Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Do antivirals interfere with the effectiveness of a flu shot?

Discussion in 'Antivirals, Antibiotics and Immune Modulators' started by Dr.Patient, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    Please share your thoughts and research, thanks everyone!
     
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I wouldn't think it would. Antivirals target virus replication. A flu shot is not about replicating virus (though live virus vaccines might rely on this, I am insufficiently aware of the research to be sure). Its about the immune recognition of the virus. So there might be impact from specific antivirals if they have a direct affect on immunity but that could be said about many medications, not just antivirals.
     
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  3. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    I don't think so either. An immunization works by getting your body to recognize a pathogen and start producing antibodies to it, so if you ever encounter the real germ the protective antibodies are already there. In order to interfere with a flu shot, the antiviral would have to block your body's ability to recognize the virus or produce antibody.
     
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    depends on the vaccine, if its for a herpes virus than the herpes antivirals maybe, also possibly hep b and co as there has been some evidence of herpes antivirals working on hep b, i think it was famvir and hep b??
     
  5. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I was told by my CFS doctor not to get a flu shot or any vaccines for many years to come (if ever) as my immune system too screwed up to handle them now and could make me sicker. I am paraphrasing and those are not his exact words!
     
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  6. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    I have been getting flu shots for the last 3 years that I had been sick. Mine started with not getting a flu shot, and thus getting the flu itself. The risks of getting the flu infection on top of what I already have, is much more dangerous than getting a flu shot.
     
  7. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Dr.Patient many of the CFS specialists would disagree with that but each person knows their own body and should do what is best. Some cases of CFS start with a vaccine as the trigger. Not in my case but I have read a lot about it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
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  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    There is another issue here. There are many pathogens including enteroviruses that can manifest as a flu-like infection. Flu shots will not protect against them. I think those other infections are much more likely to initiate ME or CFS than regular flu.
     
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  9. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Yes, parts of the US are experiencing an outbreak of enterovirus D68.
     
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    That has a few of us worried. We might see the impact next year. I hope not, even though it would be good for advocacy ... yet more sick people is not good.
     
  11. NK17

    NK17 Senior Member

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    For what is worth and to be taken as purely anecdotal, the only time I got the flu shot was back in the fall of '05 and in the spring of '06 I came down with what seemed a bad case of flu, but with no fever.
    Flash forward several years and now I clearly recognize the strange flu episode as a classic ME flare up.
    I don't get the flu shot and my ME doctor agrees with me.
    I make sure my Vit D levels are good and eventually supplement with NAC during the flu season.
     
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  12. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    This paper might be some help? I don't know how they decided the "benefits outweigh the risks" but it must be pretty personal. My family all react badly to the flu shot.

    http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=24744#.VClUWPldUlI

    "In this pilot study immunization with influenza vaccine is accompanied by a degree of immune dysregulation in CFS/ME patients compared with controls. While vaccination may protect CFS/ME patients against influenza, it has the ability to increase cytotoxic activity and pro-inflammatory reactions post vaccination. The role of Tregs in promoting a toxic effect at 28 days post-vaccination in our patient group cannot be ruled out. The benefits of influenza vaccine still likely outweigh the risks CFS/ME patients experience following vaccination."
     
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  13. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    Same here.

    I just learned that a flu shot is only effective for 60-90 days, so this winter I will try getting shots every 60 days.

    I get a reaction to the shots -- intense confusion and inflammation flare. Last time (first shot this year) I also had some loss of coordination. But the reaction only lasted about 8 hours.

    Does anyone here know what that might be about?
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Senior Member

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    I'd avoid the flu vaccine (or any vaccine for that matter) like the plague. I'm pretty certain the flu shot triggered my ME almost 3 years ago. It's true that they are harmless for the vast majority of the population but then again so are peanuts. But when they give vaccines to individuals like me with a history of IBS (and thus in my opinion an already wonky immune system), the results can be disastrous. True, it could have been the next cold that did me in or whatever but I just have this hunch...and so does my ME doctor who has seen it all too many times :(

    Do what you feel is right though. Caveat emptor.
     
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  15. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Thomas My cfs doctor pretty much told me to avoid flu shots & vaccines like the plague as well.
     
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  16. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    Was that a killed or live flu shot?
     
  17. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    I have also thought about getting 2 flu shots every season, one every 3 months...
     
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  18. Dr.Patient

    Dr.Patient There is no kinship like the one we share!

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    I have made it a point not to eat anything that has not been heated up, to avoid getting any gastro viruses.
     
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  19. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Washing your hands is one of your best protections. You don't need the antibacterial soap. Regular soap is good enough, and won't create "superbugs" by killing off all the susceptible germs and leaving the resistant ones to thrive in their place.

    If you are housebound it's probably more important for the other people in your household to get flu shots, because they are the people you'd be getting it from.
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Senior Member

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    Pretty sure it was the killed kind. I thought all flu vaccines are the non-live type?
     

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