Gastro Health recommends that patients with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis who are taking “immunosuppressant medications” receive a yearly flu vaccination and the pneumonia vaccine every five years.
Immunosuppressant medications include the following:
- Azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan)
- 6-Mercaptopurine (6-MP, Purinethol)
- Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
- Infliximab (Remicade); Adalimumab (Humira); Certolizumab Pegol (Cimzia)
- Natalizumab (Tysabri)
The inactivated influenza vaccine given by an intramuscular shot, as well as the pneumonia vaccine, are both safe for patients taking immunosuppressant medications. However, live vaccinations are not safe if you are taking immunosuppressant medications. Live vaccinations include:
- Chickenpox (Varicella Zoster Infection)
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
- Yellow Fever
- Intranasal Flu Vaccine (this is different from the one given by an Intramuscular injection)
If you have ANY questions or concerns, please consult your Gastro Health physician.