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Myasthenia Gravis

Vaccines

10/29/2009

Question:

I underwent thymectomy three years ago. It seems I have gone into total remission because I stopped taking Mestinon and I am not feeling any symptoms of MG. Is it safe now to do live vaccins? Can a person have hepatitis A and jaundice if he/she has had a live vaccin of hepatitis A while he/she was on Immuran?

Answer:

You shouldn't take the live vaccine if you are on any immunosuppressive medications (such as prednisone or Imuran) or are immunosuppressed for any other reason. Patients in this group should receive the shot form of vaccination. (I consulted with a colleague in infectious diseases who thought that having had a thymectomy as an adult would have very little effect on your overall immune status.) I believe there are other restrictions for taking a live vaccine that relate to one's age and past medical history. I would recommend that you talk to your primary care doctor about the general CDC recommendations or manufacturer's licensing limits with regard to other medical problems or age. I am not sure I understood the second part of your question as it relates to a person receiving a live vaccine for hepatitis A while on Imuran. Patients taking Imuran are immunosuppressed and for that reason should not receive live vaccines. I hope this answers your questions.

For more information:

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Response by:

John G Quinlan, MD John G Quinlan, MD
Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati