event of a bacterial/viral infection, it is advisable that you hold your immunosuppressant therapy until fully recovered.  If you have an infection, your immune system needs to be active to fight the infection, if you continue to take your immunosuppressant medication this could have an impact on your recovery, however, if you take Hydroxychloroquine of Sulfasalazine, you do not need to discontinue.

Pregnancy and DMARDs (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs)

If you are intending on trying to conceive, Sulfasalazine and Hydroxychloroquine are compatible throughout conception, pregnancy and breast feeding.  However, if you are taking any other therapies you need to discuss this with your nurse specialist/consultant before attempting to conceive.