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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Should I receive a flu shot?
Should i receive a flu shot while on mestinon (as needed) and IVIG treatment once every three weeks for treatment of Myasthenia Gravis? I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis at age 10 (i am 30 now) and was in remission for 8 years. I recently relapsed and taking the above course of treatment. I am unsure whether or not to get the flu shot this season and need advice. Thank you!
Most flu shots are inactivated virus, and not live virus. Only live virus vaccines should be avoided when possible in immunosuppressed patients. Patients with immunosuppression (steroids, IVIG, cellcept, imuran, etc) used to treat myasthenia gravis should avoid live virus vaccines. Actually, the CDC guidelines suggest people with immunosuppressants receive the flu shot. This means it is probably safe and recommended for you to receive the flu shot. Talk about it with your physician.
Robert W Neel, IV, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati